Change means different things to different people. It’s a common enough campaign promise; in fact, Mitt Romney is running on “change” this cycle. Romney promises to deliver change on Day One, some of which is going to happen just because he was elected, according to him. In an email to supporters, he wrote, “This election is a turning point for America. It is a time for greatness, for big change, and for action — not more idle words. I’m not just talking about change, I actually have a plan to make it happen. From day one of my presidency, I will restore common sense to Washington, by cutting wasteful spending and putting us on a path toward a balanced budget.”
Romney’s “change” is actually not change but rather going back to Bush policies, by doubling down on Bush’s tax cuts and deregulation while amping up defense spending way past what the Pentagon said they needed. Romney says he’s running on “change” but he won’t give us any specifics of what that means or looks like, other than promising that he will deliver the 12 million jobs experts say will come our way if we keep doing what Obama is doing now.
Romney also wants to take us back to the social policies of the 1950s, you know, back in the good old days when women knew their place and people were “wholesome” (aka: trapped in bad marriages and housewives were drugged to dull the pain).
That’s Romney’s idea of “change”. I have no idea how he thinks he could change wasteful spending on Day One, but that is probably just campaign rhetoric best ignored, unless you feel like trying to hold him to the same standards Republicans have applied to Obama. I don’t suggest it. We fall down way before we get that high.
Obama’s ideas of change are changes that benefit the people (I detailed examples here), protecting them from corporate interests and helping them get a fair shot if they work hard. The man isn’t perfect and we are so far from digging our way out of 40 years of Republican “values”. I fear it will take another 40 to fix the systemic damage.
We are not where we need to be yet. We may never be where we should be. In a democracy, the fight for the people to maintain their power is never-ending. The elite will always try to steal power back, using religion and propaganda to do it as they have through history. The question isn’t are we where we should be, but are we going in the right direction.
Under Obama, we have made huge strides for the people. That is the right direction, and no, this isn’t even a question of ideology anymore. It’s a question of corporate elites versus the people. Mitt Romney represents the worst of the Republican Party and none of the necessary balance conservatism can lend to progress (real conservatism, not social Darwninism and subsidies for big oil masked as conservatism).
Republicans have forced Democrats to bear responsibility for the conservatives’ burden of fiscal prudence and balanced budgets since Clinton’s days, as they chased women’s reproductive health over a cliff. They abandoned civic duty and intellectualism to the Democrats, greedily siding with corporations and using churches to sell harmful policies to the masses. Republicans are the frothing, irrational radicals of hate now, infamous for not believing in science or polls or reality. Most of the real conservatives are in the Democratic Party now.
The Republican Party has become a sad caricature of itself, and Mitt Romney is the perfect albeit unintentional parody of that caricature. Obama is a great choice as a candidate on his own, but next to Mitt Romney, he is the only choice.