04 February 2008

Dissecting the 'Change' Mantra

Originally posted on the American Thinker website.

We need change in America. That's the message that every politician seems to push. They are all "agents of change". Each one of them believes that the brand of change he or she pushes is the kind of change that the electorate not only wants but desperately needs. The country is falling apart, you see, and if there isn't change soon (and by soon, I mean sometime after January 2009), then... well, let's just not consider it. It might be more of the same.

After all, the country is in obviously dire straits. Unemployment is... never mind. Inflation? No, not really. There's a recession... looming... maybe. But really, we are all hurting. Or at least those people the media shows us. And it needs to be soon. Just as soon as (insert candidate name here) is elected.

Fear of change

But behind the calls for change is a genuine fear of change. The economy, for instance, cannot be allowed ebb and flow; it must remain constant. Or better yet, it must grow at a quicker and quicker pace. Home values can't change, if change means a decrease in value. Again, constancy dictates ever rising home values. Anything less than constant positive movement in these areas is a world-stopping crisis, and we're to believe that something must be done to stop the change.

The grand daddy of all fear of change issues is global warming, a.k.a. "climate change". Some folks fear the well-established fact that global climate actually changes. They simply can't accept that the earth gets warmer and colder because of forces much greater than humans and our CO2 emissions. Some folks believe this so much that they're willing to do whatever it takes to "save the world", even if staving off what may or may not be CO2-induced wrecks lives, economies and countries. Those changes are excusable only because they would be committed in the pursuit of "saving the world". Climate change's messianic vision trumps human suffering in the abstract.

So we're asked to believe in change, to vote for change, to know that change is needed. But what we're more than likely going to get is less change on important issues, issues that can really influence our future for the better. Universal health care, extended unemployment benefits and other nanny state initiatives are only good so long as the money flows through them. Both Senators Clinton and Obama seem to have rallied around the idea America should trust them to institute change, just trust them. In doing so, they have given the GOP candidate (whoever that may be) a chance to substantively differentiate himself from his Democrat counterpart in the general election.

Real change for the better

The GOP should spend time between now and the closing of the convention discussing and developing reform frameworks on issues that can positively affect the nation in the next four to eight years. There is little doubt about how foreign policy might be conducted in a Republican White House should the GOP win. Domestic policy, on the other hand, needs to be addressed. A non-exhaustive list of important domestic change issues should include public school reform and decentralization, stopping and reversing illegal immigration, Social Security privatization, ending legislative earmarks, tort reform, and re-embracing the Constitution.

So while the GOP focuses on choosing a ticket the first week of September, it could (and should) emerge from the convention with a platform that calls for change, addressing domestic issues in as much detail as possible. Doing so will give the GOP ticket defendable, concrete specifics with which to counter the Democrat mantra of "change" for the simple sake of changing because they are "change agents".

The "change" chant has the demonstrated ability to stir a great deal of emotion and energy in this presidential election. Given the eight months between now and the general election, a GOP ticket based on a detailed, conservative domestic reform platform can trump the nanny state change platform that can be expected from the Democrats.

1 comment:

chan said...

Forgot where I read this and can't quite remember it exactly, but here is a perfect intro for every Democratic candidate.

"We live in the greatest nation on earth, and I am for change."

I thought that was hilarious, but I know quite a few people who wouldn't examine that at all and take it seriously.