Unless you live under a rock or you don’t follow politics to any great degree, then you know that the new buzzword in the Presidential campaigns is “change.” The Iowa caucuses and the national polling data all indicate that the people want change from their government. I agree – I want change from my government, too. So far in the campaign the term “change” has largely benefited Senator Barack Obama, though the Republicans and Senator Hillary Clinton are trying to put the concept of change to work for their campaigns.
But I hope someone who is working for their individual campaigns is telling these candidates that winning the Presidency on the concept of “change” is not the best way to win the hearts and minds of the populace in the long-term. Why, you ask? Simple. What does change mean to you?
Think about it. What does change mean to you? Change, to me, means that I won’t be stuck in a position where roughly 35% of my income goes towards paying student loans when I was a straight A student all throughout my academic career. My change means that my desire to trade in my current gas-guzzling SUV for a hybrid car would become a reality in short order (my finances say otherwise). For me, change means that we stop spending hundreds of BILLIONS of dollars on other countries and we redirect that money back into America and American technology. I consider change no longer hearing the right/left bickering in America and, instead, seeing a strong third party or even a third and fourth party rise to break the grip that this double-headed monster has on American politics.
I could go on and talk about how change should mean more tax dollars directed towards upgrading America’s physical infrastructure (roads and bridges) and how change means that local police forces will be mandated to truly serve and protect and not act as a fundraiser for local governments. I would say that change means taking care of unfinished business: i.e. making the accepted language for the last 400 years in the American settlements, colonies, and states the official language of this country. Change should mean that if the United Nations is going to be a feasible world-body, then it should be equitably funded by ALL member countries and it should be corruption free. My concept of “change” means that we – as a nation – will respect every last letter in the Constitution and if that means that the majority of America rules over the minority, then that’s what it means (it’s what it’s supposed to mean!).
There’s so much more that “change” means to me, but this is exactly my point. Any Presidential candidate who embodies change (and Obama embodies it the most right now) will need to have a clearly defined agenda during the second half of this Presidential campaign. Saying “change” will win primaries today and it may win an election tomorrow, but when the American people do NOT see things changing around them, then things can start to get very, very ugly.
What does change mean to you? I’d be interested to know.