Are We Ready for Change?

Monday, 15 September 2008 07:01 By Marc Ash, Truthout | name.

Are We Ready for Change?

    Ever wonder why your health care provider doesn't care? Of course, if you're one of the over forty million Americans, many of whom are working, who cannot afford health care at all, then you're not even qualified to ask.

    Ever wonder why, if there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, we went there to begin with? Why we're still there? Why 4,153 US Soldiers are dead and tens of thousands maimed for life? Why hundreds of thousands of Iraqis are dead?

    Are you hearing a lot of talk about candidates connecting with "working Americans"? Who's going to be in charge of connecting with Americans who aren't working? Do you think unemployed Americans can't decide this election?

    Which candidate will bring about change? That's easy, Obama. McCain has been a good Republican soldier every step of the way. Obama is at least looking for a new way. There's no guarantee he'll find it, but he has set out to forge a new path. Washington is Washington so don't expect miracles, but Obama is itching to break with the past eight years, that much is certain. McCain had many chances over the past eight years to stand up to George W. Bush & Co., he chose instead to back them every step of the way. It is what it looks like.

    The big question mark here is the American public. How far have we come in terms of political maturity? Or to put it more bluntly, are we ready to vote for our own best interests yet? The Republicans have had legendary success convincing voters that highly emotional values-based arguments should be their guide in the voting booth, not health care, war and peace, or the economy. As a result, health care in the US is the leading cause of personal bankruptcy, we're at war for oil - again, and the US economy is flat-out collapsing.

    Richard Nixon was the first Republican to abandon issues and go with emotions. His plans for the country would never have garnered enough support at the polls to get him elected. He needed a diversion, he shaped his campaign around hatred, radicals and liberals. In the end that's what the country got from Nixon, radical hatred of liberals. But we also got seven more years of Vietnam, J. Edgar Hoover in our closets and a war on FDR's new deal that continues today.

    Far from rejecting the Republican dirty tricks playbook, the McCain campaign wants to make voter distraction as American as apple pie. They're not denying that they would avoid talking about the issues, Rick Davis, McCain's campaign manager, in fact was blunt: "This election is not about issues. This election is about a composite view of what people take away from these candidates."

    So then, are you looking for a composite view, or are you ready for change?

    A lot of people say they want change, but change is scary. People get set in their ways and it's sometimes tough to get them to consider anything new. It might be instructive to bear in mind that the presidency of George W. Bush is the most radical in US history. So much so in fact that it has produced a form of anarchy in the US and worldwide. That, however, was not the change the American voters saw coming during the 2000 presidential campaign, we were too busy focusing on family values.

    Change for the better begins with demanding it. The voter axiom, that we get what we demand, is as true today as it ever was. The country is suffering for reasons. Decisions have been made, and those decisions form the basis for our predicament. In a democracy voting is a right, but with that right comes responsibilities. Reading is fundamental, if you are going to know how a problem has come to exist you must educate yourself. That will not happen on the television. John McCain's record is as plain as Barack Obama's, and certainly not difficult to research.

    Change - for the better - is always at hand. We get what we demand.

Last modified on Monday, 15 September 2008 10:31