Change, change, change.. Can we have too much change?

If you haven’t noticed, the theme for the 2008 Presidential Election seems to be the word “change,” with the idea that we need to “change” the policies of President Bush. Barack Obama started this theme with his slogan of “Change you can believe in.” Thus, Hillary Clinton and John Edwards also jumped on the “change” bandwagon. In short order, even Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney was working the word “change” into his primary campaign.

Finally, we’re down to Barack Obama and John McCain, both now professing to be the “agents of change” in Washington.

Here’s a report from CBS News

What I find most irritating about both of their “change” stances is that they act as if the will not have congress to contend with. If they’re talking about out of control spending, it was the congress in the past 8 years which was responsible, with the help of President Bush signing their spending bills.

For John McCain this is a new theme, however, I’m betting focus groups have indicated that voters, regardless of party, like hearing about change from the candidates.

I don’t have much of a point here with this, more so a question. When does “change” get turned into policy and positions? Beyond that, now we apparantly have two forms of “change” to pick from, the Obama flavor or the McCain flavor.

McCain’s “change” seems to be geared toward reigning in congressional spending and restoring some order to the budget.

Obama’s “change” seems to be differing policies than President Bush such as socialized health care, ending the war in Iraq, and increasing taxes on corporations and the wealthiest Americans.

I suppose it all depends on your perspective of what needs to be “changed.” Surely change will occur as President Bush will be replaced wit President McCain or President Obama.

However, isn’t every election about change? Even with an incumbent in the race, the challenger always runs on differing policies of “change.” Furthermore, in an open election like this, Obama and McCain have both staked out their “change” positions.

Change is nothing new my friends, it seems to be the theme of every election in some way, shape, or form. Hence the point of electing new people for a “change” with regard to ideas, interests, and politicians.

“Change” is just a fancy way of saying “I disagree with your policies and would like to enact my own,” however, that doesn’t fit well as a campaign slogan or on a rally sign.

No disrespect to either candidate, this is simply my observation which turned into somewhat of a post on the subject.

Sound off below..

  • Well said, Nate. That’s why I noted this morning that the “change” strategy that someone thought was “stolen” from Obama was not at all stolen. I can’t remember a candidate, and I’m pretty old, that didn’t preach “change”. That’s the point of a new president – to “change” presidents. 😉

    I have an email contact that says it well I think. Her tag line is “If you want change, cash a dollar”.

  • Obama’s mantra for change is pretty obvious, McCains however not so obvious. McCain’s stuck in the middle of wanting change but not being able to deliver change because he can’t afford to upset his base Republicans.

    McCain can’t talk about change and then pick a female version of Bush as his VP. Apart from earmarks and pork-barrel spending which he says he’ll stop but realistically it won’t happen, how does McCain represent change?

  • Somehow Joe Biden, a politician who’s been in the senate since 1972, doesn’t scream “change” to me.

  • It doesn’t scream change to me either.

    I like Joe Biden and he’ll probably make a great VP, but he’d be an even better Foreign Secretary in my opinion.

  • PeoplePower

    Nate – you’re right, in that change is just a part of the normal result of electing a new president.

    However, there are several exceptions, recently – George H.W. Bush was certainly different than Reagan, but policy-wise he was very similar.

    McCain’s acceptance speech was decent, until you compared it to George W. Bush’s 2000 speech; McCain’s words were slightly different, but the meaning was exactly the same in the change he was calling for. Thus, more meaningless rhetoric, rather than a meaningful change in direction.

    A new direction may be a more accurate description of the change – the country has been tacking to the right for a good while now; the change McCain offers may tack slightly less to the right (though, the Palin choice worries me in this regard), but it’s still to the right.

    Whereas the change Obama offers is truly a change in direction. It will shift the drive to the right, with it’s plusses and minusses, to a drive to the left, with it’s plusses and minusses. Though, I’d submit that we’re so far skewed to the right at this time that Obama won’t be able to get us beyond “the middle”.

    That’s not such a bad thing either. Obama is correct in that both parties have good ideas, working together to find the best idea is the best way to fix things that are broken.

    As for Congress causing issues, remember that we had a Republican Congress working with a Republican President for 6 of those years. Bush didn’t find his veto pen until the Democrats took control of Congress. Plus, the Republicans have been filibustering almost everything that gets proposed – a leading cause of this being a “do nothing” Congress.

    Change represented simply by a change of which party has control is also a good way to steer the bus in a different direction. But it can’t be about party only. Constituents must keep on their Representatives, Senators and the President to work with the other party and to come up with *solid* ideas that will fix and/or improve things. We can’t just vote and blog and call ourselves patriots, resting up for the next election…

    Personally, I feel we’ve been doing things horribly wrong for years now. I think the Bush administration has pushed partisan bickering and attacks to an art form and unprecedented level. I hope that the Democrats can stand strong, but stick to the issues, despite having been called traitors and communists and much worse.

    It will help greatly if McCain elevates his party’s line out of the Rovian attacking and subliminal messages of hate/weakness/etc. The RNC didn’t help this, but with luck we’ll see some spirited discussion on the *issues* and forego character assassination on all sides.

    There are more than two types of ideas (Liberal/Conservative) and most have valid points about each policy decision. If we keep bickering and stubbornly refusing to hear each others’ ideas because one comes from a Democrat and the other from a Republican, we will spiral downward and destroy our own country from within itself.

    I hope that whomever eventually takes office, that they listen to differing opinions and build the best solutions out of those efforts. That’s another thing Bush did that was typical of the poorer Presidents we’ve had in this country – he lived in a bubble of “yes men” and had little, to no, dissenting advice; especially once Colin Powell left the cabinet. Good solutions rarely come from a single source of ideas. Or at least solutions that are best for the *general* welfare.

  • Eric K

    I have so far participated in 5 elections, this will be my 6th. I can’t remember any candidate with a picture of their face and just the word ‘CHANGE’ under it. But I wouldn’t doubt it.

    Also I find it amusing, this whole ‘Maverick’ thing. Smacks of George Bush and his whole ‘Cowboy’ thing. That would make a great political cartoon.

    The fact that McCain is kind of the Johnny come lately with ‘Change’ is helping this centrist(me) lean a little left this time around.

    I like Joe Biden and he’ll probably make a great VP, but he’d be an even better Foreign Secretary in my opinion.>

    I think Bill Richardson would be better. He already has done great work with North Korea and actually was let on their soil or negotiated with them if I am not mistaken.

  • Eric, McCain was called a Maverick long before he ever ran for President the first time, if I’m not mistaken.

    Greta over on Fox News has been “let on their soil”, too. How would she do as a Foreign Secretary, you think?

  • Eric K

    I don’t think I said or stated that he just started this Maverick thing. Merely pointing how similar it is to Bush’s ‘cowboy’ thing. Again with that? See the irony? He’s different from George Bush… He’s a Maverick.. not a ‘go it alone Cowboy’ I think it’s funny and ironic. I guess cowboy terms hold up to a completely different generation, some probably think its cool. No problem.

    Are you referring to Gretta Van Sustern? I’m not talking about the Bill Richardson who is a camera guy for fox news. Different one. I am talking about the elected official. Elected by the people. Unless I didn’t know that Gretta was an elected official who engaged in diplomacy with foreign leaders.

  • To further my point I think I was right! It makes a great political cartoon!

    let me see if this XHTML link tag works

    See the thing is, The Repub ticket is saying Maverick as if it means change. It doesn’t. Maverick means rebel. Loner. Do it ‘yourselfer’ as W might say. Now, if he was called ‘Catalyst’ his whole political life the moniker would make more sense. Get where I am coming from on this?

    Now to be fair I need to do one about the dems… Bidden seems like a good choice. I can even keep it on the same subject about change since he has been in office since I was born. Any other ideas?

  • Why would anyone want a maverick leading the country? Aren’t Communist leaders mavericks?

  • Exactly, Eric, that’s the very definition of a Maverick. And McCain earned the label years ago rebeling against congree, many times against his own party. Obama never has. Obama will go along with his party, that’s not change. McCain will buck anyone no matter what party they’re in, or work with anyone no matter what party they’re in, and that affects the true definition of being able to bring about “change”. The “cowboy” comparison is not even a logical one. Biden is more like 4 more years of Bush than McCain is.

  • Well Biden is not running for president and hardly follows Bush policy so not sure where your last statement came from.

    Babs… this is the ACTUAL definition of Maverick from the American Heritage Dictionary…

    mav·er·ick (māv’É™r-Ä­k, māv’rÄ­k) Pronunciation Key

    1. An unbranded range animal, especially a calf that has become separated from its mother, traditionally considered the property of the first person who brands it.
    2. One that refuses to abide by the dictates of or resists adherence to a group; a dissenter.

    adj. Being independent in thought and action or exhibiting such independence: maverick politicians; a maverick decision.

    [Possibly after Samuel Augustus Maverick (1803-1870), American cattleman who left the calves in his herd unbranded .]

    The word is what it is. You can pretend to dress the word up as meaning catalyst for change, but the word is what it is… That would be like… dare I say… putting lipstick on a pig? doh!

    Just because someone is not going with the group(Maverick), doesn’t mean they are convincing the group. It completely contradicts his whole ‘work along party lines’ b.s.

  • Dreadsen

    Yes but McCain of years ago ( the actual maverick) would not vote for Republican nominee McCain.

    Ron Paul, Chuck Hagel, Joe Liberman, some pro life democrat who couldn’t speak at the dnc convention and Walter Jones. Those are mavericks.

    And i dont think a presidential nomination would have shaped any of those guys any different.