Saturday, January 26, 2008

Ch-Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes--Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah

Before I begin my rant, let me first acknowledge two things:

1. The opinions expressed on this blog are wholly my own and do not reflect the opinions of my employer, my family, my publisher or any other binding relationship I find myself in.

2. I know next to nothing about anything when it comes to politics.

That being said, I'm getting really, really tired of the bald-faced claims of some of the candidates to be the "candidate of change." I'm thinking of one such candidate in particular, whose unusual name I won't mention. You'll probably figure it out pretty quickly. The thing that bugs me about this change-agent campaign is how frustratingly naked the opportunism is that's driving it. "Change" became the buzzword coming out of Iowa, and suddenly "change" is the middle name of this oddly named candidate.

Let me quickly add that "change" itself is a pretty vague concept. Do we want any kind of change whatsoever? Would the sinking of either coast into either ocean be good merely because it changes the landscape of the country? Similarly, is there nothing whatsoever that we may want to hold onto in even the slightest detail? Is the public school system inherently flawed simply because it will have existed prior to this particular candidate's taking office? Change, change change--blah, blah, blah.

So I reject the premise of superficial change as a legitimate campaign platform. But even if I were to grant the notion that what Washington needs is change, I wouldn't grant that this particular candidate is the obvious choice. Consider, for example, the current president, whose policies and perspective are among the issues demanding change:

He's the former governor of a state whose legislature was dominated by a different political party.

He's a former, relatively successful businessman.

He's a principled man of faith.

He's a "uniter, not a divider."

He had nebulous foreign policy experience when he announced his campaign for president.

He has a family pedigree in various levels of government.

He has a thing for Ronald Reagan.

Not much distinguishes the current president from this current candidate beyond the oddness of this particular candidate's name. So is it reasonable to anticipate change from such a near-doppelganger of the status quo?

All right. I'm done. Please note that I never named a candidate and that I explicitly distanced myself from all my binding relationships in this stating of my hopelessly naive political opinion. Someone, now, please change the subject.

7 comments:

Rick said...

Best non-campaigning campaign post of the day.

Anonymous said...

First of all, it wouldn't be much of a leap to guess that said unnamed candidate would prefer "change" to his actual middle name. Second, it isn't change for the sake of change which is being advocated. As many have pointed out, the fact that a different person will be president is change in and of itself. The change being sought is a change in the way we actually do politics, and considering the rout in SC, the message seems to resonate.

Having said that, did you really expect one of your politically rabid relatives not to respond? :)

Jeannine

David A. Zimmerman said...

Wrong oddly named candidate, Jeannine! Try again!

Pete Juvinall said...

lol...great post.

My favorite 'moment' of this whole season was Hillary Clinton losing it and barking at the other two canidates: "Change! I make change." The silliness of that statement being such a vague assertion (like you mentioned) as well as needing a response of "Oh yeah? Here's a 20...can you give me a 10, a 5 and 5 ones?"

David @ PostcardPerfect said...

Nice post, Dave.

As ridiculous as using the idea of "change" as a platform is - it's a powerful one word position that appeals to many.

Not happy with the war? Change!
Does the economy have you down? We need change!

It's easier to tell the story of "change" and let voters fill their own details. Most people will automatically imagine "change" as being positive, and they'll interpret the word in a way that they hope it is carried out.

Web said...

I think the candidate that you are referring to would make a good used car salesman...

Anonymous said...

Hmmmm,

I am not sure how any candidate can avoid "change" at this point since the elections will show that someone new will take office. There-by "change!"

Seems that running on the "change" ticket is moot anyway.

64 and loving it.