Thursday, January 24, 2008


Part 1 – What’s Missing in the Campaign?

There is an old saying in politics, probably first stated by Aristotle, Francis Bacon, Ben Franklin or Mark Twain, that goes, “progress is nice, but change is its motivator.” Well change is certainly the motivator in this years presidential campaign marathon. Every candidate from both parties as well as the independents are shouting they are the person of change to lead America into the next debacle, or is it decade?

It does not matter if those very candidates have spent 20-30 years building the same institutional bureaucracies that are the targets of the change mongers; they still claim to be the poster boy or girl for change in America. Good for them. Even the most ardent of anti-change personalities can come to an epiphany and suddenly, and quite dramatically see the light.

Just ask Scrooge from Dickens Christmas Carol or St. Paul after his roadside encounter with the angel. If a tight-fisted miser and a bigoted tax collector can become celebrated heroes then a few well-worn politicians can probably do the same. So I give them the benefit of the doubt in terms of intent. But so far I give them a failing grade in terms of action.

I mean if you are going to be the poster boy or girl for anything don’t you think we should be told what your agenda for change might entail? Substance for change is in short supply in a campaign already inundated in political blabber, name calling and nonsense.

There is an opportunity for a quantum leap in American politics this election whether it is the election of the first Black American, the first Woman, the first mayor (actually two chances for the first mayor), the first Mormon, the first POW, the first rock guitar player (and second native of Hope, Arkansas), the first former first lady, and even the first person with $400 hair cuts.

However, when it comes to substance in their agendas for change not a single politician has come forward first. Change is a really big deal if the candidates are not blatant hypocrites so where is the wealth of new ideas, new programs, new directions, and new policies that are inherent in any agenda for change? Missing in action I guess.

That said, we are going to save them a fortune in research and inject something foreign to most campaigns called common sense by giving them the agenda for change so sorely lacking in their current rhetoric. We are going to give them a mission for change, an agenda for change, and a justification for change so desperately needed by the public.

First, look at the substantial achievements in bringing about change associated with our presidents of the 20th century. There were not many I am sorry to say. But they did include Franklin Roosevelt and the New Deal, Lyndon Johnson and the Great Society, Ronald Reagan and his New Federalism, and, well, hummmm, I guess that is about it.

I can’t seem to rationalize the Clinton Capers or Bush Bushwhacking the English Language as major changes although they did result in comic relief for the masses. John Kennedy would have joined the list of three had he lived long enough but none of his agenda for change was implemented during his lifetime. So there you have it, just three presidents in the last 100 years makes the A list.

Roosevelt’s New Deal pulled us out of the devastating grasp of the great depression with a social agenda never before seen in the USA. Johnson moved us further into the liberal world with his Great Society that implemented the Civil Rights laws and introduced a bevy of social programs. Reagan then brought the pendulum back to the conservative view with his New Federalism anti-big government and anti-Soviet Union agenda. The presidents were astonishingly successful in their agenda for change.

Now comes the current crop of wanna be presidents shouting “change” in every speech and sound bite, well at least when they aren’t shouting at each other, but somehow not offering us any ideas for the change they hold so dearly. So we are going to help them succeed. This series will identify the mission, agenda, Ten Commandments and policy changes needed to bring about the changes most needed by Joe Six Pack and the average American.
Part 2 in this series will focus on the targets for change, those institutional bureaucracies whether in government, the non-profit or corporate worlds that have outlived their usefulness or are in need of dramatic change to contribute to our society and world. Part 3 will identify the ways to fix these targets if they can be fixed or replace them if needed to insure that the first and only agenda in America is “We The People”.

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