Riding my bike this morning as I try to cram-in a couple of workouts before I spend two weeks abroad (a wierdish term these days; where is abroad, really? or the Far East? or out West? I can get abroad faster than I can drive to Philadelphia on the same coast as me), it occurred to me that the candidates are suggesting the right behaviors in an incorrect manner. We do not need change! Goodness, Wachovia Bank may disappear next week, the largest employer in the largest banking center in the Southeastern USA (Charlotte for $50, Alex). And we do not need to rehash the Iraqi War. Erasing that episode still leaves us confronting lots of people intent on harming our way of life as they feel we have harmed theirs. And Mr. Putin reminds us that there are those capable and eager to help. I’d like to know who got us into this ‘sudden’ Wall Street mess and can we really expect the same crowd to get us out of it. There is certainly ‘change’ here that we’re looking for.
The senators last evening showed me why the country does not favor electing senators to the presidency. Last one was John Kennedy in 1960 and before that was….? Senators are not used to being disagreed with and do not like to mix public and private demeanors. Plus they really do not manage anything (am I sounding like Sarah Palin?).
So, how should either John or O shift the message to make it more appealing than just the old vet vs the young community organizer? P U R P O S E, not change. What is the purpose of the what we’re being asked to do in Iraq, on Wall Street, raising or lowering taxes, being frightened about health care systems. ‘It’ll be worse if we don’t change.’ ‘It’ll be worse if we change it his way.’
We know that things have to C H A N G E. Tell us the measureable purpose, i.e when Japan surrenders; when there is a man on the moon; when every home has a telephone. Guarantee us that we will A L L be in this together (yet another example of real change that we’re looking for); and let the people and the system go to work. This is how the country was founded, built, hardened and flourished.
The second verse of the Purpose speech could be And YOU Have To Accomplish This, Mr. and Mrs. America, at every level in every community. Our government can only assist in basic ways. You know what the problems are and you are in the best position to fix them, not 635 officials on Capitol Hill. For example, health care reform starts not with more complex financing and blaming schemes; health care reform starts with better health and this is the responsibility of every individual, i.e. You!
$700 billion dollars of magic might shore-up Wall Street for now. I fear that it will perpetuate our collective impression that difficult issues can be resolved easily and without consequences. Something is over and plenty has to change; let’s be purposeful in setting our priorities. cp