What does “change” really mean?

Once again Thomas Sowell has asked exactly the right question: Exactly what kind of “change” will Obama bring and will it be a good thing?

The magic word “change” makes specifics unnecessary. If things are going bad, some think that what is needed is blank-check “change.”

But history shows any number of countries in crises worse than ours, where “change” turned problems into catastrophes.

In czarist Russia, for example, the economy was worse than ours is today and the First World War was going far worse for the Russians than anything we have faced in Iraq. Moreover, Russians had nothing like the rights of Americans today. So they went for “change.”

That “change” brought on a totalitarian regime that made the czars’ despotism look like child’s play. The Communists killed more people in one year than the czars killed in more than 90 years, not counting the millions who died in a government-created famine in the 1930s.

Other despotic regimes in China, Cuba, and Iran were similarly replaced by people who promised “change” that turned out to be even worse than what went before.

Yet many today seem to assume that if things are bad, “change” will make them better. Specifics don’t interest them nearly as much as inspiring rhetoric and a confident style. But many 20th-century leaders with inspiring rhetoric and great self-confidence led their followers or their countries into utter disasters.

Yes, I can hear the objections already… you’re comparing the US with communist dictatorships, etc.   Let me remind the objectors that all the communist governments supposedly began as more benign “socialist” states which only showed the ugly face of totalitarian communism once they were firmly in power.

Obama has already shown his socialist bent by his unguarded comment to Joe the Plumber: “we just want to spread the wealth around, we think that’s better for everybody”.  How is that different from this: “From each according to his ability, to each according to his need.”? (from the Communist Manifesto)

His campaign has also shown a shocking willingness to use ugly tactics of intimidation (shouting down opposing speakers on radio shows in Chicago, pro-Obama district attorneys threatening prosecution of those who say anything “untrue” about him in Missouri, pressing the Justice Dept for criminal prosecution of a group who dared to run ads mentioning Bill Ayres) and massive voter fraud (ACORN’s huge numbers of phony registrations across the county… particulary in crucial swing states).

Obama is continually showing himself to be a good student of Saul Alinsky in following his strategy of “By any means necessary.”   To me it is just a restatement of the morally bankrupt excuse given since the beginning of time that “the end justifies the means.”

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About stevehull

Music director in Naples, FL
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8 Responses to What does “change” really mean?

  1. Phil Hull says:

    I read this quote today from that great socialist leader Adam Smith (you know, the author of “The Wealth of Nations”) and I found it interesting.

    “The necessaries of life occasion the great expense of the poor. . . . The luxuries and vanities of life occasion the principal expense of the rich, and a magnificent house embellishes and sets off to the best advantage all the other luxuries and vanities which they possess. . . . It is not very unreasonable that the rich should contribute to the public expense, not only in proportion to their revenue, but something more than in that proportion.”

    I don’t want to spend the next 12 days (and probably the next 4 years) arguing with you over politics, but I found this interesting.

    It’s also interesting how ACORN has been noticeably absent from the McCain campaigns talking points since it came out that his campaign paid Lincoln Strategies $175,000 to do the exact same thing. Only they have done much worse because they have been destroying legitimate registration forms of democrats and independents. Those registrations that were destroyed meant that actual votes by actual voters could not be cast.

    ACORN turned in bogus registrations because they had workers who were exploiting their system to make some easy money without actually doing the job they were being paid for. This sounds like some Salvation Army kettle workers I’ve known, but I don’t discredit the value of the Red Kettle campaign because of a few bell ringers.

    I’ve been trying to say this for a long time but you don’t seem to want to hear me: BOTH SIDES ARE DOING IT!!! Our political system is very badly broken and winning has become far more important than representing the actual will of the people.

    I know this is falling on deaf ears, but I had to say it.

  2. stevehull says:

    “Both sides are doing it” is nothing but an incredible cop-out and you know it! If Lincoln Strategies or anybody else was doing the things you claim on behalf of any Republican candidate, it would have been headline news above the fold in every newspaper in America. Why is your post the first that I’ve heard of it? Likely because its another of these radical claims with little or no basis being put out by Air America or NPR or some other “non-partisan” outlet. It is a FACT that ACORN has registered more people than there are eligible voters in numerous counties in Alabama, in Ohio and in numerous other states. They claim it is only the actions of a few rogue actors, yet it is proving to have occurred on a widespread basis in many states for the last 3 national elections. At some point, the “isolated incident” defense starts to wear thin for anybody who is really interested in the truth!

    Yes, our political system is broken, but the people you are supporting are among the most prominent ones who broke it. Obama promises to stay within public financing limits, then walks away when he sees he can make more money without them. He is outspending McCain 4 to 1 here in Florida… many of his ads are outright lies that McCain is going to take away Social Security and Medicare from seniors when McCain has said no such thing.

    “Both sides are doing it” is the last refuge of a campaign that has been caught in lies and distortions time and time again and yet continue to try to portray themselves as being “different” somehow. Wake up, son, you are being played!

  3. Phil Hull says:

    I guess we’re both being played, just by different sides. I’m being played by NPR (seriously?!) and you’re being played by Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, and all of the other conservative talking heads. Thankfully, I am done with being played by the conservatives and I’ll take my chances with being played by the liberals for a while.

    Oh and by the way, do you know the number of prosecuted counts of actual registration fraud in the U.S. since 2002? One.

    From Slate:
    “Lorraine Minnite of Barnard College, who has studied vote fraud systematically, noted that “between 2002 to 2005 only one person was found guilty of registration fraud. Twenty others were found guilty of voting while ineligible and five were guilty of voting more than once. That’s 26 criminal voters.” Twenty-six criminal voters despite the fact that U.S. attorneys, like David Iglesias in New Mexico, were fired for searching high and low for vote-fraud cases to prosecute and coming up empty.”

    So I guess ACORN isn’t a plague on democracy after all. However, Republicans are trying to block hundreds of thousands of legitimate voters from being officially registered, ironically enough, in large urban areas where they are likely to vote democratic. Add to that the very honorable tactic of challenging people’s right to vote by using foreclosure lists on election day (something they are trying here in Michigan), I don’t know how you can stomach being a Republican.

    What happened to the party of Lincoln?

  4. Phil Hull says:

    I also have a few more questions:

    Do I live in a “pro-America” part of America?
    Am I “anti-American” because I am not voting for John McCain?
    Since I am becoming increasingly liberal in my political views, does that mean that I hate myself for working and “believing in God”?
    Where is “real Virginia”? I’ve heard of West Virginia, but I guess there’s a third one now.
    What is the Constitutional role of the V.P.?
    If you have the correct answer could you please let Governor Palin know?

  5. Steve says:

    I am really sorry that you have gone this far into the Obama/Biden fantasy world. It is becoming apparent that nothing I can say can reach you and wake you from this fever! So I guess I will stop trying.

  6. Steve says:

    All that I will say is this: talk to me in a year or two once your candidate has totally had his way for a while!

  7. Phil Hull says:

    I will hopefully talk to you before then, you being my father and all…

    I’ve spent so long in the Reagan/Bush fantasy land growing up in your house that I guess I’m forced to be stuck in someone’s fantasy land.

  8. Steve says:

    Say what you want about the current Bush… I have had my problems with a number of things he has done. You cannot honestly say that Reagan was not a great president! It genuinely saddens me that you feel you were “forced” into anything.

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