Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Political Change

I don’t write about politics very often. But, as anyone who reads my ramblings knows, I think and write about CHANGE from time to time. The two things seem to have collided recently, so I feel compelled to put down a few thoughts.

We are witnessing some momentous changes in American political life. This year both of the major political parties have taken giant steps forward, breaking a long standing social barrier, and having either a women or an ethnic minorities represented on the presidential ticket. Who ever wins in November, it will be an historic moment for American society. It’s a big change. It puts us on par with England, New Zealand, India, and a number of other countries which have already allowed such changes to occur. Bully for us!

But is it change that will really mean anything? I don’t think so. From here it looks a lot like we are on a train and all we are doing is changing drivers. Changing driver will let different people have access to the “good seats” but not much more. The tracks that this train runs on were laid at the dawn of “civilization” and haven’t altered course significantly since then. The real problem is that the tracks run right into oblivion.

Changing drivers on the train doesn’t change that a bit. It’s great to talk about alternative fuels, organic produce, fair trade, green living, etc, but as long as we are working in the current system, we are just speeding the train along its way.

Real, meaningful change requires changing trains completely. Not an easy proposition, but possible.


Sheria said...

Point taken, I think that changing drivers may result in no alteration of the journey, but keeping the same old drivers means that there isn't even the possibility of a slight detour. I like your train metaphor.

jack-of-all-thumbs said...

I completely agree with Sheria's response, while also agreeing with your original premise. I've recently been reading a book I received from my wife almost two years ago but never got around to reading. It's entitled: "Ten Steps to Repair American Democracy" by Steven Hill. It has some good ideas about the basic flaws in our nation's form of governance, and outlines some possibly achievable steps that could be taken. I'm going to try and summarize it, one post at a time, at my site.


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