Monday, July 07, 2008

Change I Already Believe In

How can people get all worked up over the false hope being propagated by Senator Barack Obama? His claim to be an agent of change is disingenuous, because the agent of change is not Senator Obama, but the American System. The agent of change is the Constitution of the United States, especially the Twenty-Second Amendment, which instituted presidential term limits. "Change we can believe in" is coming whether or not Sen. Obama wins the 2008 election, and notwithstanding the wholly, obviously false charges that a President McCain would simply continue the policies of George W. Bush (after all, media history shows how often the latter two were at odds, doesn't it?). Change is our destiny.

That a great many Americans are willing to go along with Barack Obama's claims, or not question them, demonstrates to me the lowly stature of our Constitution in this day and age. Such is that compact's plight that the American Civil Liberties Union is able to get away with claiming the Bush Administration is trampling on our rights at the same time the ACLU itself is committed to trampling on Americans' right to bear arms, which despite uber-liberal spin, is not limited to those in service of State militias (that right, guaranteed by the Second Amendment, was inspired by British oppressions and by the Founders was seen as a fundamental protection of personal liberty). Freedom, eh? According to your POV.

Yes, politicians can be and often are agents of change. But in an election year - especially a general election year in which the Office of the President is up for grabs after a Chief Executive's maximum two terms and the incumbent Vice President isn't in the running - "change" relies not on the election of one candidate or another, but in a faithful adherence to the literal and legal provisions of the federal covenant which binds together this Union. We are, as the Founders wished, a Nation ruled by firm laws, not fickle men. In fact, by upholding those laws, especially the Supreme Law of the Land, we the People each and every election year are also agents of change, in concert with our Constitution.

Unlike those whose bumper stickers celebrate the approach of President Bush's last day in office, I look forward to next year's inauguration with hope...not in anticipation of an Obama victory, or even a McCain win, but because on Inauguration Day, a great thing happens. Prior to the birth of the United States and the adoption of the Constitution, peaceful transference of government - republican or monarchic - was a rare occurrence. When after serving two terms, George Washington stood in the same room as John Adams and watched the latter take the presidential Oath of Office, the press of the time gushed, "Thus ended a scene the parallel of which was never before witnessed in any country."

Election years are, more or less, always fun for me. Whereas others are enamored of "the theory of natural selection," and advocate constantly in favor of it, I am myself far more fascinated by - and protective of - the process of democratic selection. Disagree though I may with the stances of one or both of the candidates standing for a particular office, there are few things more intellectually satisfying to me than waiting in anticipation of the results of a vote. When someone I didn't wish to be elected wins, I take comfort from the fact that so long as "We the People" fulfill our duties and responsibilities under both the Federal and our State Constitutions, change we can believe in will always be possible.

I take comfort because Change, as you can see, is not the purview solely of Barack Obama or his campaign. Change needn't be an overt "campaign promise" of Senator John McCain, either. Change is coming, no thanks to either of the candidates, save for the fact that they are competing for the position George W. Bush currently holds. And who is to say that when Inauguration Day 2009 comes around, the following won't apply to "Bush 43" (as the next President of the United States is sworn in, and as about his predecessor another President once mused upon taking office over two centuries ago): "Me thought I heard him think, 'Ay, I am fairly out and you are fairly in! See which of us will be the happiest!'"

That, my fellow Americans, is Change of the sort I not only can believe in, but that I already do believe in.

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