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October 31, 2016


The media inform us in the heat of this presidential campaign that Trump supporters want “change,” but what is change and change from what to what? The fact is that Hillary supporters (of which I am one) want “change” just as much as those who will vote for Trump. All of us are rightly disgusted by what has not been going on in Washington as well as what has.

Republican intransigence as demonstrated by multiple votes to repeal the ACA, failure to consider appointment of a Supreme Court justice and other such examples of political misconduct has brought government to a virtual standstill, a standstill based on political ideology rather than on what advances America and Americans. All of us are currently suffering as a result, not just the Trump followers, and I don’t know anyone of any party who is not for change in the upcoming election. We are treading water as our economy underperforms and Wall Street is free to pursue its unregulated banditry while we scream and holler at one another, our attention diverted from solutions of the real issues of the day.

Let’s take a look at the idea of change, a very subjective topic depending upon the views of those who are considering such an idea. Usually change is framed as good, but it isn’t always good. For instance, those in Germany wanted change in the 1930s based on heavy inflation and war reparations to France after WW I and change they got – from a relatively benign leader to Adolph Hitler. Few these days could possibly frame that change as good. The same can be said of the Russian Revolution which gave us a Lenin and a Stalin. Bad as previous administrations were, can we say that change was good in those situations? Hardly, and would a change from where we are to a Trump administration be good? Hardly.

So let’s define our terms. Just what is included in the mobs’ demands for change? I want change from obstructionism in government; those who follow Trump may want torn-up trade treaties and relief from alleged rigged elections. I want an end to austerity economics that we are currently practicing in favor of Keynesian economics; those who follow Trump may want to single out Mexicans and other immigrants for abuse. Do we expect to obtain change via mobs in the street a la the Bolsheviks in 1917, burning of the Reichstag and midnight gestapo raids on private citizens by a Hitler intent on manufacturing scapegoats? How, in other words, do we expect to effect change of any variety in an era when our representatives hardly speak to one another, much less work together and compromise their differences leading to passage of needed legislation?

So is change good? It can be, as was the wildly successful change FDR brought to America during the Great Depression with his can-do adoption of Keynesian economics in the 1930s or, alternatively, it can be destructive if we continue to permit the change from FDR’s New Deal era to the austerity economics and under-regulation of activities of the rich and corporate class we are laboring under today, particularly the activities of big banks who resemble trading houses rather than banks.

So what is the answer? Well, perhaps unfortunately, it’s a political process, so first we have to change  those in congress who were, after all, voted into office by ordinary Americans and not the deep-pocketed superrich, followed by adoption of policies that make our economy hum and end wage inequality, our single-most important domestic issue today.

It is not enough to scream and holler for ill-defined change by those who follow Trump; we must be specific as to those areas in need of change and outline ways and means of making positive changes that solve our problems. Solving problems leading to empowerment of citizens is what government is charged to do, and those who prefer to totally politicize such a process should be removed from office since their mission is clearly and even admittedly not to solve problems but to create them with their intransigence. We can vote many of those people out of office very soon, so let’s do it.    GERALD      E






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