“Let’s vote for change,” democrats have chanted for months now. The votes came in and they certainly showed that America wanted change. Electing a new president with new ideas is a start. But is that the catalyst for change? Is the world, come January, going to suddenly improve? I would say no. I’d go so far as to say that Obama will not be responsible for creating a better country. Why? We, as a country, are not ready. We can be, and I think that given the recent election, we stand a good chance of being able to change. Currently, however, we show no signs of that capability. There are a few reasons why I think this.
First, we are expecting a sudden change. We want to wake up tomorrow and be completely independent from foreign oil, have new “gas-free” technology and a fixed economy. What we don’t realize is that all of these things will take time. We cannot stop depending upon foreign oil. Why? We simply don’t have the resources. American petroleum alone isn’t enough. This leads into the issue of new technology that will ease us out of using fossil fuels. Unfortunately, there really is no “quick fix” for this crisis. We may find an alternative fuel or a new technology, but it is going to take a large amount of money, time and resources to develop and implement such a plan. As for the economy, we will have drastic problems in the near future (with the retirement of the “Baby Boom” generation). There is no SINGLE action we can take to fix any of these issues. Instead, we must be willing to change and adapt.
Why has Obama not talked about these things? The reason is simple: They are inconvenient. Acknowledging that the supply of oil is going to diminish within the near future is frightening. Accepting that our economy may substantially crash is unbelievable. Furthermore, the steps to right these catastrophes will cost a lot of time, effort and money. Who would vote for a person who said, “Look, we are going to have a tough four to eight more years. It will cost us money, be very inconvenient and has the potential to be disastrous; but if we work together, when we come out of this, we will be a stronger and better nation because of it.”
My second point about why Obama may not bring about this “change” is that of a historical basis. Think of all the times when there has been a great, drastic change. The American and French Revolutions and the Civil Rights Movement came to my mind. None of these are government actions; they are the (re)actions of the people. It’s hard to recollect a government that created notable change. I could be wrong, and forgive me if I am, but why is this? It is because the most drastic changes cannot come from government action. The ability/responsibility of changing lies within the people. It is only when a group of citizens decide they want to see change and they take the appropriate steps to induce that change when we see actual reform. Basically, what I’m trying to say is that a government can and will change. These changes are just not sudden. They are not drastic. They are gradual improvements, slowly implemented changes for which the people are responsible.
This is the point I am trying to make. Yes, electing Obama is a progressive step. Yes, he will be different than George W. Bush. But he is not going to create change. We are. We are the ones who can improve the world every day. We can help solve the world’s petroleum problems by riding a bike or using public transportation instead of driving. We can ease the financial crisis by intelligently investing our money and taking the steps to provide financial security for ourselves. When it comes to the war and our soldiers fighting across seas, we’ll need Obama’s help. Hopefully, I made my point. Rather than believing our new president is going to bring change, we need to find it within ourselves to create the change that will improve the world. We are all capable of great things. Let’s enact them.