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Change We Really Need


“And these children that you spit on, as they try to change their worlds. Are immune to your consolations, they’re quite aware of what they’re going thru…Ch-ch-ch Changes”

David Bowie – “Changes”, 1970


“Change” was a major theme for music in the early 1970’s. While everyone is familiar with David Bowies anthem, other musicians such as Ten Years After sang, “I’d love to change the world, but I don’t know what to do”. Since then some things have changed for the better and other things have changed in a way few would have envisioned.


President Barak Obama and Vice President Joe Biden embraced the idea of “change” as the platform for their presidential campaign in 2008. The concept of “change” may be a great slogan and cry to rally disaffected, disenfranchised citizens and voters but can any politician make good on their campaign promises and what actually needs to be changed.


According to the Webster’s dictionary definition, the word “change” is not synonymous with making things better or creating improvement in any situation. In the 1800’s, French critic and journalist Alphonse Karr said, “The more things change, the more they remain the same”. 200 years and countless historical events have occurred since Karr’s profound words first appeared and fundamentally little has changed in the economic political world.


• the wealthy and powerful still make decisions that affect the lives of the general population. At a time when individuals are struggling financially, the Republican and Democratic parties are spending more money than ever before in this years presidential race – over 1 Billion dollars as of September 1st. By now, the Democrats alone will spend more money than the entire amount spent by both parties in 2004. In this election, the total campaign spending by the Republicans and Democrats will more than double the previous record of $718 million. Politicians spending more money than ever before in US history is not the kind of “change” we need.


• the concentration of wealth is still in the hands of a small minority. For century’s business, unions and politicians have insisted that they will put what is best for the majority over their own self interests.


• countless revolutions, wars, and world leaders have been instruments of change but in the words of H.L. Mencken, “we are here and it is now, other than that all human knowledge is moonshine.”


If “change” really does come from within, each individual who relies on government and business to improve their lives is shirking their responsibilities to themselves, their families and the world around them. Before we try to change the world we need to change ourselves, our expectations and the way we perceive others. We need to give a little bit more and take a little bit less from each other. Accepting responsibility for our own actions, thoughts, failures and deeds will bring more change than any political party or candidate can ever hope to achieve.


In order to solve the world’s problems we need to address our own issues first. Back in the 1970’s, George Clinton of the Funkadelics sang, “Free your mind and your ass will follow.” in the song “Good Thoughts, Bad Thoughts”. Maybe its time we did that and started focusing on the Change We Really Need. The events that took place on November 4th when we selected our new president won’t change anything and history will only repeat itself if we don’t “change” ourselves first. 


Most individuals were not clamoring for “change” during the over extended consumer consumption orgy that lasted from 1995 to the present time. We, like the financial industry, gorged ourselves to excess and didn’t care or foresee an end to the bacchanal. Now the party is over and the revelers have a severe hang over. Rather than drink “the hair of the dog that bit you” we need to consider why we ever got so drunk in the first place.


The current economic turmoil will pass, the War in Iraq will end and eventually everything will change. Until then, we need to think about our actions, practice abstinence and take two aspirin until things start to change again.



“The Constitution only gives people the right to pursue happiness. You have to catch it yourself.”Benjamin Franklin



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