[digg-reddit-me]I have heard many times that Barack Obama won’t change anything; that he has the same policies as Hillary Clinton; that he isn’t a radical. Here’s my response:
There are 5 measures I use to evaluate a candidate:
- What they believe is reality, specifically as it affects policy (e.g. Is global climate change substantially effected by human development?)
- What changes should be made? (aka, What policies should be adopted in response to the perceived reality?)
- How do they want to achieve their changes? (as indicated by their temperament,
their campaigns, and to some extent, their policies.)
- What role do they see for the government?
- What is their character? (which can be very subjective – but is still basic to understanding any candidate.)
Obama and Hillary agree to a large extent on the first two questions. Arguably, they agree on the general role of government as well. In terms of character there are significant differences, but those are more subjective – and not something I want to delve into at the moment.
The real conflict between Obama and Clinton is on how to achieve change. And it is why I came to believe in Obama’s approach and to reject Clinton in such strong terms. The past few weeks have only solidified my position.
Obama believes in change that is gradual, driven by the grassroots, and done through an open and transparent process. Clinton believes in imposing policies from Washington and using whatever means are necessary to achieve whatever change she can.
Obama and Clinton are both only proposing minor changes in policy so far. But Obama is proposing major changes in the process, which he has indicated will lead to lasting and substantial changes in policy. I believe – as does Senator Obama – that America is not on the wrong track because the president has been steering the country wrong – like a captain setting the wrong course on a ship in working order, but because the processes which drive our policy and actions and politics have become distorted – as if the ship, still afloat and strong, needed repairs and maintenance.