#268 – Dick Bernard: On BEING the Change YOU Can Believe In.

Quite frequently we have an 11-year old house guest – we’re his kid-sitter for, usually, a few hours.
He’s a nice kid. Invariably, though, at some early point in his visit he’ll make the declaration, “I’m bored“, with the direct implication that it is our responsibility to un-bore him.
I don’t take the bait. Life is too short to have to entertain a kid who’s apparently learned that he has no responsibility to entertain himself.
I think of this young person in context with the election upcoming in two days.
Even though President Barack Obama is not on any ballot, anywhere, it seems that he was made to assume, on election in 2008, the sole responsibility for accomplishing the “Change” 67,000,000 people elected him to achieve. His was by far the largest vote total for any President in United States history. (John McCain: 58,000,000)
The people who despise Obama for having the audacity to win the 2008 election are one thing. They are their own special breed.
It is harder to be understanding of the masses of people with infinite (and differing) priorities who, it seems, expected Obama to not only win the election, but to then do all of the heavy lifting required to accomplish even small increments of change in the last 21 months. This includes assorted Congresspersons and Senators and activists who first climbed on, then deserted, the bandwagon. If they lose, they will blame Obama, when it is they, themselves, who should share the blame, along with their oft-ill informed constituents.
Change is difficult. I’m old enough to have experienced – numerous times – the difficulties of change. But not changing is far, far more costly. And I don’t mean giving a new group not even half a chance to attempt to re-direct our nation from what was a self-destructive course.
But we seem to want change to happen instantly, painlessly, without any effort or discipline on our own part.
We want what we want. Period. That’s the lesson I think I’ve seen this election cycle. We’ll see on Wednesday,November 3, how this all plays out.
A week or so ago I saw President Obama in Minneapolis. As it happened, he appeared across the street, literally, from the University of Minnesota football stadium, where, at the exact same time, Minnesota was playing Penn State. While preparing to enter the Fieldhouse, I heard at least one roar of the crowd, which meant that Minnesota had done something good on the field a block away.
I don’t follow sports much, but I did ask a University Student when the new outdoor stadium had been built, and when the recently fired coach Tim Brewster had come to the University of Minnesota. Groundbreaking was 2006, occupancy 2009; Brewster hired in 2007.
A few days earlier Brewster had been fired as University head coach – he apparently hadn’t brought “change you can believe in” to the University. And on this day I saw the President, the Golden Gophers lost again, in their new stadium, now named for a bank, which was to bring pride back to the University of Minnesota again..
Change they could believe in didn’t happen right away. “Outa here, Brewster.”
Yesterday, the Golden Gophers were shellacked, this time by Ohio State, again at home.
At some point along the way there will be a new head football coach, and everyone will be saying we’ve found the man for the job. We’re back.
They said the same with Tim Brewster, too.
Will we ever learn?
Our “I’m bored” kid will hopefully learn early on that he is the primary cause in the matter of his own non-boredom.
So must we come to grips with our cause in the matter of our own success. Deserting Obama when he’s barely had an opportunity to begin needed Change is not a way to success.
Will the adult version of “I’m bored” prevail on Tuesday? We’ll see.
NOTE: There are many previous posts on Election 2010, at Sep 29 & 30, and Oct 5, 15, 18, 23, 24, 25, 28, 29 and 30.
Retrospective from late 2008: