Change is something that a great many people resist even if it is called for or necessary. Traditions represent ‘comfortable expectations’. Even if the end results of traditions could be improved by making changes, people generally tend to favor old routines.
In case you haven’t figured it out by now, I tend to look at the world philosophically. I don’t simply do to do, I stop an try to examine why. Whether that be for the purposes of repeating honored traditions or before venturing to take part in a change to those traditions. If a change would be an improvement, then by all means do it. If a tradition makes sense, then “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!”
It is more than likely that although I can’t say I recognize as much introspection and skepticism in most Americans, I do see at least a general desire to ‘do what is best’. Unfortunately the lack of the former misleads the latter. So, how do you set about ‘changing America’?
First you have to represent a need for change. Most people will seek change amidst hardship.
There are many types of people in this world, and in addition to those that want to ‘do what is best’ there are also those that have other motives. Perhaps ‘do what is best for them’ or to do what is best as defined by some idealistic view they have. If you desire change when most others do not, taking advantage of a crisis is a good time to interject your ideas. (Something else to consider, if you are already in a position of power sufficient enough to present and possibly implement changes, in lieu of a crisis to help facilitate them it might be in your self-interest to either create one or belay preventing same)
Second you have to represent that the ‘need’ for change is necessary by a given party in a situation. i.e. do we need to change how we behave, or perhaps the problem is the result of how another behaves therefore we need to change how we prepare and ultimately react or respond to their behavior.
Third, you need to get the individuals involved to feel a personal responsibility in one way or another; be it complicity, complacently or as a result of apathy – whether you use guilt or idealistic rhetoric. You need to convince people that they can or should make a difference in what they support and what they do and generally make them feel responsible for either what they have done or what they failed to do.
Finally you need to gain support for the suggested change. It has to be shown as better (or the alternative shown as ‘worse’) than the traditional way of doing things. If there are other suggestions, you have to show your suggestion as superior (or the others worse). This is an important epistemology here!
So to change America:
* wait for a crisis or at least create the perception of one. (or perhaps create one)
Unemployment, the recession, poverty, drug abuse, alcohol abuse, crime, education, global warming, ozone depletion, global famine, natural disasters, global threat of terror, etc. etc. etc.
* denounce old ways of doing things, focus on the negative, ignore the positive.
Slowly but surely build up disdain and apprehension for American traditions and past times. This is a big one because we live in an information maelstrom where the media technology is now mightier than either the pen or the sword.
Demonize or otherwise negatively taint the notions that once inspired pride. Build a cloud of suspicion or questions of morality up in regards to defending the status quo – twist the notions being brought up when defending or supporting those ideals.
Champion and repeat ad nauseum any notions that support the ideals behind any changes proposed or that will help demonize any alternative. Infiltrate or take control of any mechanisms that might help facilitate such promotion, and in the process limit access to those same mechanisms by any means possible for opposing views. “stack the deck” in your favor as it were.
Make the words themselves that support your principles all but holy and the words of the opposition evil or even banned. (PC anyone?)
Profit is bad, taxes are good. Selfishness is bad, sacrifice is good. Individual prosperity and freedom (when others are suffering) is bad, prosperity for the masses (as defined by politicians and even when there’s no real basis to assume achieving it) is good. Being accountable for one’s self is bad, depending on government for everything is good.
* demonize people who support opposing ideals or back traditional means.
Treason! Traitor. You hope change fails? I hope your kidneys fail. (paraphrased)
You’ve all followed the stories. Who are the demons today? Limbaugh? Hannity? Beck? Lavin? O’Rielly? Coulter? Even Joe the Plumber and Miss California Carrie Prejean got pulled through the ringer for just saying one sentence that didn’t fit the mold.
Far be it from me to support notions of nationalism. I agree with Penn Gillette on this one. “Ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country? I don’t owe Jack Shit to my country!!” Don’t support causes – whether they be causes for change or causes for tradition – without asking why, and examining the facts. Don’t fall for the hype, learn the basis, seek prior examples, review the analysis then decide for yourself!
America is great, not because we all bow down to a flag or kiss up to a leader. America is great because it was founded, guided and has always been based upon certain ‘ideas’ and ‘ideals’. Ideals that work and make sense; personal responsibility, personal accountability, individual liberty, right to expression, right to associate, right to write about all of the above.
And yes, America can remain great if and only if we remember that this list includes and requires the right and responsibility to defend against any and all challenges to any and all of the previous!
America will NOT remain great if ‘change’ represents advocating personal responsibility and accountability (to the government), taking away individual liberty for political expedience or (government-provided) ‘security’, limiting expression to what is ‘politically correct’, preventing association if it is not ‘all inclusive’ (as spelled out by government mandate) or restricting the press to what is deemed ‘fair’.
And no, it will not remain great if we limit the ability to defend it to a chosen few, again, selected and appointed by government.
Don’t buy it, don’t fall for it. Think for yourselves. Learn for yourselves. Choose for yourselves.
Yes we can? NO we shouldn’t!