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Posts Tagged ‘Edmund Burke’

President Obama’s Change vs Governor Palin’s Reform

Posted by Adrienne Ross on September 8, 2011

By Adrienne Ross –

President Obama centered his presidential campaign on the notion that he epitomized “change you can believe in.” He brought people’s emotions to a fevered pitch as he invoked their participation in his chants of “Yes, we can!” Even though some of them couldn’t tell you what it was they could actually do, they felt certain, as they listened to this orator, that they could figure it out. They did their part of “we” by casting their votes in favor of this virtual unknown with no real record of accomplishment, and he was crowned President of the United States. The onus then fell upon him to take up his part of the “we.” To those who knew all along that there was as little substance to then-candidate Obama’s speeches as there was weight to his resume, “Yes, we can what?” was an important question but not one we had to ask long, for it didn’t take long for it to become obvious that what he intended is exactly what he told us from the beginning. Whether he called it “change you can believe in” or a “fundamental transformation” of America, the goal was the same.

The President’s problem is that some of us actually like America just fine. Some of us are quite satisfied with her place as the (pronounced thee) most exceptional nation on the face of the earth. Some of us enjoy the liberties we possess, purchased for us by the flesh and blood of those who came before us. Some Americans appreciate the rights bestowed upon us, not by government, but by our Creator–the rights of “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” Some Americans actually believe that citizens should be allowed to dream bigger, work harder, and earn more–and keep it. We know this country isn’t perfect, but we also know that it’s worlds apart from any other country. That is a fact, as Governor Palin always states, for which we simply will not apologize.

President Obama, however, has found it necessary to apologize for America. But he hasn’t stopped with an apology. He has worked hard to live up to his campaign promise to change this country. And if he somehow manages to remain in office another term, he will continue his commitment toward that end. Now, that you can believe–unfortunately.

But there is hope. Governor Palin’s vision for America differs exponentially from President Obama’s.

Senator McCain introduced Governor Palin to America as a reformer. Many of us did not know this reformer, much less what she had reformed. When we did our homework, however, we didn’t have to look far to receive the answer. We learned of her fight for ethics reform in Alaska. We discovered how corruption turned her stomach and caused her to act to bring it to its knees. We understood that she took on Big Oil without backing down because developing Alaska’s resources was more important than doing business as usual and allowing them to sit on those resources. Her entire career as a reformer becomes more and more obvious as one watches Stephen Bannon’s The Undefeated .

The major difference between Governor Palin’s hope for America and President Obama’s nebulous idea of hope and change is this: Obama wants to change who we are, while the Governor desires to restore who we are. I believe it’s President Obama’s disatisfaction with this country that he focuses on most, which causes him to seek to transform it. Governor Palin focuses on her great love for America, which causes her to seek to restore it. Even her “One Nation” bus tour is all about drawing attention to America’s history and calling for a restoration to the principles that have gone into building her. She has a determination to stop this change that’s leading us away from our greatest self and replace it with “sudden and relentless reform,” bringing us to a restoration of what has been lost, as she declared this past weekend in Iowa. Her faith wherever she has served–whether as a city council member, a mayor, a governor, an oil and gas regulator, a vice presidential nominee, a spokesperson for the pro-life movement, a tea party patriot–hasn’t been one of blind faith. It hasn’t been one of denial, either. On the contrary, it has recognized when something was lacking or ailing, and it caused her to roll up her sleeves, take on both sides of the aisle when needed, and usher in true and lasting reform. And as she continues to fight for America today, she continues to praise America and to reject the sentiment that our best days are behind us. She wants to help return us to who we were fundamentally founded to be.

Simply stated, our President is in the business of change by dismantling, while the Governor is in the business of reformation by restoration.

Edmund Burke, often referred to as the father of modern conservatism, explained:

There is a manifest, marked distinction, which ill men with ill designs, or weak men incapable of any design, will constantly be confounding,–that is, a marked distinction between change and reformation. The former alters the substance of the objects themselves, and gets rid of all their essential good as well as of all the accidental evil annexed to them. Change is novelty; and whether it is to operate any one of the effects of reformation at all, or whether it may or may not contradict the very principle upon which reformation is desired, cannot be known beforehand. Reform is not change in the substance or in the primary modification of the object, but a direct application of a remedy to the grievance complained of. So far as that is removed, all is sure. It stops there; and if it fails, the substance which underwent the operation, at the very worst, is but where it was.

In Liberty and Tyranny, Mark Levin elaborated on Burke’s assessment in chapter 2 when he wrote:

For Burke, change as reform was intended to preserve and improve the basic institutions of the state. Change as innovation was destructive as a radical departure from the past and the substitution of existing institutions of the state with potentially dangerous experiments. Furthermore, the Statists often justifies change as conferring new, abstract rights, which is nothing more than a Statist deception intended to empower the state and deny man his real rights–those that are both unalienable and anchored in custom, tradition, and faith.


Change unconstrained by prudence produces unpredictable consequences, threatening ordered liberty with chaos and ultimately despotism, and placing at risk the very principles the Conservative holds dear.

Do not these explanations draw a sharp contrast between President Obama and Governor Palin? Obama, representing change as innovation, seeks to engage in dangerous experimentation. Health care mandates come to mind first and foremost, rammed through with no regard for the will of the people, not to mention the Constitution. His idea of change works to strip more and more Americans of their liberties, choices, and individuality and add to the power of an already out of control government. It’s a complete radical takeover, rather than a prudent dealing with the aspects that need reform. Governor Palin, on the other hand, celebrates our God-given freedoms, highlights the founding principles that have made this country great, and continually calls our attention back to our founding documents. She praises hard work, competition, and fiscal responsibility, and she condemns wasteful spending, high taxes, and crony capitalism.

Theirs is a complete difference in worldview, a line drawn in the sand. Which side of that line the vast majority of Americans decide to stand on will make all the difference in the world. Yes, we can embrace President Obama’s fundamental transformation of all that is America, but we’ll wake up one day wondering what happened to the country we once knew. Thankfully, that’s not the only choice. We can choose, rather, to fight alongside Governor Palin to reform the nation in which we live and restore the principles in which we believe. Which side will you take? As Governor Palin said in her RNC speech:

In politics, there are some candidates who use change to promote their careers, and then there are those…who use their careers to promote change.

The first part of that statement, of course, refers to Obama who used a mantra of change to capture people’s attention and elevate his status. The second part was intended to speak of John McCain. Governor Palin’s record, however, demonstrates that those words could better be applied to herself.

I’ll pass on President Obama’s version of change. America needs Governor Palin’s reform, and we’ll be the better for it.

Cross-posted at MotivationTruth.

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