The American people elected President Obama twice. We chose hope over change; Mr. Obama provided the hope, but consistently said it was up to us to make change happen. He clearly understood the ways in which he embodied hope, but likely also knew he, as an African-American, would never be allowed to make the kinds of changes an FDR was able to make.
We are by nature a hopeful people, but naturally resist change. The traditional conservative view is suspicion of utopian notions of change, based on the premise that humans really don’t change. We remain greedy, selfish, ignorant and lazy sinners.
I get that. Eratosthenes calculated the circumference of the Earth by using a simple real-world observation and applying mathematics. Except for a small error in his calculation, his estimate was within less than 2/10 of 1% of the current measurement. He did this 2,200 years ago. So though I would not hold the most negative view of human nature, it is pretty clear that we haven’t gotten smarter.
So now we have elevated a dunce to power who offers something different: fear and change. Big change, big fear. But here is the thing – when we are forced into it, no country can change with the speed and totality that we can. This has been a mistake repeated by our real-world enemies over and over again. They see us as weak, self-indulgent, simple-minded and backward. I believe the dunce believe that too.
He will see change, but it is not likely to be the change he expects.