Finally, we can have hope of real change. The people have spoken. The spark has been provided, not by the great pretender of “change,” Barack Obama, but by an unpretentious candidate in an unlikely place -- Scott Brown, candidate for the U.S. Senate in Massachusetts. Here, “spark” is a better word than “change-agent.” Scott became the lightning rod that attracted the great charge for change that had built up among the public at-large. A “man in the street” interviewed by CNN summed up the election by saying that what won it for Scott was voters’ strong “desire for change.”
Yet, Scott’s platform was a rather straight conservative Republican message led by a promise to vote against ObamaCare. So the only change is that of person and party. Even though some commentators have spoken of Scott’s win as heralding a “1994” housecleaning of Congress in November, he did not run on either a new “Charter with America” nor a “Change Congress!” platform. The closest he came to that was when he labeled the seat he was seeking as “the people’s seat.“ Unfortunately, one peoples’ seat does not spell a people’s Congress.
So, how do we build on the thirst for real change and the energies behind it revealed by Scott Brown’s victory? First, realize that the games that have been played in Washington stand revealed as never before for what they are: games being played to reelect a corrupt Congress at the expense of the American people -- and that the people know it.
Second, recognize that the “unenrolled” or independent voters now hold the balance of power. Parties are far less important than energized independents. In fact, parties have come part of the problem – of failing to reform how Congress does We the People’s business. So, if the leadership of the GOP assumes that all that is needed is for Republicans to get elected -- that a change in the party leadership of Congress from Democrat to Republican represents real change – the Republican party will fail to realize a historic opportunity and the country will be badly disappointed once again. Our great Republic may fail.
Third, see that a different type of Congressman is needed to work for real change -- away from the best Congress money can buy to the creation of a people‘s House. The same-old/same-old, go-along/get-along type will not do. We need Representatives who are entrepreneurial, innovative, outspoken watchdogs and whistleblowers -- committed to work for change in the ways that Congress operates, and devoted to empowering their constituents more than themselves.
Fourth, note that a winning platform/message has three parts:
(1) A strategy and a program for real change in ways Congress does We the People’s business;
(2) Specific ways to empower people to take back their government; and
(3) A new approach to campaign finance reform that starts with a recognition that McCain-Feingold has failed, but that we still need to get big money out of politics and more people in.
See www.peterbearseforcongress.com for both (1) and (2), tltled a “21st Century Compact with, by and for people”. As for (3), a “new approach” will be released soon in response to a forthcoming decision of the Supreme Court on CFR. Altogether, these add up to what the great American poet Carl Sandburg hailed as “The People, Yes!”
Released by Supporters of Peter Bearse for Congress, January 20, 2010.