As a candidate for president in 2008, Barack Obama presented voters with a blank screen onto which they could project their individual fantasy of an ideal leader. His campaign included the carefully crafted meaningless slogan of “Change you can believe in” which allowed voters to determine for themselves their ideal change.
It has been wisely observed that the only constant in the world is change. Change occurs on a continual basis regardless of the degree we resist or ignore this inevitable phenomenon. Change is driven in the natural world through events such as Japan’s recent earthquake- tsunami- nuclear meltdown triple catastrophe. Earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, hurricanes, and fires reshape the landscape and our interaction with our surroundings. Technology such as the Internet drives changes in the business world and our everyday lives. While the Internet has enabled change, we must remember that change was inevitable.
Take the music business. Record companies resisted the Internet because they did not understand how to adapt to the changes it brought to the music business. The traditional business model had record companies controlling the process from paying a small royalty to artists for their creative works, to supplying the public with a product packaged on $20 compact discs. The artists were held hostage to the distribution power of the record companies, and consumers were forced to overpay for product they didn’t want in order to get product they did want. File swapping services allowed consumers to acquire only the songs they wanted, but did not allow for payment to their legal owners. Apple iTunes corrected this flaw, but record companies continued to resist because they feared their product would be easily copied and their power over the process would continue to diminish. This notion persisted despite the fact the consumers could easily transfer digital copies of music from CDs to computer files through music ripping software.
Once record companies were forced by Apple’s success with iTunes to embrace the new delivery model, they are now able to determine new ways to profit from their record catalogs. Some artists saw the possibilities early and moved quickly to take advantage of the new model. Others, like the Beatles, were so focused on protecting their catalog that they missed an opportunity to cash in on this new delivery method and resisted to the point that they will benefit much less than the early adopters. Who doesn’t already own all the Beatles songs they want while waiting for them to move to the new business model?
Other forms of media are in the same predicament with respect to the Internet. Traditional news media has lost its power to shape the news as people are able to access far more information from far more diverse sources with the Internet when breaking news occurs. Traditional media has flailed about searching for a response to these changes in order to remain profitable, with mixed success. Many newspapers have gone bankrupt and closed, yet the Wall Street Journal has been able to transition to a profitable business model by adapting to the Internet. In the flood of Internet information now available, the point being lost is the need for reliable and trustworthy information that these news organizations would be able to offer if they hadn’t damaged their brand reputations blatantly shilling for candidates such as Obama or pushing their biases onto their readers. It is this bias that has led consumers to turn to alternative media in the first place.
Americans have become much savvier in the ways of the world and learned to be much more skeptical of what they read and hear. Blank slate candidate Obama has morphed into progressive liberal President Obama. Republicans are no longer tolerated as light Democrats merely slowing what we no longer believe to be inevitable changes in the name of progress. Government assurances of economic recovery don’t mesh with real-world experiences of escalating unemployment, rising prices, and continued high home foreclosure rates. Massive government deficits and unprecedented public debt are getting people’s attention. Public sector union riots in several states are sending the message to voters that it’s all about the unions getting theirs at the expense of taxpayers, and it’s certainly not about the kids anymore. Americans are realizing that the country is broke and the time for dramatic change is upon us in order to save our way of life. Our treacherous leaders have depleted the treasury, weakened us abroad, and set us against each other at home with nothing positive to show for their efforts.
America is the world’s superpower responsible for its defense from aggression, recovery from disaster, and stability through peace due to its immense wealth that allows it to sustain unprecedented military power. We achieved this wealth through the capitalist system of economics that values innovation, rewards hard work, and increases living standards. We employ this wealth through the Judeo-Christian system of values that teaches respect to others, shared sacrifice, and belief in a greater good. We are not despots or tyrants, we don’t seek to conquer or occupy, and we stand ready to assist and defend. This is the true message or America that we seek to impart to the world in order to promote a better understanding of our motives and intentions in the world order.
Europe is busy promoting enlightened entanglement and unwilling to provide for its own defense as it relies upon American military power. Russia strategically retreated from the world stage after the Cold War to clandestinely recoup its financial and military stability in preparation to reengage from a position of enhanced strength. China finessed the move from communism to capitalism to retain centralized power and amass the wealth necessary to increase its stature on the world stage and allow for regional hegemony they believe will serve as a springboard to global dominance. The closed systems of Middle Eastern countries has chocked off development and led to their implosions as their oil wealth was misused to promote lavish lifestyles instead of building strong national foundations.
The problem with Obama’s blank slate approach to politics is that it only works one time and only for a challenger. As president, he is amassing a progressive record of massive spending and defensive weakness that will be used against him in 2012. Opponents will be able to point to the proverbial man behind the curtain pulling the strings to dispel the notion that Obama is of mythical proportions able to right all wrongs and perform impossible political feats. In Obama’s case, that man is George Soros and his presence hangs over every administration decision like the sword of Damocles. Voters will be reminded of this fact despite the best efforts of traditional media acolytes working feverishly to suppress any information that casts a negative light onto the idol into which they have bought. This information will come to light because change has diminished their power to shape the news and empowered people to seek out alternate information sources through the power of the Internet. Change is inevitable, but how we choose to deal with change is not.