Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, John Edwards and Change

 

 

Any teacher is an agent of change. We give a teacher a classroom full of kids and say, “Here! Change them! Give them language they do not have. Give them thinking they have not had, and make them think as never before, figure as never before, write as never before, speak as never before, live as never before, run and play and jump and swim as never before, and perform and behave and see and do as never before.” Then we gauge the kids progress and pass them on to higher levels of achievement. We change them, systematically, relentlessly.

Do you know what change does? What doing something that has not been done before does to anybody? It disturbs their self-confidence, and in some, “destroys” is the effect, and in others, it is quite a while before self-confidence at a higher level of performance is attained. So change can be very disturbing.

The president is a change agent. The presidency is not only a “bully pulpit”, it is the national classroom, and the president is the head master. S-he proposes changes in policies for future action. The president is a teacher of policy. Motivator, energizing behavior. Explicator, clarifying ideas. Marathoner, modeling endurance. All with a sense of fun, pleasure, enjoyment.

The electorate wants change and a new change-agent in the White House. For many, that change will be achieved and welcomed, but there will be a national learning curve as the new person learns the job. Maybe he or she will be a genius at it.

Which one has the best chance of making the learning/changing job rewarding and encouraging?

One principle: the President is President of all the people, of those who were winners and those who were losers. The President who can please all the people does not exist. But fair treatment of the ones who preferred another candidate should be visible in, and acknowledged by the winner.

Who is the best person to lead the change that will disturb the equilibrium of present conditions in our world?

I believe that I would not want to listen for four to eight years to John Edwards. He is a good man and has the personal agenda of a committed, good Democrat. However, his sense of history is of his own history, which he emphasizes every time he speaks, to reinforce his identity with the working man. That’s his pedestrian view of the Democrat constituency. I do not get a sense of the larger context of history beyond his place in it. In addition, he affects me like the the great song, “76 Trombones” from the Music Man, except that he is more like 76 trumpets, “Blara, blare, blare”. That seems more of a surface thing to many, but one of the items that raises the price of an egg an any restaurant is “wear and tear on the hen.” That element of style is important to me over the long haul of years of ceremonial speaking we will have from the chief. Therefore, it’s no small thing!

Regarding Hillary Clinton, in the last debate, I judged Hillary to be the clear winner on the substaniive details of issues. She expressed herself with great fluency, force, sincerity and, usually, grace. She has found her voice in the higher-education course of the campaign. During her delivery, she wanders aimlessly around the stage, flashing over-used gestures. That physical performance is tiresome, weak. She should “TAKE A STAND!” She has shown flashes of wit and passion. She should never let down on the dynamism in word and action.

I am concerned that her use of her husband, Bill, can and will be perceived as a lack of confidence in her ability to win on her own. She has probably lost command. “TAKE A STAND” against the interference by hubby.

In his recent South Carolina victory speech, as well as his speech accepting the endorsement of Ted and Caroline Kennedy (1-28-08), Barack Obama was extraordinarily fluent, the orator that a great nation needs. His oratory gives us that added edge of eloquence, defined as the marriage of heart and brain in speech that can escape the tongue and flow to command masses of people. But there’s more: the weighty element that led Caroline to compare Obama to her father, JFK. Obama is the historian and philosopher. With calm and measured tones he pulls from history and philosophy the framework for re-constructing a nation ruined terribly by the Bush ideology which “created a reality of their own contrary to all the evidence.” (Bill Moyers, 1-25-08, “Bill Moyers Journal”, PBS) His dynamism reigns in his ideas and modes of expressing them. His melding of eloquence and a grand historical perspective is where the fun is. He uses what Cicero called the “lights of speech” with great “delight”, to me and I am sure to himself.

I would prefer to listen to Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton, in that order, over the years. Until now I have been like the jackass equidistant from two stacks of hay and starving because I can’t decide between them.

The question is not which change to make first, the race or the gender change. NO! The task is to look past both race and gender and decide on the basis of character and competence to do the job. For me, I would choose Obama because I like that vital spark of history that rises above the present to see the long view. A race-less, gender-less decision.

The greatest change to be experienced by our population is the change in gender or race in the presidency. It is long past due for us to have that experience. Adjustments will be more painful in some quarters than in others. Many will be slow learners, slow to change. There will be new qualities to be observed in the black or female president. Both of those candidates will bring more to the office than did the wholly incompetent incumbent, and he had had the type of executive experience people seem to prefer. However, the current Democrat candidates, taken together, have demonstrated a background in intelligence, knowledge, and education superior to the incumbent’s. They have had experience superior to the incumbent’s when he took over the office.

We eagerly await the opportunity to learn and advance with the new president, remembering the experience of the first days of the new school term.

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7 Comments

  1. […] … grizzly groundswell – Last Updated – Tuesday January 29  Request a Trackback Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, John Edwards and Change     Any teacher is an agent of change. We give a teacher a classroom full of kids and […]

  2. […] John F. Deethardt II wrote an interesting post today on Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, John Edwards and ChangeHere’s a quick excerptI believe that I would not want to listen for four to eight years to John Edwards. He is a good man and has the personal agenda of a committed, good Democrat. However, his sense of history is of his own history, which he emphasizes … […]

  3. […] John F. Deethardt II wrote an interesting post today on Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, John Edwards and ChangeHere’s a quick excerptRegarding Hillary Clinton, in the last debate, I judged Hillary to be the clear winner on the substaniive details of issues. She expressed herself with great fluency, force, sincerity and, usually, grace. She has found her voice in the … […]

  4. […] Onnik Krikorian wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerpt    Any teacher is an agent of change. We give a teacher a classroom full of kids and say, “Here! Change them! Give them language they do not have. Give them thinking they have not had, and make them think as never before, figure as never before, write as never before, speak as never before, live as never before, run and play and jump and swim as never before, and perform and behave and see and do as never before.” Then we gauge the kids progress and pass them on to higher levels of achievement. We change them, systematically, relentlessly. Do you know what change does? What doing something that has not been done before does to anybody? It disturbs their self-confidence, and in some, “destroys” is the effect, and in others, it is quite a while before self-confidence at a higher level of performance is attained. So change can be very […] […]

  5. […] The Fact Hub by Hillary Clinton for President wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerptRegarding Hillary Clinton, in the last debate, I judged Hillary to be the clear winner on the substaniive details of issues. She expressed herself with great fluency, force, sincerity and, usually, grace. She has found her voice in the … […]

  6. […] John F. Deethardt II placed an observative post today on Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, John Edwards and ChangeHere’s a quick excerpt […]

  7. […] Greg_Cruey wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerptI believe that I would not want to listen for four to eight years to John Edwards. He is a good man and has the personal agenda of a committed, good Democrat. However, his sense of history is of his own history, which he emphasizes … […]


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