The most intriguing political debates I’ve been having lately all kind of relate to some introductory reading I did on the prophets. Namely, how do we figure out who really has inspired (or inspiring) speech? My favored candidate gets a bit of a rough reception in my family’s house, mainly because they assert the speech associated with the candidate with the term “inspirational”, which for them seems to code-word for that which is unlikely to ever take place. Certainly, the conversation about “change” has gotten to the ridiculous level. For many, this makes them more cynical of candidates that encourage thinking with a “revolutionary” vocabulary. The theory being that change is unable to take place at any level of our government at this point in time. My father actually hints that he thinks a real revolution (like with pitchforks and torches) will be necessary to cause change for the better in our government. Well regulated militia, my eye.
As a Constitutional nerd, I take great hope in the “change” candidates simply because we’re a big ship, and it takes a lot of rudder and a lot of time to change course. Fearful of regional conflicts that could endanger the Union, and even more driven by a desire to forcefully show the crown that a democratic form of government could be more than a simple revolutionary tool, the framers valued stability over mechanisms for quick adjustments and reforms of government. Mainly, we can agree with this, because other fledgling democracies call those “adjustments” military coups. Given the stability of the system, it can often seem like we are hopelessly adrift from where we would like to go. Surely from the fact that we are here at all, however, we can see that change can happen, it just happens within a unit of time which we’re no longer very comfortable with. So, I’m all for those that inspire us to dream of where we might go, and to throw all of our combined weight into the tiller. Also, I refuse to give enough credit to the current administration to suggest that they have somehow caused IRREPARABLE damage to our governmental system. No doubt, we’ll be banging the dents out for many a year to come, but we can start by refusing to give up our national imagination. So, bring on the fairy tale. For me, that’s inspired.