Friday, October 8, 2010

There is a Difference Between "Change" and "Reform"

All throughout his campaign for President, and ever since he was elected, Mr. Obama has spoken about hope and change. The assumption was that the change would be for the better. But is change what America really wanted out of Washington, or was reform perhaps a better descriptor?

What is the difference between change and reform? I was reading a great book the other day, "Liberty and Tyranny" by Mark Levin. He quoted the legendary member of parliament, Edmund Burke who said this,

"There is a manifest, marked distinction, which ill men with ill designs, or weak men incapable of any designs, will constantly be confounding,--that is, a marked distinction between change and reformation. The former alters the substance of the objects themselves, and gets rid of all their essential good as well as of all the accidental evil annexed to them. Change is novelty; and whether it is to operate any one of the effects of reformation at all, or whether it may not contradict the very principle upon which reformation is desired, cannot be known beforehand. Reform is not change in the substance or in the primary modification of the object, but a direct application of a remedy to the grievance complained of. So far as that is removed, all is sure. It stops there; and if it fails, the substance which underwent the operation, at the very worst, is but where it was."

Edmund Burke had it exactly right. So could it be that when he talked about change, Mr. Obama was either an "ill man with ill designs, or a weak man incapable of any designs?" Looking back over the last 21 months, it sure would seem that we were served one or the other. My guess would be the former.

I think the voters across the country were looking for reform two years ago. They didn't get it. This year, they are hungrier for reformation than they have been in a long time, perhaps going back to 1773. They don't want to change Washington, they want to throw the incumbents out and reform it. I guess we will see in 25 days.

I recommend "Liberty and Tyranny" by Mark Levin.

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