No Change in Man

Well, as we all know, back in 2008 the winning US Presidential candidate promised hope and change if he were elected to the office.

Hope is arguable. Change isn’t–it’s been either lacking or problematic at best.

The fact is, the way 2008 went, the promise was of a bright new era. The jackboot of Bush would be replaced with Birkenstocks, and the world, once it got over the economic crisis, would be bright and shiny as Obama led the way towards a new era of cooperation, peace, and happiness.

As we all know, this has not happened.

Libya changed from an oppressive dictatorship to a snakepit of warring factions. Syria’s reenacting the Thirty Years’ War. Iraq is currently falling apart. Afghanistan is teetering. The Ukraine is a horrific mess. China and Japan are rattling sabers off and on at each other. Burma has transitioned from a military dictatorship that oppresses everyone, including ethnic minorities, to a quasi-democratic state that ethnically cleanses minorities.

Egypt went through revolution and Thermidor. Hamas and Israel have just concluded another brawl. Argentina is holding an economic meltdown.  Russia is tilting towards Czarism.

How much the President is blame for all of this is debatable, and I’m inclined to say he doesn’t bear the blame for a lot of it. What he is to blame for, however, is either A. misleading the American people as to the likelihood of everything being just fine or B. having absolutely no idea about how the world actually works.

With all due respect, Mr. President, anyone with a shred of historical knowledge could have told you that things were not going to work how you hoped they would. Now, I’m not sure that anyone could have predicted just how much things were not going to go according to how you implied or claimed they would (I know I didn’t), but a new era of understanding and reconciliation?

If Bush was really as bad as your side claimed he was, then our name was mud. If everyone else was as bad as our side claimed they were, then even saintly behavior wouldn’t work. Whichever way you sliced it, this was not happening.


Because people don’t change, not at their core. Since the Fall we have been, in the main, messed-up, selfish jerks who don’t really care for anyone outside our immediate circles, and are only otherwise due to grace and vigorous training (but I repeat myself). This has not changed. How this manifests has changed, but the core issue remains the same. Now, persons may have this core changed, but this requires, essentially, divine intervention.

In other words, you want to know what you should probably expect? Go to your local library. Get yourself to the 900s in the nonfiction section–that’s history, for those of you who aren’t freaks like me about this stuff. Start reading. See what people tend to do when placed in given situations, then look around and see what the situation is. You may not like your answer–I know there are times I haven’t. But you’ll have a good idea.

‘Til next time,

Lowell Van Ness


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