|
|
The Sleepy Eye Herald Dispatch
  • Mark L. Hopkins: Change revisited

    • email print
      Comment
  • When President Barack Obama was running for office in 2008 he used “change” as a part of his campaign slogan. Obviously, it struck a chord with the American public. He is now in year five of his change agenda.
    So what has changed? In truth, not much that Obama has had a lot to do with. Gridlock in Congress has kept his agenda for change on the back burner. We are undergoing change in a major way in our country, but most of what is occurring does not find its source in the politics of Washington, D.C. In our nation’s capital we are witnessing lots of talk but not much real action. Instead, we are witnessing change every day in the streets of our cities and small towns across our entire country. Change as we all know causes conflict and the greater the change the greater the conflict. So what has changed and what conflict has resulted in the changes that have occurred?
    Let’s start with one of the major changes. Minorities now make up more than 50 percent of all births in the United States each year, and our public school population is now more than 50 percent from one or another of our minorities. The race of our president reminds us every day that the status quo of wealthy white men making all of the decisions in D.C. and elsewhere is over.
    From a political perspective, the key swing states of Texas, Colorado and Arizona, long a part of the Republican right, have the fastest-growing minority populations in the country and will most likely begin to vote on the other side of the political aisle sooner rather than later. Democrats glory in the diversity of their constituents and Republicans debate endlessly how to attract more minorities to their roles.
    We have a gay and lesbian tide sweeping the country with marriage laws already changed in two-thirds of the states. These changes are not led by the Republicans or Democrats but, instead, by the courts. Many who oppose such changes assume that the government should assert itself and stem the tide. Marriage to most of us has its foundations in religion. A quick read of the Constitution reveals that the government must not become involved in anything related to religion.
    So what can we anticipate will be the next major change for us? How about a sign on the front of your local Democratic headquarters that says, “Hillary for president?” Will we follow the first black president with the first female president? The polls tell us that 43 percent of the electorate will not vote for her under any circumstances. However, 82 percent of the Democrats support her candidacy. And women make up more than half of the voters in every state in the union.
    Obviously, change is ongoing and conflict will be a continuing way of life. No matter how much we might like things to be the way they used to be, that ship has sailed.
    Page 2 of 2 - Dr. Mark L. Hopkins writes for More Content Now and Scripps Newspapers. He is past president of colleges and universities in four states and currently serves as executive director of a higher-education consulting service. Contact him at presnet@presnet.net.

        calendar