What Change Really Looks Like

Now with campaign season in full swing, we keep hearing about the word "change". All the candidates say they're for "change", but they can't quite explain to us what "change" means. I see the campaign rallies on the teevee, and I see the enthusiastic supporters holding their "Change Begins With Us" signs and their "Stand for Change" signs... But what doe these slogans really mean. What does all this talk of "change" have to do with us?

Well, why don't you follow me after the flip for more as we examine what change really looks like...

So what does change look like? What kind of change can we expect from these candidates? What change will we see in making our economy work for all of us? What kind of change will we see in solving the climate crisis and making our nation more energy independent? What kind of change will we see in fixing our broken health care system and ensuring that EVERY ONE has the quality, affordable coverage that one needs? What kind of change will we see in restoring the rule of law and our faith in the Constitution? And what kind of change will we see in our foreign policy as we seek to reengage the world in cooperation instead of angering the world community by confrontation?

Fortunately for us, there's one candidate that is going beyond the soundbites of "change" and telling us what the change she will bring will actually look like. There's one candidate who's able to bring an end to this terrible Reagan-Bush era of far right rule, and deliver real change that we can count on. This one candidate is Hillary Clinton.

I know this may sound corny, but I am truly inspired by Hillary and her truly historic campaign. I'm inspired by the fact that she doesn't just talk about "change", but that she embodies change by working hard for working people every day. I'm inspired by the idea of having a President who doesn't just lift us up with rhetoric, but gives all of us in need a helping hand up with real action to help working families struggling in these hard economic times, provide EVERY ONE with quality, affordable health care, provide new "green collar jobs" for people in need of work as we become solve our climate and energy crisis, and help our families stay strong. This wonderful marriage of beautiful words with real actions is what gives me great inspiration.

And you know what? I'm not the only one who feels this way. It turns out that Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, Robert F. Kennedy Jr., and Kerry Kennedy, the children of another great Senator from New York, are also inspired by Hillary's message of real change to help real people.

While talk of unity and compromise are inspiring to a nation wary of divisiveness, America stands at a historic crossroads where real issues divide our political landscapes. Democrats believe that America should not be torturing people, eavesdropping on our citizens or imprisoning them without habeas corpus or other constitutional rights. We should not be an imperial power. We need healthcare for all and a clean, safe environment.

The loftiest poetry will not solve these issues. We need a president willing to engage in a fistfight to safeguard and restore our national virtues.

We have worked with Hillary Clinton for 15 years (and in Kathleen's case, 25 years) and witnessed the power and depth of her convictions firsthand. We've seen her formidable work ethic, courage in the face of adversity and her dignity and clear head in crisis. We've also seen her two-fisted willingness to enter the brawl when America's principles are challenged. Her measured rhetoric, political savvy and pragmatism shield the heart of our nation's most determined and most democratic warrior.

Oh, but wait! There's more!

Like our father, Hillary has devoted her life to embracing and including those on the bottom rung of society's ladder -- giving voice to the alienated and disenfranchised and working to alleviate poverty and injustice, while urging that we cannot advance ourselves as a nation by leaving our poorer brothers and sisters behind.

She's been an equally effective champion for human rights and for women's rights, a worldwide cause that will profit enormously by her elevation to the presidency. She has worked for peace in Northern Ireland and fought to bridge religious, racial and ethnic divides from Bosnia to the Middle East to South Africa. She has shown a rare understanding that American values can only be exported by moral leadership, by a strong home economy and by a detailed understanding of the history and cultural backdrops of the nations we engage.

She understands, as our current administration does not, the uses of power. The world, she says, is hungry for U.S. leadership but will not accept our bullying. She knows the difference and will reestablish America's lost prestige and moral authority.

Hillary Clinton's political career has been centered in comforting the afflicted, afflicting the comfortable and reminding Americans what it means to be American. As a young lawyer, she focused on children's issues and legal aid. As first lady of Arkansas, she brought healthcare to rural areas and helped reform the state's lagging education system.

As first lady, she courageously took on healthcare reform. When a massive propaganda campaign by Big Pharma and the radical right derailed her efforts, she didn't give up. She helped create the nationally acclaimed Children's Health Insurance Program. That kind of persistence in pursuit of our highest ideals is the brand of leadership America now requires. Inspirational leadership comes in many forms.

Seldom has history confronted America with such daunting challenges: a catastrophic foreign policy that has cost us our international leadership and aggravated the threat of terror; a misbegotten war that is squandering precious American lives and treasure; a healthcare system that leaves millions of Americans without coverage; irresponsible corporate power that is corroding our democracy and outsourcing our jobs, aggravating global warming and other environmental crises and reducing our economy to shambles.

We need a leader who is battle-tested, resilient and sure-footed on the shifting landscapes of domestic and foreign policy. Hillary Clinton will move our country forward while promoting its noblest ideals.

Wow! I get goosebumps just reading what they say. If these three descendants of RFK, who also by the way are amazing agents of change themselves, feel this strongly about Hillary, then that's got to mean something...

And this has got to mean something as well! As someone who was born and raised in Southern California, I can tell you that Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Los Angeles) is a true progressive icon who has always worked hard to fight for working people. So when I heard that Maxine Waters is endorsing Hillary, I just had to pay attention!

"At a time when the economy continues to worsen and so many of my constituents are losing their homes and their jobs, we need someone with the leadership and experience who can step in on day one to tackle the economic challenges our country is facing. [...] Hillary understands the daily challenges that people are facing and she will fight for them everyday she is in the White House."

Maxine Waters obviously understands what change really looks like. Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, and Kerry Kennedy clearly understand what change really looks like. The 2.9 million member strong American Nurses Association certainly understands what change really looks like, as they know what it will take to fix our broken health care system. And yes, all of us must understand what change really looks like.

Change means having a President who doesn't just talk at us, but listens to us. Change means having a President who doesn't just talks about solutions, but provides them. Change means having a President who will be ready on Day One to put this nation back on the right track. If we want change, we have someone who's ready to work with us to make it happen. :-)

Tags: American Nurses Association, Change, Election 2008, Endorsements, Hillary Clinton, Kennedys, Maxine Waters, presidential election, progressive values, Robert F Kennedy Jr (all tags)



Tips? Flames? Suggestions?

You know what to do! :-)

by atdleft 2008-01-29 10:05AM | 0 recs
Re: Tips? Flames? Suggestions?

What I always do: Tell you how much I always enjoy your diaries.  They're invariably uplifting, and intelligently written. Thank you, ATD.

by susanhu 2008-01-29 10:15AM | 0 recs
Re: Tips? Flames? Suggestions?

What Susan said.

by NewHampster 2008-01-29 10:17AM | 0 recs
Re: Tips? Flames? Suggestions?

Disagree completely, but thanks for not bashing another candidate just talking up your own.

Damn refreshing the way things are around here.

by MNPundit 2008-01-29 10:49AM | 0 recs
Re: What Change Really Looks Like

It's been a great couple of days for endorsements for Hill.  But one would never know it from watching the MSM.  Thanks for putting the spotlight on the three Kennedys who REALLY count, and the 2.9 million strong hard-working nurses of this nation.

by izarradar 2008-01-29 10:17AM | 0 recs
It's my pleasure...

To point out things that the corporate media always tries to ignore. The corporate media can blather on about how "Camelot" may be restored and how Oprah supposedly affects the race and whose ads are the flashiest, but I'll do my best to stick to the facts and point out who's really matching her words with real actions... And what other great progressive icons of change are saying. Thanks! :-)

by atdleft 2008-01-29 10:24AM | 0 recs
Re: It's my pleasure...

No. Thank you for all your hard work! Great diary.

by domma 2008-01-29 08:37PM | 0 recs
Re: What Change Really Looks Like

great diary

by sepulvedaj3 2008-01-29 10:20AM | 0 recs
Re: What Change Really Looks Like

I want someone who will actuallt get things done, not someone who who is sitting around hoping it will all come together somehow without having to do anything.

by reasonwarrior 2008-01-29 10:21AM | 0 recs
So do I, reasonwarrior!

I think that's why we both agree on Hillary. While the others simply talk about "change" as if it's some lovely esoteric concept, Hill's working hard to MAKE CHANGE HAPPEN that benefits real working people. :-)

by atdleft 2008-01-29 10:26AM | 0 recs
Excellent diary as usual adtleft...

The Lioness attacks.

Maxine Waters was on NBC and told Nora O'Donnell to stop stoking the "race issue" and finished with, "that means you.

Oh snap. No she didn't!

You go Girl!

by lonnette33 2008-01-29 10:34AM | 0 recs

If anyone knows how to smack down the corporate media and their lying spin, it's Maxine Waters! I'm glad she gave MSNBC a well-deserved kick in the behind for all their craptastic "reporting" on the "horse race" while they ignore the real issues at stake. With Maxine on our side, we can rest assured that Hill will have strong voices speaking up for her here in California. :-)

by atdleft 2008-01-29 10:49AM | 0 recs

I saw that! It was GREAT!

by georgiast 2008-01-29 10:54AM | 0 recs
I know, wasn't it?

It's about time someone call the media out on all this "race-baiting" crap and demand that they report the REAL issues of this campaign, not just all this meaningless nonsense they make up themselves!

by atdleft 2008-01-29 11:07AM | 0 recs

by lonnette33 2008-01-29 10:43AM | 0 recs
Change is
John Edwards who wants to change the politics of money into the politics of, by and for We The People.
by kevin22262 2008-01-29 11:51AM | 0 recs
It takes a president to get things done

Maybe it really does take a president to get things done.  George W. Bush got to invade Iraq, torture people and illegally spy on Americans because he is the President.  Hillary just wasn't in any position to change anything as First Lady and Senator.  All she could do was botch health care reform and enable George W. Bush.  It will all be different when she is President.

by bdungan 2008-01-29 03:41PM | 0 recs


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