Janet M. LaRue

Jesus Christ brought change, as did Adolph Hitler. “Change” can mean many things.

Most of us won’t allow a hairstylist to “change” our do without an in-depth explanation. But a lot of us are buying into undefined promises of “change” from presidential contenders. American Idol viewers expect more from contestants than voters expect from presidential candidates. Where’s Simon when you need him?

Promising “change,” but not saying what “changes” you have in mind, is nothing more than selling snake oil. But you’d never know it by the polling numbers and media hype.

Most of the media, political pundits and spinners are doing nothing to expose how utterly vacuous the “change” mantra is. Instead, they just repeat it, and ride the wave hoping it will spike Nielsen ratings as much as it spikes poll numbers.

The media don’t seem very concerned about it, but we are facing real problems in the real world that our next president will have to deal with. Iranian goons just tested us with five little boats, as if they expected the U.S. Navy to stand down and let them board and take hostages as the British Navy did last March. Have you heard any media person ask any candidate what he or she would do about it? Oh, I forgot. They’re busy talking about change.

Or look at health care. Every candidate who repeats the misleading nonsense that “47 million in America have no health care,” ought to be challenged with hard truth. The number is grossly inflated by including millions who are here illegally and millions of others who have the means to pay for health care insurance but refuse to adjust their budget and lifestyle. And don’t expect any media type to question where in the Constitution Congress derives any authority to dispense health care.

What does all this say about the majority of the American electorate? That we’re poorly educated and easy to command.

And for that we can thank the public school system, mindless entertainment, and our own demand for instant gratification. We’ve bought into the message of Madison Avenue that he who dies with the most toys wins. Every problem can be solved in 30 minutes, excluding commercial breaks. We’re never supposed to suffer pain.

We prefer style over substance, presentation over principles, communication over character, rhetoric over record. We’ll take our “change” without clarity. And how we “feel” matters more than how we think because thinking means time away from the newest toy.

The media, the pundits and the spinners blew it big Tuesday in New Hampshire. They bought into their own hype and expected that the voters would, too.

As late as 6 p.m., Hillary was going down by double digits because she was short-changed, so to speak. Bill ranted that it was the media’s fault.

When Hillary won, her campaign chairman credited her “human moment” on Monday. If it’s true that Hillary won because she showed her soft side, it’s another example of how shallow the electorate really is. In her victory speech, she said, “I found my voice.” What in blazes does that mean? Go soft, find your voice, and the electorate loses its mind.

The media said Romney won the Republican debate Saturday night because he took charge and challenged McCain and Huckabee on their records. After McCain won the New Hampshire primary, the media said voters punished Romney for going negative.

Smooth Mitt tried to define his “change” mantra by exposing his opponents’ records--change by comparison and contrast. Apparently, it didn’t feel right to voters. Maybe he should have teared up and shared how it pained him to do so. Bite that lower lip and you could have an Oprah moment.

Maybe some political pollster could pull together a Taliban/Hamas/Hezbollah focus group and try out the “soft side” gambit. Terrorists have feelings too.

You’d think that legitimate media would expose the political “change” farce rather than perpetuate it.

Unless the electorate wises up, we might as well call Central Casting for a president, and save the hundreds of millions of wasted dollars, time and pain of the next 11 months.


Janet M. LaRue

Jan LaRue is Senior Legal Analyst with the American Civil Rights Union; former Chief Counsel at Concerned for Women; Legal Studies Director at Family Research Council; and Senior Counsel for the National Law Center for Children and Families. Be the first to read Janet LaRue's column. Sign up today and receive Townhall.com delivered each morning to your inbox.