Change for its own sake

There's a sharp column in today's Globe by Scott Ferson, Ted Kennedy's former press secretary, linking Scott Brown's election to the electorate's fetishization of "change" (see: the 2006 midterms, the 2008 presidential race, Scott Brown). Writes Ferson:

The passion for change has replaced political conviction. We search for better governance through volatility. Our patience is thin, and our tolerance for the policies of those we elect is not long. We do not turn out a high percentage of elected officials, but we have equal disdain for the representatives in the various branches and offices on the federal, state, and local level....

We are polarized in our politics, but we are not grounded, and that is the real problem. Our political parties have become so watered down, so meaningless to the average voter, that individual issues capture our attention and inflame our passions. The war, health care, and the stimulus bills are vehicles for control. We see clear, defined, sustained differences between the major parties largely only on social policy, without making the larger economic, national and international issues part of a sustained platform.

Very good stuff.

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