Change? Government is not more transparent, things are not more fair, attitudes among different racial groups have not suddenly improved because a multi-racial man was elected President, politicians still do what they want to do instead of what the people want them to do, and the recession (depression?) has not ended. It's a partial list for sure. And the few things that have changed, have changed for the worse, not the better. The latter list is at least as long as the former.
Real change, not just a change of which clowns are running the circus, is what those newly awakened people are thinking about. I have been preaching (ad nausem) about having a fundamental change in the debate in this country for so long it makes my friends and relatives weary.
But instead of blaming Barak Obama and the leftist oligarchy currently in power for lurching the country towards socialism, I would opine that they deserve our gratitude. (in a perverse sort of way) They have adjusted the contrast control on the national TV set in ways they never intended. The contrast between the traditional values of earlier Americans vs the way we are actually living has become stark enough to change that debate to the only one which really matters in determining the outcome for the American experiment in republican governance.
Although a media stuck in a Utopian fairy tale re-run never mentions it (or gets it), that debate has become more clear. Namely, as Dr. Walter Williams puts the question in framing that debate, "What is the proper role of government in a free society?"
Oh, many in the political sciences, academia and a few other largely irrelevant groups have debated it one way or the other for generations, but only now has it become the great debate of the people.
Tea Partiers, although not a formal or organized group, set the debate in motion by embracing the only core notions that bind them together. You can be sure that people counted among that group disagree on a whole range of issues. But the notions they have rallied around are; a smaller government that taxes less and is more fiscally responsible, and a less intrusive government that leaves people alone more often to solve their own problems in a free market. They agree that government should not be the agent to pick winners and losers or subsidize supporters while punishing objectors.
It's not actually a group, but a movement. And it belongs to no political party although there is no room for it's ideology in the current Democratic Party. (And recently they have punished Republican old-schoolers at the ballot box quite visibly.)
Naturally, some other groups oppose their ideas, but now they are being forced to address them even as some among them are trying to avoid it by attempting to demonize those they oppose as racists and ignorant rubes. This time it's not working, so now the actual debate has begun.
Which brings us to the question; Who is Gary Johnson and why does it matter who he is?
It matters because he is different in many ways, and in his philosophy, he is definitely different than the type of politicians being held up as future leaders by the establishment types of both of the two (so far) relevant parties.
Even though he works within the framework of the Republican Party, he isn't a favorite, or even on the radar screen of those who control that party. He probably scares them to death because they are kindred spirits with liberals in as much as they also believe that government exists to solve societal problems. They merely differ in their approach and selection of the "problems."
Does anyone really think that Mitt, Sarah, Newt, Hillary, Barak or any of those old party types will actually shrink government's role in our lives if they lead the next government? I don't. They may rearrange the Legos, but the toy Tower of Pisa will still eventually topple over and our lives will need to be picked from the rubble.
I am not suggesting Gary Johnson is the answer, time will tell. But I do know the question. Do "we the people" want actual change or just the continued decline into ever larger government controlled chaos?
One of the greatest thinkers and writers of the 20th century, C S Lewis, once wrote; "We all want progress, but if you're on the wrong road, progress means doing an about-turn and walking back to the right road; in that case, the man who turns back soonest is the most progressive."
Someone like Gary Johnson, someone from outside the establishment, might be the greatest "progressive" in that context, and must come to the fore, or we shall miss what might very well be our last chance to live our lives as we see fit, not in some Orwellian nightmare of what Thomas Sowell calls the Vision of the Anointed.