Change vs Reform

Barack Obama and John McCain are now both vying to be the agents of change in the 2008 election. However, with McCain’s campaign, we’re starting to hear another word that may prove to have more powerful impact with voters.Reform.Simply look at the definitions of both words, and how subtle changes (no pun intended) can mean a world of difference.

CHANGE- 1. to make the form, nature, content, future course, etc., of (something) different from what it is or from what it would be if left alone 2. to transform or convert (usually fol. by into)
3. to substitute another or others for; exchange for something else, usually of the same kind

REFORM- 1. the improvement or amendment of what is wrong, corrupt, unsatisfactory, etc. 2. the amendment of conduct, belief, etc. 3. to change to a better state, form, etc.; improve by alteration, substitution, abolition, etc.

See what I mean?

I’ll take reform over change any day. Change just sounds like a modification in appearance, while reform sounds like a complete transformation both on the inside and the outside.McCain will mention change at every opportunity and campaign stop, and that’s not a bad thing. But the more he mentions reform, and adding that to his experience in working with both sides of the aisle and his disgust of corrpution in Washington, it tends to resonate more with voters. Obama’s change speech, which consists mostly of claiming a McCain presidency would be a third Bush term is merely a cosmetic alteration. No mention of working across the aisle and rooting out business as usual.Look at how change vs reform worked out in the vice presidential selections. Obama picked Joe Biden, who’s been working in Washington since the Nixon administration. McCain, of course, picked Sarah Palin; an outsider wtih a history of reforming politics at the state level. And Democrats actually wonder why people are now excited about the McCain/Palin ticket?Time will tell if McCain can use reform to his advantage, but the message is starting to resonate. After all, with Americans preferring Democrats over Republicans on most pollsters’ generic ballots, the presidential race would be over. But now, I think a lot of voters are just now starting to catch on how reform is better than change. If the trend continues, then Barack Obama is in serious trouble.