When one young leader spoke eloquently and passionately in 1933 about the need for change and denounced the old system, the people were receptive. Elsewhere, in 1950, another such leader sounded a similar note. The press fell in love with both and never questioned who their friends were or what they really believed in, until it was too late and the moment had passed. When they said they would help the farmers and the poor and bring free medical care and education to all, the adulation was predictable. When they promised to restore lost power and bring justice and equality to all, the people said, Heil!” or “Viva Fidel”. When these leaders said, “I will be for change and I’ll bring you change” the cheers were unending.
But nobody asked about the change, so by the time the concentration camps were set up and the executioner’s guns rang out, the people’s guns had been taken away. By the time everyone was equal, they had no rights and equality was worth nothing. By the time the press noticed, it was too late because it was now controlled by the government or the propaganda ministry. The endings of these stories are well-known. Millions died, treasuries were depleted, and more than a million people had taken to boats, rafts, and inner tubes to escape the tyranny of change.
Luckily, in America, we would never fall for a young leader who promised change without asking, what change? How will you carry it out? What will it cost America? How is the change you offer different from the change all politicians offer? And the free media would never be seduced by political rhetoric. Instead it would examine all of the consequences of proposed changes and ask the hard questions about how these changes would be paid for while paying down the national debt, balancing the budget, and restoring America’s decaying infrastructure. No, we wouldn’t do that in
(Modified, adapted and paraphrased from “Beware of charismatic men who preach change” by Manuel Alvarez, Jr. in a letter to the Richmond Times Dispatch.)