Along with the rest of the world, I listened closely to President Obama’s inaugural address, which moved me to discuss one key point of interest. President Obama noted that, “What the cynics fail to understand is that the ground has shifted beneath them - that the stale political arguments that have consumed us for so long no longer apply.” The importance of this claim rests in the fact that President Obama has denied the old politics of power and corruption in favor of a return to government by and for the people. The cynics are always skeptical of change. They hold firm to the nostalgia of the past and some would argue they are anti hope. In fairness to the cynics, however, one could instead argue that they are governed by self-interest.
In suggesting that the cynics fail to understand that the ground has shifted, President Obama makes the deeper claim that the very foundation from which government is conceptualized, and protocol enacted, has changed. Change, in fact, must occur from the ground up. It is no longer business as usual. A Kuhnian paradigm shift has effectively occurred within the discourse of American politics.
Although Kuhn argues that his concept of a paradigm shift only applies to the "hard" sciences, it serves to describe this transition of power as well. If President Obama is capable of accounting for all the political and judiciary stances which in the past made America strong, but is also able to account for a more effective regulatory body, then his account is better. Why? His account gives us the best of the old accounts of government, and, in addition, something new. For example, government must allow markets to determine cost, which enables free market economics to foster competition and technological advances. This is key to the old way of describing market functions. President Obama is certainly not rejecting this notion. He is only mandating increased regulation. So the claims that President Obama is a socialist are patently false, he is more of a realist. The truth is, markets need to be regulated, period.