Is anyone surprised at the results of the Iowa caucus? The two winners – Democrat Barack Obama and Republican Mike Huckabee – offered a platform that was clearly different from the other contenders. The voters took note. It is no longer “politics as usual” in this 2008 presidential election. There is now no doubt that the American people want a real change.

This presidential campaign is no longer an ethnicity, religious or gender issue – it’s an authenticity issue. Obama and Huckabee won because consumers and voters are demanding authenticity.

How do you spot an authentic politician? They speak as much from the heart as from the head. They share their words with passion and touch the hearts of Americans of all races, gender and ages. Authentic politicians come across as real people – people who have shared the same struggles as most of us. Their words flow in such a way that they are believable, trustworthy and credible. They offer fresh perspectives to problems that have grown old and weary for most of us. They exude integrity and passion and they inspire us.

Society is making a major shift to authenticity. Mark my words: the 21st century is going to see an authenticity revolution. The word “authenticity” is beginning to come up quite frequently in this political campaign. In past years, we haven’t been as adamant about being authentic. We have put up with fakes and phonies in many arenas. We often don’t know which political candidates to believe; we are confused about the validity of advertisements and commercials; we get unwanted phone calls from robotic voices; food is processed into an unnatural state; and fake artwork, purses and jewelry abound. Phony, fictional and inauthentic products, services and people seem to have become the status quo.

Likewise, most of the current presidential candidates seem to represent the status quo. They have the experience of how things have been done in the past, and it appears easy for them to continue with the same game plan. Yet many of us have difficulty connecting with their core message. They simply want to retain the current state of affairs albeit with slight modifications. But voters aren’t buying it.

Iowa’s election brought out young voters in record numbers. Young people seem to have the ability to spot the inauthentic and gravitate toward that which is genuine. Remember when you were younger and wanted to see positive change? Here’s an opportunity to take a stand for authenticity and a future America that addresses the needs of its majority rather than the few who seem to control the status quo. It’s time to tell politicians to get real.

– Norma T. Hollis, America’s Leading Authentic Voice Doctor, is a professional speaker and authenticity expert. Take her authenticity test at www.cashinonvoice.com. You can reach her at t www.normahollisspeaks.com, email at norma@normahollis.com or call (323) 734-7089.