If you don’t like change, you’re going to like irrelevance even less.
General Eric Shinseki, retired Chief of Staff, U. S. Army

“Change” is the new black. Senator Obama has made change the cornerstone of his campaign, promising that he is running “to offer this country change that we can believe in.” Senator McCain of late is also promising change from the same old Washington politics. (Senator Obama, unsurprisingly, has taken some umbrage that Senator McCain, who is a member of the party that has (somewhat) been in control the past eight year, has appropriated the banner of change.)

Here’s my problem: It’s not the change that either candidate intends that matters. It’s the change that is going to befall this country in the next four years that matters. Look, the pace of change in our lives is unlike ever before: the ubiquitous threat of terrorism, more countries joining the nuclear club, information proliferation, emerging economic competition, outsourced jobs. The list goes on forever.

Our lives changed irreversibly on September 11, but they also changed the day that DOS 1.0 came out, and Windows, and the Mac, and when China decided to be a capitalist power outside of its own borders. We deal with change constantly. Indeed, next year at this time, it is likely that the biggest problem we face is not one that we think is the biggest today: Iran, price of oil, climate change, it could be any, or none, of these.

So, don’t tell me about the change that YOU want to bring. I’ve got enough change coming without your help, thank you very much. Instead, tell me your process for identifying the important changes coming, what those changes might be, and how you might go about leading our collective response. Oh, and give me some specifics on how you can deal with that change without trampling on either my wallet or my rights.

Change that.

Filed under: Mark S.Politics

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