Friday, January 4, 2008


“Status quo lost. Change won.” This was the opinion voiced by John Edwards following the Iowa caucuses. It was his bent that due to the fact that Barack Obama came in first and he second the call was for change. Change from business as usual. Change from those inside the belt way running things (aren’t both these guys Senators?).

He may be correct in his observation. It was the quiet mannered former Baptist minister (can you ever really be a former minister?) who stole the show from his high spending, polished opponent. This seemed very unlikely several months ago.

The pundits noted that it was the independents and young people that moved the pendulum Obama’s way. If this was indeed the case it points out a principle of change: New folks have to get involved if something different is going to happen.

Let’s face it we all get into ruts. I pretty much have Grape Nuts mixed with Special K with Strawberries with non-fat milk and blueberries for breakfast. But, I have begun to use Organic non-fat milk and throwing some raspberries and blackberries into the mix. I guess I’m getting caught up in all this potential change…I know, radical!

I digress. What I want to communicate is that new people bring new ideas. It is way too easy for people to get comfortable in how things are done. We are not sure we really like the way, but we are comfortable. So we resist change. Could be that is what is beginning to happen in this political year: New folks are getting engaged in the process and they are forcing change. It would be fun if it were so.

The real challenge will be what actually happens if a “genuine” outsider gets in? The last time it happened, to my recollection, was Jimmy Carter. I voted for him (oops, that’s right! I think I am suppose to keep my vote to myself, well pretend you didn’t read that). I was registered republican and I still voted for him! (Okay, you didn’t read that either). I just liked the idea of change.

But let’s be honest, he didn’t do a very good job. It is very difficult for an outsider, once inside, to get traction. Carter has done his best work since he got back to the outside.

I’m not saying things can’t change, but it is just tough. What I think, I think, is that those who want real change have to go beyond their vote. It is one thing to help someone get in, but there has to be support once they are in. We too often think getting in is the point. It is not! Getting something done is the point. And no one can do that alone.

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