Friday, February 08, 2008

Change Agent Needed

You've heard the term - Change Agent. It's a term I know a lot about, because I've been one for many years. I know how hard it is to understand a situation for what it is by developing "facts" based on hard-nosed analysis, to identify and evaluate alternative solutions for addressing the situation, to decide on the best alternative, to convince those with power to back it, and then to do the work to solve the problem. There is nothing more satisfying, though, than making the world better by changing how we deal with a part of it that is broken. And we need a change agent as our next president.

America is broken in many respects because our government has failed us. Our political leaders espouse peace but embrace and glorify war. They talk about courage but lead by fostering fear. They praise fiscal restraint but spend like drunken sailors. They profess to respect science but thwart the scientists who virtually prove global warming or who work to improve perhaps billions of lives through stem cell research. Our leaders profess limited resources to fund education for our children but give tax breaks to oil companies that are making record profits. Yes, our government has failed us - but we elected that government. We are the ones who made the failures possible, and we are the ones who have the power to fix them. We all need to become change agents.

Unlike my friend ThomasLB, I have a lot of confidence in the ability of large organizations to do good. Governments and corporations have the ability to do wonderful things. They can accumulate resources and talents, marshall them to address problems and chase after difficult goals, and satisfy many important needs of their employees and those who benefit from their work.

Can you imagine our world without the contributions of enlighted governments and corporations? We depend on the efforts of large organizations who work for the common good while simultaneously working for the benefit of those who work inside them. Yet it's clear that governments and corporations can also do great harm if their energies are devoted to the wrong objectives. We have the latter situation in far too many cases in America today. We need change agents, leaders who sincerely pursue the common good and have the skills needed to get results. We don't need unqualified buffoons like our current president or the selfish, conniving people who got him elected and benefit from his destructive policies.

We are approaching another election cycle. If we actively participate, each of us can be a change agent. Maybe we don't all have the backgrounds to figure out what must be done to fix America, but we all the the ability to ask questions of those who wish to lead us. Here's my advice: demand clear statements of what these people think are the big problems; ask them what they think needs to be done to fix them, specifically; ask them how they would pay for the work, and how they would organize government to effect the changes. If they can't make sense to you when they answer, look for someone else who can.

George Bush massacred the saying "If you fool me once, shame on you. If you fool me twice, shame on me." A large number of us were fooled twice by him, because he became president and stayed president. That means that we can easily be fooled again unless we are very careful in the upcoming election. As we listen to McCain, Clinton, and Obama, we need to focus in on the specifics and close our ears to the political bombast that all politicians love to spout. Identify the person whose goals most closely align with yours, and carefully evaluate their commitment and skills. America is not easy to fix, and we need the very best change agent.

p.s. If you like what Mike Huckabee is saying, disregard all of the above. You prefer to be led by a flim-flam man, and you can keep your brain in the park position.

1 comment:

Dave said...

I'm listening to them. I'm hoping that I'll hear them saying something. I'm not holding my breath.