Today marks the inauguration of Barack Obama as the 44th President of the United States. Obama's campaign was built around a message of change. What changes would you most like to see in the next 4 years?
Wrong Question, as usual. And not just because it's kicked me into a Burroughsian mode. To paraphrase Achmed Jacoubi, an Arab fella Burroughs quotes in "A Word To The Wise Guy": "That question is not personal opinion."
A more relevant question is, "What will you and/or other people who more or less agree with you have to do in order to effect the changes you would most like to see in the next 4 years?" Making change is a lot like, say, becoming President of these United States: it involves a taking series of steps. The steps are not as obvious or as discreet, the room for compromise is wider than you might think, the price might be too high to pay now, but at bargain sale later. The leadership of the people you have to deal with might hope that you'll somehow be able to force them to make their changes for you.
But as Obama's career-long difficulties in imparting this message bear out, the people you're going to have to deal with are certainly not going to say that out loud and clear. If need be, you're going to have to make them say that they want to be forced to change.
Like it or not, the steps will need to be taken, the compromises will have to be risked, the price will need to be paid. It at least has those similarities with personal change, really.
Sooo...what will I and/or other people who more or less agree with me have to do in order to effect the changes I would most like to see in the next 4 years? Well, a lot. But at least there's the consolation that the will to change turned out to be nearby. Even if everyone expresses it as a far-off wish.