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The Rate of Change

But the digital revolution suddenly increased the rate and scale of change in almost everyone’s lives.
- Edward Mendelson, In the Depths of the Digital Age, New York Review of Books, June23, 2016



Jeff Greenfield, a political columnist who was a campaign aide to Robert F. Kennedy in 1968, called it ludicrous to liken the current political atmosphere to that election. But Mr. Trump, he said, was tapping into a sense of wariness that for many voters has begun to override the more benign realities of 2016.

“The country seems to be in a pretty unhappy mood, so even if law and order may not be the direct answer, there’s a sense of conflation,” Mr. Greenfield said. “The loss of jobs, the sense of cultural unease or upheaval, the sense that things are falling apart in some way.”
- Michael Barbaro and Alexander Burns, It’s Donald Trump’s Convention. But the Inspiration? Nixon., NYT, July 18, 2016



The national political reactions are playing out against a backdrop of global change in which terrorism is only one element.

“The world has been changing and we see that manifested in many ways, with new power centers, the power of the individual and the corporation, the disenfranchised finding a new voice and a sense that the governing infrastructure is no longer fit for purpose in today’s world,” said Xenia Wickett of Chatham House, a London foreign-policy research institution.

Institutions, she said, are struggling to deal with new challenges from Islam, inequality, terrorism and globalization. “We’re trying to manage that change and people don’t like change,” she said.

- Steven Erlanger, String of Attacks in Europe Fuels a Summer of Anxiety, NYT, July 25, 2016



According to Thomas Friedman, America's 2016 election is a contest between people (supporters of Trump and Sanders) who want a president "who will turn off... the violent winds of change that are now buffeting every family — in their workplace, where machines are threatening white-collar and blue-collar jobs; in their neighborhoods, where so many more immigrants of different religions, races and cultures are moving in; and globally, where super-empowered angry people are now killing innocents with disturbing regularity" and those who "understand that... a 21st-century party needs to build its platform in response to the accelerations in technology, globalization and climate change, which are the forces transforming the workplace, geopolitics and the very planet." The instinct of the latter, he says, "is to embrace the change in the pace of change...." The notion that Trump and Sanders supporters want to stop change is overly simple, but it is true they are unhappy with some aspects of the way the world has changed. Those who have lost their jobs or otherwise suffered from recent changes do not want to stop change so much as see changes that will improve their situation. In any case, it is interesting that a major commentator sees both sides focused on dealing with the same fundamental issue: the rapid change disrupting modern society, for better or worse.
(Thomas Friedman, Web People vs. Wall People, NYT, July 27, 2016)



Asked if the Geneva Conventions are out of date, Trump asserts that everything is out of date:

QUESTION: Do you think the Geneva Conventions are out of date?

TRUMP: I think everything’s is out of date. We have a whole new world.

- Steve Benin, Trump sees Geneva Conventions as ‘out of date’, MSNBC, July 27, 2016


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