In an op-ed for The Baltimore Sun, Dean Julius Isaacson Professor of Law Steven Grossman writes about the nature of change and the increasing clout of populist movements in the U.S. and around the world.
Grossman first tackles two popular, and conflicting, notions about change: 1) Now and then it’s good to shake things up just for the sake of change, and 2) If it ain’t broke don’t fix it.
Neither approach makes sense, Grossman writes:
“Change is merely a process that in itself is neither good nor bad. More precisely, it can be either good or bad depending upon whether the change causes things to become better or worse than they were before. In considering events in our daily lives or the nature of government policy, the focus should always be on the anticipated effects of the change and not on the concept of change itself.”
In discussing changes made by the Trump administration, Grossman urges us not to embrace or reject them simply because they’re a departure from the past — but for the results that the changes bring or are expected to bring:
“Now some of you undoubtedly like the changes Mr. Trump has instituted. Many of us have never liked them. Still, according to polls, many more wanted change but now reject the result of the ones that Mr. Trump has brought. It is upon these results and the anticipation of other results the political and ideological battle should be fought, not on whether change is a good or bad thing in and of itself.”