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A key moment in the last presidential campaign came early, in 2015. Hillary Clinton believed one of her political advantages was her long experience on the global stage. She therefore often talked about her tenure as Secretary of State. She captured that idea by telling crowds she had visited more than 100 countries.
However, Carly Fiorina, the former CEO of global giant Hewlett-Packard, had also been on a few airplanes, and she neutralized Clinton’s argument. “Like Hillary Clinton,” Fiorina began, “I too have traveled hundreds of thousands of miles around the globe. But unlike Hillary Clinton, I know that flying is an activity, not an accomplishment.”
Line - Clinton - Campaign - Points - Fiorina
The line was clever and effective. It more or less vaporized one of Clinton’s most important campaign talking points, and it signaled that Fiorina could run with the big dogs, rhetorically speaking anyway.
But it also caused me to wonder: Why do we put so much stock in travel? “Join the Navy, See the World” was an old recruiting campaign. Ask recent college graduates what kind of job they’re looking for, and a high percentage will say they want a job that will allow them to travel. In fact, in a survey of millennials conducted by the Boston Consulting Group (BCG), 70 percent of respondents said travel is a major reason they work. About 72 percent said they want to visit five continents in their lifetime.
Fiorina - Flying - Activity - Accomplishment - Memo
Fiorina’s “flying is an activity, not an accomplishment” memo clearly hadn’t reached their desks.
In ancient times, travel was a curse, not a blessing. In fact, the blessing of home and the curse of travel are ideas baked into our cultural imagination. The first road trip came when Adam and Eve rebelled against God; they had to flee the Garden of Eden. When Cain killed his brother Abel, Cain’s punishment was to roam...
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