Sunday, April 22, 2012

We Can All Do Better: A Book Review

We Can All Do Better by Bill Bradley
155 pages

I've always respected Senator Bill Bradley. Throughout his career, he always seemed to be one of the few good guys in Washington. Of course, every time a current or former politician or political pundit writes a book, I try to maintain a little healthy skepticism. I'm always concerned that it's going to be another "gotcha" book. More than a few seem to be trying to impress themselves with their name dropping or playing some partisan 'blame game". I was impressed, however, with this book.

First, it wasn't a "gotcha" book. There was finger pointing to be sure, but it was deliberate and deserving as a book of this type should be. Senator Bradley does an excellent job in explaining to the reader the core reasons for the failure of Washington to solve our problems. It's clear from the outset that the Senator is addressing ordinary citizens not the usual politicos attracted to similar books, nor is he writing to tout his achievements, which are impressive in themselves and well deserved. This is a book meant to explain and to inspire action, which it accomplishes and much more.

At the heart of the book is the failure of our elected leader to move beyond the pettiness of partisan politics to reach a consensus that benefits the general public. Part of this failure is that the system itself has been corrupted by both parties to prevent change while practically institutionalizing the perpetual campaign. Blame is carefully crafted and spun as fine as fool's gold is deceiving. There was a time when, despite political ideology, individuals from both parties came together at the end of the day to reach a common consensus. America's interest came first. Not anymore. Today, it's lobbyists and Super PACS who are the play makers, and it's in dollars raised that the political game is scored while the American voter looks on in mesmerizing disbelief like watching a slow motion crash, except this crash is that of his world and everything he took for granted.

What I enjoyed, and appreciated the most as a concerned citizen, was the Senator's explanation and history of the issues and his realistic non-partisan formula for changing the status quo. To many similar books offer "pie in the sky" solutions or blames this party or the other. Senator Bradley, while a Democrat, was equally critical of his own party as he was the Republicans. But it was his suggestions, drawn from his years of experience couple with a working class common sense, which sets this book apart.
If you're concerned about America and you're looking for an explanation of how we got where we are and what we can do about it, then "We Can All Do Better" by Senator Bill Bradley is the book for you. America is in serious trouble. We have too many pundits trying to tell us who to blame. What we are sorely lacking are solutions. This book is good start.

No comments: