Yes, we can |

Yes, we can

What a superb book! What thoughtful steps to begin the process of solving the major problems that the U.S. faces!

There have only been a few times in my long life when I’ve opened a book (however short) and was compelled to read it non-stop.

Such was just the case.

In his recent, intelligent, and cogent book, “A Letter to America,” David Boren (a former U.S. senator and governor of Oklahoma, and president of the University of Oklahoma for the past 13 years) shows why he is deeply worried about the future of the United States. More importantly, he offers clear, bold, practical solutions to our most pressing national problems.

And no, he’s not Pollyannaish.

Among the problems analyzed by Boren are the terrible and growing disparities in Americans’ incomes over the past 30 years, the increasing lack of bi-partisanship in U.S. politics, the current state of American education, the huge U.S. debt and the shortcomings in U.S. medical care.

For each of these critical problem areas, Mr. Boren offers workable, constructive ideas for solutions:

We must work toward strong international coalitions and cooperation; we have to diminish the role of money in politics and limit the length of political campaigns; we need to invest much more in our national infrastructure; several small changes in Social Security must be made to make the program financially sound; and a way to provide universal health coverage must be found. (I’ve yet to meet a Medicare recipient who wanted to do away with Medicare.)

Many other national and regional difficulties and potential resolutions are discussed by Boren, and it’s important to note that his message is not a “downer,” but ultimately inspiring: He believes we can change course in each problem area; he’s hopeful that the U.S. can lead the world through the 21st Century; and he’s optimistic that we’ll be able to meet our challenges, leaving the world a lot better for our children and grandchildren.

Ultimately, David Boren asks that we move from individual self-interest to the broader, more encompassing good of the community.

Simple, but difficult. Doable. Not “pie-in-the-sky.”

I urge everyone to jump at the chance to read David Boren’s stimulating, supremely important “letter.”


Ted Kulp lives in

Grass Valley.

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