Upon my first reading of We Can All Do Better by Bill Bradley, I thought this book was actually written for someone who can put political policies into place. I started to think he intended to run for President again and was sharing his platform with us. A second read, however, made me realize that this was not necessarily about the leaders of the United States but about her citizens. Through We Can All Do Better, Bradley is empowering us, the American people, to totally invest ourselves in our country. He says: “Democracy, I came to realize, worked only if people assumed their responsibility as citizens. If they didn’t act, the monied interests controlled the market. If they took the initiative, our history showed that they could change the country’s direction.” Bradley believes wholeheartedly that the American people are capable of creating change. That is why he writes as if he is writing to someone in power; we are the people in power.
Bill Bradley is known because of his run for Presidential office in 2000. He served New Jersey as a US Senator from 1979 to 1997. He is the author of several books of which We Can All Do Better is his latest. In this book, he describes the problems our country faces and offers nuanced solutions. While Bradley realizes that there are multiple issues, he chose to focus on three: the economy, foreign policy, and our political system. His resolutions do tend to lean to the left. For example, he believes that healthcare is the job of the government which is something many people disagree with. That does not mean that he is solely partisan, however. He is critical of both the Democratic and Republican parties’ ability to solve our difficulties. He acknowledges the drawbacks and strengths of both the Democratic and Republican platforms and does not believe that putting our faith in one party will help us in the long run. Rather, he sees the American people’s involvement as the ultimate answer to society’s ills.
Ultimately, for me, this book does do what Bradley intended for it to do. It inspires me. I found myself seeking out Americans Elect, an organization he suggests. They are an organization formed to nominate a Presidential candidate online and do not support a particular party or set of ideas. Rather, Americans Elect’s aim is to give the American people a voice outside of the politics and the monied interests of Washington. Bradley would like to see them go further and elect Congress the same way.
Overall, I think this is an excellent read. You may not agree with everything that Bradley says but I think that it can still be inspirational no matter your political stance. Bradley’s faith in us as a people is exhilarating. I think it will help many of us realize “We Can All Do Better.”