Brokaw’s public service idea deserves oxygen

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Brokaw’s public service idea deserves oxygen

The Herald-Times
April 16, 2013

Veteran television journalist and author Tom Brokaw crystallized one of the major problems in Washington, D.C., today when he spoke in Bloomington last week.

“We have a lot of small ideas that divide us,” Brokaw said. “People have very narrow interest groups, from the left all the way across to the right, with the power of a keystroke, the extraordinary way technology has reached, the organized kind of jihads we wage against anyone that doesn’t exactly agree with us.”

And thus, he said, what the nation needs is a Big Idea to unite us.

It was a simple enough notion, and his thought about what that Big Idea could be resonated with his audience, those attending a fundraising dinner for the Ivy Tech O’Bannon Institute for Community Service.

He wants to redefine public service through about six public service academies spread through the nation. Private industry could fund fellows, who would serve the nation primarily through international service before returning to good, productive, fulfilling jobs in the private sector.

It’s an idea that should receive bipartisan support — if any idea can.

Other Big Ideas could be out there as well. But right now, our politicians seem intent to look petty while dividing along party lines on fights that often don’t seem that crucial to Main Street. They could regain some credibility by uniting on something important — something with a clear goal such as serving others.

Copyright: HeraldTimesOnline.com 2013