Bradley says political change is necessary during ISU stop

Alison Storm

The United States must change in order to improve the lives of the American people, said presidential hopeful Bill Bradley during his Thursday evening stop at Iowa State.

Former Sen. Bradley was the featured speaker at a lecture titled, “Latinos and the Future of American Ethnic Relations.” During his presentation, which was held in the Sun Room of the Memorial Union in front of hundreds of people, Bradley discussed his plans to transform America.

“If you want to lead the world by example,” Bradley said, “then we’re going to have to do a little better.”

After 30 years of being on the road as an athlete, author and politician, Bradley has talked to a wide variety of Americans.

“There has been one continuum; it has been asking strangers to tell me their stories,” he said. “Basically, I think we are a good people.”

Bradley said if Americans could just see the good in other people, many problems would be solved.

“I don’t believe the American Dream should just be for the lucky among us,” he said.

While outlining the legacy he hoped to leave behind, Bradley stressed the importance of protecting the environment, gun control and affordable health insurance.

“First, I’d like to preside over a country for four or eight years that was at peace and had a growing respect from people around the world,” he said. “Second, I’d like to be a protector of the natural environment.”

A strong supporter of gun control, Bradley said efforts to regulate the sale of handguns need to be stepped up. “It’s about time someone stood up to the NRA,” he said.

In keeping with the theme of ethnic relations, Bradley said the nature and origin of immigration is changing.

“I think in terms of race and ethnicity, we are at a unique place with unique opportunity,” he said.

Quoting author Toni Morrison, Bradley said, “Race exists, but it doesn’t matter.”

Illustrating the importance of reaching out to other cultures, Bradley noted that his wife Ernestine is originally from Germany. “If I succeed, she would be the first immigrant first lady,” he said.

Bradley, who is looking for a nomination from the Democratic Party, compared the presidential election to the Sammy Sosa/Mark McGwire home run race, asking, “Why can’t American politics be like that?”

He would like to see “candidates who conduct themselves so at the end, you are choosing between two candidates you esteem rather than one you can barely tolerate.”

“If you think you are smart and you decide not to get involved in politics, then you’ve said that you don’t mind someone less intelligent than you making decisions,” he said.