WASHINGTON (2/26/13)--World-renowned journalist and author Tom Brokaw said the nation badly needs a return to the spirit that helped us win a world war, and inspired an era of unprecedented prosperity, and world leadership. He said the unity and progress of those years becomes even more enviable at a time when political progress is measured by such phrases as "kicking the can down the road."
Brokaw, in a speech Monday before the 4,200 credit union attendees at the Credit Union National Association's 2013 Governmental Affairs Conference, was referring to a currently popular phrase that has become part of the lexicon during the present partisan deadlock over spending and tax issues. "I've been doing this for a long time," he told the audience about his observations of the country's political affairs, "but I have never seen the nation in such a state of disrepair."
He received a standing ovation after his a speech, in which he discussed his impressions stemming from 50 years of journalism and politics. Brokaw proposed creating a new educational system built around institutions committed to training leaders in all aspects of public service.
"There is a longing," he told the audience, "to find an idea that will pull us all together." Brokaw said he was especially concerned today by the partisanship that currently exists in Congress. "You can't even be seen with your arm around a member of the other party member," he said.
During a question-and-answer session, Brokaw said the surge of technology in recent years has been boon for the news organizations and consumers.
"The state of the news outlets in some ways was never better because of access to the Internet, the iPad and the other technology.
"You can no longer be a couch potato, and get up and sit around drinking a cup of coffee while getting the news from daily newspaper."