Pubdate: Thu, 24 May 2012
Source: Bakersfield Californian, The (CA)
Copyright: 2012 The Bakersfield Californian
Author: Dr. William D. Bezdek


Carlos Fuentes died recently. He was an internationally respected 
Mexican author, essayist and diplomat who impressed me with his 
ability to think outside the box.

One example occurred during a discussion about drug violence in 
Mexico. He placed a great deal of the responsibility for this on the 
United States because of its appetite for drugs and its supplying of 
weapons to cartels. One of his solutions was to legalize drugs. He 
had gone so far as to form a group of Latin American intellectuals 
and politicians to promote this idea. When I asked, "Why?," he said, 
"In 1933, your president, Franklin Roosevelt, repealed Prohibition. 
You now have a few more drunks, but no more Al Capones."

I don't know if his thinking would produce results, but I do admire 
his willingness to look at difficult problems from different 
perspectives. Our country needs people like Fuentes, people who 
aren't so fossilized by their own propaganda that they would be able 
to bring new perspectives to our most challenging problems.

I mentally regurgitate every time I hear a politician say we need to 
cut spending but not raise taxes and, seconds later, I hear another 
politician say we need to raise taxes and not cut spending. I cringe 
when, after news of another family killed by a deranged husband, I 
hear some gun nut state he needs his gun to prevent the government 
from denying him his liberty.

We have serious problems that cannot be solved by banal platitudes. 
We need innovative thinkers.

Dr. William D. Bezdek

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