Sunday, August 5, 2012

Only a Cockeyed Optimist?

In South Pacific, the Broadway musical by Rogers and Hammerstein, Mary Martin sang an uplifting tune called, "A Cockeyed Optimist." 

While teaching in Cluj-Napoca, I was reluctant to form opinions about Romania's politics, or about her politicians.  Part of the reason for that was my glaring ignorance about both.  Still, I could not help but hear the complaints of my students, friends, and acquaintances, and I had several opportunities to observe the solid locked doors, long unruly queues, and seeming unconcern for those waiting, that characterized the government offices with which I had contact.

During my first semester as a Fulbright professor in Cluj, President Obama was elected in the United States.  During my second teaching stint in Cluj, in the fall of 2010, an idea occurred to me built on the lessons of that 2008 U.S. Presidential campaign.  Until last week, apart from describing it orally to a few friends, I kept that idea to myself.   Then, last week, I read in The Boston Globe a news report of the result of the referendum in Romania in which President Basescu retained his position due to a low voter turnout.  That report stimulated me to publish my idea, which takes no sides, but advocates some positive governmental principles and a mechanism for bringing about their implementation.

Perhaps my idea is merely the fond wish of a cockeyed optimist.  But it comes from one who loves Romania, and wants to see her well-governed and prosperous. For whatever it is worth, you will find my idea here: Romanian Youth: Join T.H.I.S!

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