© 2024 WNIJ and WNIU
Northern Public Radio
801 N 1st St.
DeKalb, IL 60115
Northern Public Radio
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Perspective: The silver bullet approach


Ingenuity is the most impressive trait of American culture. When there's a problem the Americans will figure out how to solve it. They designed the best way to assemble cars. The Panama Canal? American engineering. They built the Golden Gate bridge in San Francisco, and the skyscrapers in Chicago and New York. And in Illinois some daring designer found a way to reverse the flow of the Chicago River. The mentality of "thinking-outside-the-box" has given us television, car starters and home computers.

This approach did not transfer well to other situations. Abortion, immigration, gun regulation, the drug crisis, the healthcare system, the antivaxxers effect on the pandemic… and the pandemic itself. Most people offer single-fix or silver-bullet solutions that ignore the complexity of these circumstances. They sound easy and quick, so we are too ready to believe they're effective.

But the problems our nation faces right now cannot be solved with a sleight of hand or a new president. They require complex processes that take planning and time, just like designing and building a skyscraper or sending a ship to space. Overcoming our impatience is the key to solve our current dilemmas. Only then will we be able to leave the world a better place, just like previous generations wanted to do.

I am Francisco Solares-Larrave, and this is my perspective.

A Guatemalan native, he arrived in the United States in the late eighties on a Fulbright Scholarship to do graduate studies in comparative literature at the University of Illinois in Champaign Urbana. He has been teaching Spanish language, literature and culture at NIU since August 2000, and his main research interests are 19th-century Spanish American literature.