What is Big Think?  

We are Big Idea Hunters…

We live in a time of information abundance, which far too many of us see as information overload. With the sum total of human knowledge, past and present, at our fingertips, we’re faced with a crisis of attention: which ideas should we engage with, and why? Big Think is an evolving roadmap to the best thinking on the planet — the ideas that can help you think flexibly and act decisively in a multivariate world.

A word about Big Ideas and Themes — The architecture of Big Think

Big ideas are lenses for envisioning the future. Every article and video on bigthink.com and on our learning platforms is based on an emerging “big idea” that is significant, widely relevant, and actionable. We’re sifting the noise for the questions and insights that have the power to change all of our lives, for decades to come. For example, reverse-engineering is a big idea in that the concept is increasingly useful across multiple disciplines, from education to nanotechnology.

Themes are the seven broad umbrellas under which we organize the hundreds of big ideas that populate Big Think. They include New World Order, Earth and Beyond, 21st Century Living, Going Mental, Extreme Biology, Power and Influence, and Inventing the Future.

Big Think Features:

12,000+ Expert Videos

1

Browse videos featuring experts across a wide range of disciplines, from personal health to business leadership to neuroscience.

Watch videos

World Renowned Bloggers

2

Big Think’s contributors offer expert analysis of the big ideas behind the news.

Go to blogs

Big Think Edge

3

Big Think’s Edge learning platform for career mentorship and professional development provides engaging and actionable courses delivered by the people who are shaping our future.

Find out more
Close
With rendition switcher

Transcript

Question: Is the American political system broken?

Robert Menendez: I don’t think the system is broken. I think Americans look at the debates that go on, for example, in Congress and say, “Well, they can’t seem to get along with each other. Or they’re just political or partisan.” And there is an element of that; but people come from across the country, and I’ve had the privilege and experience of representing . . . being in both houses of Congress. So I look at when I was in the House of Representatives, there are . . . 435 people come from across the country, from North and South and East and West. They come from great cities and farms. They come from suburbia. They’re doctors, and lawyers, and farmers, and business people, and teachers, and former veterans and a whole host of other things. They’re Jew and Gentile, Protestant and Catholic, Muslim. And across the spectrum they’re brought to the nation’s capitol to not only represent the interests of their particular district, but to represent the collective interests of the nation. And they’re asked to face some of the most difficult challenges we have in our country, and to also look at the great opportunities that exist with our country, and come together to lead in what hopefully is a strong bipartisan response to these issues. But at the end of the day, all those different experiences, all those different backgrounds, all the different political ideologies . . . sometimes they are rooted in . . . clearly in very strong views – principled views – as to how we achieve these goals or overcome these challenges. And those principle views can sometimes be in great conflict. And so that . . . Whether it’s in the House or in the Senate, the reality is that it seems to me that what people sometimes view as strictly partisan is the clash of ideas – the clash of ideas that people brought from a very diverse country, but who hold, I think, common goals of achieving . . . making America the best that it can be. And in doing so, that clash of ideas produces differences. Some people look at that as a broken system. I look at that as largely to be the fulfillment of the democracy that we have.

 

Recorded on: 9/12/07

 

 

 

 

 

 

Is the American political s...

Newsletter: Share: