What scares you, General Mattis?


As seen on C-Span’s “Book TV” recently–a video from Jan. 14, 2020. The Hoover Institution at Stanford University held a panel discussion titled “The Crucible of Citizenship,” exploring how Americans can form a strong citizenry from its diverse population. An excerpt from the Q&A session:

Q. (student in the audience): I’m a young voter and citizen…. There’s a lot of noise going on [in geopolitical conflicts]…. I want to know [when you look at all the current situations], what scares you specifically?

A. (from Michael McConnell, professor at Stanford Law School): One of the things that scares me is when I hear candidates from both of the great parties of this country talking about silly stuff and not addressing things that really matter to the country.

A. (from Gen. James Mattis, formerly in the Trump Administration): Let me add something there. I was Secretary of Defense…. Right now, there are threats…. We’re concerned about North Korean missiles and nuclear weapons and that sort of thing, and Russia’s bellicose rhetoric…. We have terrorism, an ambient threat….

What scares me worse than any external threat is how Americans are treating each other right now in public life. (Audience applauds.) If we don’t get back to showing some fundamental respect, to listening to one another, to showing a degree of friendliness toward one another…. I mean, I’ve fought terrorists for a long time, I know what terror looks like…. When I hear somebody in public life calling a fellow American a terrorist just because they have a different idea about how to address a problem, that worries me more than the Russian army, I guarantee you.

About Bill Schmitt

OnWord.net is the home for Bill Schmitt's blog and biographical information. This blog, initiated during Bill's nearly 14 years as a communications professional at Notre Dame, expresses Bill's opinions alone. Go to "About Bill Schmitt" and "I Link, Therefore I Am" to see samples of multimedia content I'm producing now and have produced during my journalism career and my marketing communications career. Like me at facebook.com/wgschmitt, follow me on Twitter @wschmitt, and meet "bill schmitt" on LinkedIn.
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