Speaker educates listeners on critical political issues
October 17, 2013
Former Secretary of State delivered a speech on campus as part eight of the President’s Speaker Series in Mayer Theatre last Thursday.
Condoleezza Rice discussed what she called the shocks that have left us in a chaotic and dangerous world. She described the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the economic crisis of 2008 and the current difficulties in the Middle East.
She also recapped her time in the White House, telling stories in a way that humanized political figures such as herself and former President George W. Bush.
One of her final points addressed the current K-12 education crisis. Rice believes that lack of education is our biggest national security threat.
She claimed that as long as we continue to “poorly educate poor people, we will become two countries. One that is able and one that is not. That will be the death knell of democracy.”
Rice gave advice to students, aspiring women and the current government. She encouraged students to follow their passions and suggested that they do something challenging, because it would be fulfilling.
She told women not to let someone else define what their passion should be, and advised them not to wait for role models who look like them.
Her opinion concerning the current government — with respect to the recent shutdown — was to get together in a room and work out the problem.
“Being president is the loneliest job in the world,” she said, “but the government needs to find a way to bring in those who disagree.”
She concluded her speech by reminding the audience that the U.S. has a habit of making the impossible seem inevitable in retrospect and assuring that we will overcome our challenges in order to emerge a more perfect union.
Rice was the 66th Secretary of State under Bush. She was the second woman-and the first African American woman-to hold this position. She was also the first woman to be National Security Advisor and a Soviet Specialist, a position she held from 2001 to 2005.
Rice is currently a professor of political economy and political science at Stanford University, where she worked as provost from 1993 to 1999.
Rice made it clear that while the U.S. may have governance problems, international problems and economic problems to overcome, we are still the leaders of the free world, and we will prevail.
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Correction: October 17, 2013
Condoleezza Rice was misquoted. Her quote should have read, “… That will be the death knell of democracy.”