It was such a pleasure to watch an adult interview last night between Anderson Cooper and Robert Gates as part of the 60 Minutes program. I then watched the entire interview on 60 minutes overtime. There was no screaming and talking over one another and trying to elicit salacious comments.
You have to respect someone who served eight presidents from both parties and is rightly knowledgeable about the most important issue that is facing our nation and that is our national security and where we stand in the world in competition with China and Russia and the threat of terrorism. He didn’t waffle and was willing to take his share of the blame for mistakes that were made. How refreshing.
When asked about comments he had made about President Trump and President Biden, he simply said he stands by his comments which is refreshing in itself. When pushed on the hot topic politically correct issues that are tearing apart our country his only comment was he had never seen so much hatred and if we are not careful that hatred will be our downfall.
Robert Gates is one of my heroes. I remember well in October of 2000 when I was the associate director of the John Ben Shepperd Public Leadership Institute and we held one of our periodic Leadership Forums, this one on Domestic Terrorism. He was a panelist.
At that time over 800 domestic terror groups had been identified and the discussion centered on how to stop their efforts as well as those of foreign terrorist. I will never forget in his closing comments, he said.
“It is not a matter of if but simply a matter of when a major terrorist attack will occur on American soil and how we respond will define the American character.” Eleven months later, 9/11 happened. The question I have for the America of today, what is our character and how does it reflect on us as a people?
I think most Americans are tired of the political correctness, the social media bullying, and our elected officials being more interested in the party than the Americans they were elected to represent. A recent poll showed 29 % identified as Democrat, 29% as Republican, but 41% as independent. The independents have the power to reshape this country to once again make it the great melting pot and the shining example of what is possible to the world. That is my prayer.