Former Sec. of State Condoleezza Rice: “Stay Optimistic About Your Future”
Over 4,900 people listened to Rice speak about her ideas on foreign policy, including the need for the US to not abandon Afghanistan and the importance of democracy and education.
She told Hamilton College students that higher education is a gift. She had three recommendations for the students. Rice told them to find their passion and if they haven’t found it, keep looking for it. She told them to do something hard. “If you’re good at writing, study math. If you’re good at math, study writing,” she said. She also told the students to take the opportunity to study a different language and visit another country. And, her final message on education was to stay optimistic. “You have every reason to be optimistic about your future,” she said. “It doesn’t matter where you come from; it matters where you’re going.”
On the topic of democracy, she said one of her greatest accomplishments as secretary of state was the ability to advocate for democracy.
“As messy as it sometimes is, democracy is the only form of government that allows for human dignity,” Rice said.
After her lecture, there was a question and answer session where she was asked does she have regrets about the war in Iraq. She said they could have taken a different direction on the rebuilding of the country and the disbanding of the army.
But, there was one regret she didn’t have.
“I would take him out again,” Rice said–referring to the fall of Saddam Hussein.
Also, during the question and answer session, Rice was asked if she thought Iran was a serious threat. She said the fact that Iran is being talked about shows how serious the problem is.
She added, “an American president should never take his military option off the table.”
The former Secretary of State spoke as part of Hamilton College’s Sacerdote Great Names Series.