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Defense Secretary Mattis interviewed by high school student Teddy Fischer

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Defense Secretary Mattis interviewed by high school student Teddy Fischer

Old 07-10-17, 07:07 PM
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Defense Secretary Mattis interviewed by high school student Teddy Fischer

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TEDDY: Out of thousands of calls, why did you respond to this one?

MATTIS: You left a message there and I was going through listening to the messages and deleting them. But you’re from Washington state. I grew up in Washington state on the other side of the mountains there on the Columbia River. I just thought I’d give you a call.
Whenever I can, I try to work with students who are doing research projects. I was at Stanford University for a little over three years after I got out of the Marines before I got surprised by this request I’d come back and be the secretary of defense. So, I’ve always tried to help students because I think we owe it to you young folks to pass on what we learned going down the road so that you can make your own mistakes, not the same ones we made.

TEDDY: You were quoted recently in the The New Yorker as saying that what worried you most in your new position as secretary of defense was “The lack of political unity in America.” How do you believe younger generations of Americans should be working towards improving America’s political climate?

MATTIS: I think the first thing is to be very slow to characterize your fellow Americans. I know that when people have to run for office they have to say “I’m smart and my opponent’s dumb,” or “I’ve got better ideas than my opponent.” That’s politics there’s nothing wrong with that. But, I get very very concerned when I hear people start characterizing their opponents as stupid. I still understand that because politics is a little rough and tumble at times, but I don’t buy it and when they start calling each other either crazy or evil. You and I, we don’t compromise with crazy people or evil people. And so, I don’t think that’s helpful. Generally speaking, just because someone disagrees with you doesn’t make them crazy or evil.

Full interview:
link Its pretty good.
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Old 07-10-17, 09:20 PM
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Re: Defense Secretary Mattis interviewed by high school student Teddy Fischer

That is a GREAT read. Perceptive questions from the high schooler and thoughtful answers from our warrior monk/ national guardrail.
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Old 07-11-17, 12:44 AM
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Re: Defense Secretary Mattis interviewed by high school student Teddy Fischer

Thanks, msp. As Paul said, it's a great read. I just skimmed and found it fascinating (it's 1:30 a.m.; will go back and read whole thing later).

The high schooler was extremely well-prepared for the interview with probing questions and the ability to pick up the threads of the conversation...much better prepared than a lot of professional journalists who ask yes or no questions, try to steer the interview in certain preconceived directions. interject themselves too much, don't ask followup questions, etc. And Mattis was really forthcoming as a result. Media organizations should keep an eye on that student as a future hire.

It did seem that Mattis was a little naively idealistic in suggesting that bringing a student from each high school to the U.S. for a year of school and then having them return to their home country was one of the best ways to fight the most hateful ideologies. That might seem effective for some more moderate societies, but when people board buses and shoot girls for daring to attend their own schools in those countries, it's hard to see how bringing students here & then sending them back would do much more than to endanger those students for being exposed to the Great Satan.

If westerners working in those countries alongside the native population to improve lives through schools, health clinics, improving infrastructure, etc. don't convince people that all westerners aren't ought to destroy their culture, not sure that a student partial exchange program will convince the populace of our benign intentions toward them.
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