Colleen Sharkey | March 22, 2019
“Only 54.2 percent of Americans came out in 2016 to vote. We’ve got to vote, America; we’ve got to care about our own democracy,” former Secretary of State John Kerry urged as he and former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice (M.S. ’75) took the stage Tuesday night (March 19) at the University of Notre Dame’s DeBartolo Performing Arts Center for the forum “America’s Role in the World.”
Rice began on the domestic front, stressing Americans’ civic duties. Tolerating no excuses for not showing up at the polls, Rice emphasized that her ancestors died for the right to vote. She encouraged the audience to own their democracy and get involved.
“You have no reason not to vote. If you don’t vote, you get what you pay for,” she said. “De Tocqueville was impressed with America’s civil society. I know here at Notre Dame that service is a big part of the curriculum and service to other citizens is the highest form of democracy.”
Focusing on America’s role on the world stage, moderator and Christian Science Monitor journalist Howard LaFranchi dove into some of the most pressing issues society faces, from climate change to the threat of nuclear aggression.
Kerry, a key figure in authoring the Paris Climate Agreement, has been outspoken in his criticism of President Donald Trump’s decision to pull out of it. Noting that each participating country decided individually what it would do to keep the global average temperature from rising to calamitous levels, Kerry said Trump lied to the American people about the burden it would put on the country.
Read more here.