Community & Government

The Future of Democracy

Secretaries Albright and Rice have an open and honest conversation about the growing pains of democracy and its future in America.

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Topics include: Our Collective Future


[MUSIC PLAYING] - The United States is the country that welcomed you and the country that eventually accepted me, despite the lives of my ancestors. And it's a country we both love dearly. But is this American experiment in trouble somehow? - I think that it is being questioned at the moment, which troubles me deeply. Because as I've said, I'm so grateful to be here and recognize the fact that we are the world's oldest democracy. But there are challenges now, out of our own system. Because voting is actually the basis of a democracy. Democracy is not a spectator sport. People voting is the way that the participation takes place. And there are questions, and have been, about voting all along. You were not allowed to vote. And I, as an immigrant, there were questions about why are you coming to the United States, you're not a citizen. I wasn't a citizen until I was between my sophomore and junior year in college. So voting is a very important part. And then there have been allegations that there were discrepancies in the most recent voting, which was then followed by an absolutely appalling eruption on January 6, where the system was really threatened. So I do think that we do have some serious issues that can only be dealt with if we examine them and try to figure out what actually happened, but also try very hard to develop policies that answer those questions. You know, who can and should vote? Why should we be proud of the diversity of this country? What is the strength of this country? And recognize that we continue to be looked at as a model. And by the way, I was in Egypt. And I was talking to an Egyptian member of Parliament. And I said, well, what you need to do is compromise and form coalitions. And he looked at me, and he said, you mean, like you guys? So we are not a very good example. And our democracy is better and safer when there are other democracies in the world. - Well, I certainly agree that having other democracies in the world is a safety net for democracies. I think if you ask most Americans, would you rather see more democracies in the world, or more totalitarians in the world, they will tell you more democracy. So if you're like me, I think if you're like Madeleine, you believe that without the United States, the world would be a more dangerous place. It would be a less prosperous place. It would certainly be a place that was less free. And when I would watch countries trying to make their way to a little bit more democratic way of life and others judging them, I would say, you know, the United States has had its struggles, too. And I would get so angry, actually, sometimes when I would hear European-- in particular, European colleagues-- say, well, those people don't have the traditions for democracy. Or they don't have-- it was almost as if they don't have the DNA for democracy. And sometimes I would get a little pointed. And I would say to my German colle...

About the Instructor

Madeleine Albright and Condoleezza Rice stood toe to toe with dictators, counseled presidents, and managed to find common ground on issues that still polarize us today. Sit down with two legendary secretaries of state as they reveal how to build bridges, hold boundaries, and apply history’s lessons to everyday challenges. The class presents an intimate portrait of the late Dr. Albright’s legacy for the next generation.

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Madeleine Albright & Condoleezza Rice

Former Secretaries of State Madeleine Albright and Condoleezza Rice teach you to settle differences in everyday life like a diplomat.

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