Town Hall With University Students and Remarks on "Making Foreign Policy Less Foreign"

John Kerry
Secretary of State
Dean Acheson Auditorium
Washington, DC
March 18, 2014

SECRETARY KERRY:  Rick, thank you very, very much.  Ladies and gentlemen, that’s what happens to you if you’re a Rhodes Scholar from Princeton and former editor of Time Magazine.  You come work at the State Department and straighten us out.  Thank you very, very much.
I apologize again for being a little late.  We have a few things on the plate right now – (laughter) – and so I kind of got held up.  Actually, I was in the middle of a phone call – I won’t tell you with whom – but with a prime minister from a country somewhere – (laughter) – and in the middle of it, I swear to God, we lost – the phone call got dropped twice while we were talking, so we had to reconnect and that’s why I’m late and that’s modern communications, I guess.
Thank you for coming in to be here with us today.  I’m deeply appreciative.  Suzette Grillot from University of Oklahoma, International School of Studies, and Ambassador Ed Perkins, thank you very much for being here with us.  She’s one of the founders, I think – or are you the principal founder of the school – but we’re grateful to you for being here today.  And I guess – do we have Dean Groves here somewhere from UVA?  Not here?  Okay.  But UVA – some UVA folks here, no?  (Applause.)  All right, yeah.  Now I have to give a shout-out for every college.  I’m in trouble.  (Laughter.)  Anyway, Miriam, thanks for being part of this.  
Let me start, first of all, by saying that today I had a chance – I didn’t see it, but I had a chance to read a speech given by President Putin in the Kremlin with respect to Ukraine.  And I must say I was really struck and somewhat surprised and even disappointed by the interpretations in the facts as they were articulated by the president.  And with all due respect, they really just didn’t jibe with reality or with what’s happening on the ground.  And the president may have his version of history, but I believe that he and Russia, for what they have done, are on the wrong side of history.  
And what’s clear to me is that international law means something, and it means something because the international community came together over a period of time to give it that meaning.  And there is well-established law about countries seceding from a part of their own country – existing country, which is supposed to happen according to their constitution and their legal process, and if that’s not available to them, then through certain rights exercised in the international community, but not at the butt of a gun with a bunch of troops coming into a country to augment troops already there and then have the president of that country suggest there were no Russian forces in Crimea.
So we need to deal with reality as we go forward here, and it’s very dangerous to see this rise of a kind of nationalism that is exercised unilaterally to the exclusion of the international legal process in ways that can really be dangerous.  That’s what we have worked hard to avoid ever since World War II.  That was the vision that many presidents have brought to the international table over the years.  And if you have grievance, you try to work those grievance out through the process.  I don’t believe that anyone has a sense that self-help in this situation was the last resort.  
So as a result, we have this tension and this challenge in the international structure.  And make no mistake, President Obama has been clear and I have been clear there will be a cost attached to this, not because we want it, not because we’re seeking confrontation, but because when people move unilaterally in this way to test the world’s structure, it is important for every country in the world’s behavior that they understand that the law does mean something and that there are costs attached to a breach of that duty and responsibility to live up to the international legal standard.
I’ve heard much about how Kosovo is a model for this.  It’s not a model, not a model at all.  The United Nations passed a resolution.  It was sanctioned clearly under international law with a right to protect.  There was nobody in Crimea who needed protection the day those troops were augmented except, perhaps, the Ukrainian forces who were threatened at gunpoint, having to give up their weapons.
So we need facts to guide us in international affairs, and we need to heed our responsibilities as nations to live by these international laws and standards so that we can expect that others will, too.  And I hope that in the days ahead, we have an ability to be able to live by that higher and better standard.  But the President has made it clear that if there is this move to the full annexation, which appears to be clearly the direction that they have decided to move, it will be unfortunate, and it will not be because we want to create some kind of confrontation, but because there is no choice but to enforce the standards that the international community has worked on for so long.
So that’s where we are, and we will deal with that even as we deal with these other challenges that are very real and look for the ways to bring the world together around the need to meet the challenge of a Syria, the challenge of Iran’s nuclear weapon, of Afghanistan, South Central Asia, many parts of the world.  What’s amazing – and let me just comment, all of you – when I was in the Senate for a long time, over those years I had 1,393 interns come through my office.  That’s a lot of people.  And a lot of them have gone on to run for office, to be involved in various endeavors, which I’m very proud of – many of them in public service, most of them somehow staying connected to public service.  That’s really important.  One of the greatest things about going to college somewhere around the greater Washington area is this ability to sit beside, in some sleepy class one day, a future gridlock breaker or gridlock creator.  (Laughter.)  Depends.
But it’s interesting how many congressmen, senators, various high-level appointees through the years have cut their teeth as interns and who went to school here, even if they didn’t intern, because they had a thirst for knowledge and for the action of governance.  Obviously, we’ve got to close the gap here in this country a little bit.  We’ve got some serious challenges here at home.  You all know that.  But it’s vital that we do that because what we get done here at home is what we are capable of taking to other parts of the world, and it’s what we project, it’s what people look at and test us by.  And it’s not enough to just say that we are exceptional one way or the other.  The reason we can point to American exceptionalism is because we’ve done exceptional things and we do exceptional things.  And we have to live up to that standard, all of us – your generation, mine, everybody who wants to venture into public life.
Now, the fact is that that 1 percent that Rick talked about is a magnificent 1 percent.  One penny on every dollar provides America with enormous reach in the world – through USAID, through our aid and development programs, our battle against AIDS in various parts of the world –  significantly in Africa – the PEPFAR program, which has now saved over 5 million children’s lives and is about to produce an AIDS-free generation – that’s an extraordinary accomplishment.  That comes with that penny on the dollar, not to mention all of our 285 embassies and consulates around the world which take care of some people who were issued 12 million passports last year – that’s what we issued, 12 million – and countless numbers of people who travel abroad.  
But what we’re excited about that I want to tell you about today, which we’re going to unveil today, is a new interactive presentation by the Department called Department of State by State.  What we’re going to do – and this is why I went to UVA, incidentally, to give my first speech of the tenure as Secretary of State, was because foreign policy is not just about what happens over there; it’s about what happens over here as a result of what happens over there.  It’s about the security and peace that we can bring to American stability that comes through our relationships, through NATO or through ASEAN or these various associations where we work at the rule of law and at the international structure.  It’s about a New Jersey company that gets a $144 million contract to build bridges in another country, which means jobs here at home.  It’s about another company that is laying fiber between Samoa and the rest of the world so they can be connected, and that’s a $500 million contract.  That’s jobs here at home.  And we will show you, state for state – you can just come online and touch a state and go on, go to a district, and you’ll find out what’s coming to that district or that state as a result of our efforts to help marry a contract or an economic opportunity with the capacities we have in various parts of our country.
So this means jobs here at home.  It’s real, and particularly in a globalized world – I see a lot of smartphones sticking up, looking at me here – that’s the connections we have today, instantaneous to everywhere in the world.  What happened in Tahrir Square in Egypt was young people texting each other and being in touch and bringing together this group of people who threw out a leader who’d been there for 30 years.  
Same thing in Tunisia, only it was a little different.  Young – a fruit vendor who was tired and frustrated about being slapped around and beaten by the police, who wanted simply to sell his goods out of his little fruit vendor stand and he couldn’t do it because some officer was harassing him.  So he went down and self-immolated in front of the police station in protest.  And that ignited the protest that threw out another guy, a dictator who’d been there for another 30 years, and he was gone within days.  
That’s the power of today.  That’s what’s happening everywhere.  That’s why there’s so much turmoil and energy at the same time.  You have these failed states where you have these greedy people who – for whom it is not enough simply to have some power and be able to do good for people, but who want to get rich while they’re doing it at the expense of the people they’re supposed to serve.
So we have kleptocrats all around the world, stealing from the people they’re supposed to represent, and levels of corruption that are absolutely extraordinary in various places.  And the result is people feel that.  And if you’re young, and 65 percent of much of the Middle East is under the age of 30 – 65 percent.  I was talking to one of my staff the other day who told me – I don’t remember the country – I should, and I apologize – but it was a country where the median age is 15 years old.  And there are a bunch of countries like that, frankly.  And if you’re 50 percent under the age of 21 and 40 percent under the age of 18 and you don’t have a chance to go to school, and you don’t have a chance to get a job even though you may have been educated, you went to – go to like the University of Cairo or American University in Cairo or one of the other universities, and you’re ready to go, and you can’t do it.  That’s a tension; it’s huge in the social fabric and social structure of a place.  
And that’s what’s going on in a lot of places.  It’s a clash of aspirations and opportunity and modernity and culture all at the same time, and it’s – it creates a huge tension.  And as a result of these kleptocrats and so forth, you wind up having failed and failing states in too many places, so governance becomes a problem.  And then when you have instability you have extremes that rush in to fill the vacuum.  And those extremes are dangerous nowadays.  In many cases, they’re willing to blow people up – they don’t have a plan for healthcare, they don’t have a plan for education, they don’t offer you anything other than you have to live the way I want you to.  And if you don’t, you’re the enemy.  And particularly those of us who offer real freedom and real opportunity and self-determination and a whole bunch of other things – really scary to some of them.  
So we live in interesting times.  Chinese curse.  And it also is a Chinese slogan about opportunity.  The ciphers for crisis, I believe, mean opportunity.  And so we – you – have this extraordinary playing field kind of staring you in the face as you go through college.  And I think George Bernard Shaw said that youth is wasted on the young.  Getting older I feel that, but I hope you guys will make the most of it.  And I think by being here you already have indicated you want to.  So I look forward to a good conversation here, a chance to answer some questions, focus on a few of the things that I’ve tried to maybe stimulate a little thinking in you on, if you haven’t already landed there, and hopefully we can share – how much time do we have?  A good few minutes left.  Good.  All right.
Let me throw it open.  (Applause.) 
MODERATOR:  Thank you, Mr. Secretary.  So I’ll start with a couple of questions and then people can line up at the two microphones that are set up on either side of the aisle.  
I’d like to bring it back to Ukraine a little bit.  We saw the Administration announce sanctions against Russian and Ukrainian officials.  What is the Administration prepared to do if Russia invades East Ukraine?
SECRETARY KERRY:  Well, we made it very clear that that’s a hard line in terms of the level – I mean, that will be a major breach, and I hope we don’t get there.  I’m not going to go into the details except to say that that would be as egregious as any step that I can think of that can be taken by a country in today’s world, particularly by a country like Russia, where so much is at stake.  Now I hope that’s not going to be the case.  
President Putin in his speech today did say that he did not envision a struggle between East and West over this issue, that there was a huge historic connection between Russians and Ukrainians, that he wanted to see if they could resolve the future in a peaceful way.  And so I don’t want to start laying out a whole series of specifics about the option until we measure where we are obviously and put that to the test.  
But today is egregious enough, when you raise this nationalistic fervor which could, in fact, infect in ways that could be very, very dangerous.  All you have to do is go back and read in history of the lead up to World War II and the passions that were released with that kind of nationalistic fervor.  And obviously there’s a tough history of things like Czechoslovakia in 1968 where the alleged rationale for going into the country was to protect the people in it.  You go ask the Poles how they felt about being protected for all those years.  
So this is very questionable activity, and I think we have to be very wary of it.  But I’m not going to go into all those specifics except to say that that would be just an enormous challenge to the global community, and it would require a response that is commensurate with the level of that challenge.
MODERATOR:  Thanks.  One more from me, and I’ll throw it to you guys.  You mentioned PEPFAR several times in your opening comments, and we’ve heard from the Administration that there will be a review of how aid is given to countries like Uganda, who have recently signed an anti-gay law – signed the bill into law.  We had a story up on BuzzFeed yesterday – if you saw it, I don’t know – quoting a bunch of senators, quoting several people on the Hill, saying they’ve received absolutely no direction from the Administration on what they should be considering.  Can you outline some of the principals that the Administration is ready to apply to aid to countries like Uganda that have passed anti-LGBT legislation?
SECRETARY KERRY:  Well, we’re very concerned about it.  We are formulating those guidelines right now because this – because of the Museveni signing in Uganda recently, there’s been already a review taking place.  And to our – to my – I did not know this until this review was taking place, but there are 80 countries that have laws of one kind or another that discriminate.  And so we’re reviewing all of those to figure out what the options are as to how we can begin to change minds, move leaders, reach the public – the same kind of education, frankly, that took place here in our country.  
Measure where we were just a few years ago.  I will tell you, as a senator, when I was running for president in 2004, this was a very big hot-button issue here that was exploited to the hilt in many different ways.  I think it was in 2003 or 2004, I was one of only 14 senators to vote against DOMA, the Defense of Marriage Act, and I was the only senator running for election that year to do so.  I’m proud of that.  I was proven correct when later it was thrown out as unconstitutional.
But we’ve had that – we’ve been through this – we’re still going through in various places that fight.  But we’ve made enormous progress.  So there are going to be places in the world where we’re going to have to begin to reach out.  One of the things we’ve already started to do – I had some 200 chiefs of mission from all over the world come in last week, or two weeks ago, and we focused in during that on a session where we talked about how everybody and every one of those consulates and embassies is going to have a responsibility now to become an advocate of facts, with facts, and to go out and try to figure out what’s the strategy for this country.  
The one thing I would say to you is it’s going to have to be a strategic country by country.  I don’t think you’re going to find – different countries will have different needs, different sensitivities.  So what we’re going to try to do is put together the overall umbrella program, tailorable, obviously, region by region and country by country.  And that’s what we’re developing now.
MODERATOR:  Except for Uganda?
SECRETARY KERRY:  Beg your pardon?
MODERATOR:  For Uganda.
SECRETARY KERRY:  Uganda.  I talked personally to President Museveni just a few weeks ago, and he committed to meet with some of our experts so that we could engage him in a dialogue as to why what he did could not be based on any kind of science or fact, which was what he was alleging.  And he welcomed that and said “I’m happy to receive them and we can engage in that conversation,” and that’s what we’re going to do.  That’s a sort of tailored approach to that particular place, and maybe we can reach a point of reconsideration.
MODERATOR:  All right.  If you guys are ready to ask your questions, just identify yourselves by name and where you’re from.  
QUESTION:  Secretary Kerry, my name is Caper Gooden.  I’m a sophomore at the College of William and Mary.  And my question is, given that both Qatar and Saudi Arabia are key allies in the Middle East, how do you foresee the recent ambassador expulsions affecting U.S. policy in the region?
SECRETARY KERRY:  Well, we take it very seriously.  I talked today with one of the foreign ministers in the Gulf state – in the Gulf Cooperation Council.  And we’re concerned about it because the Gulf Cooperation Council is a very important entity within which we have an enormous amount of interests.  And it’s important to us that the cohesion that has existed within the Gulf Cooperation Council has been very, very important to many priorities that we have within the region.  
So our hope is that this can find a resolution, but it’s very difficult right now.  A number of countries feel particularly strongly that Qatar has been operating in a way that is outside of the interests of the Council and of those countries, and there’s a real clash.  It’s unfortunate, but it’s the reality and it’s really much more – I mean, they’re going to have to work it through, but we’re going to encourage them as much as possible to do so and hope very much that this can be resolved soon.
QUESTION:  Thank you.
QUESTION:  Afternoon, Secretary Kerry.  With regards – you were sort of talking about the digital age and its sort of effect on Egypt.  Actually, while we were actually lining up to get into this building, a lot of media outlets were reporting the recent closures of the embassies – the Syrian embassies in Washington, D.C.  I wanted to hear what your thoughts were sort of moving forward, and what this ultimately means for Syria and especially the situation in Crimea – what the focus would necessarily be moving forward.
SECRETARY KERRY:  Well, I’m not sure – excuse me – I’m not sure it particularly has an impact on Crimea, but we just felt very strongly that the illegitimacy of the Assad regime is so overwhelming: 140,000 people killed, more than 10,000 children, millions of refugees, millions of internally-displaced people, people attacked by their own government with gas, people tortured and killed by the thousands, a documentable count of almost 11,000, extraordinary violence perpetrated by the government of dropping barrel bombs on its own population, some kind of chemical being dropped on kids in schools indiscriminately, indiscriminately attacking civilians, by doing an old-fashioned siege and starving them in their villages for more than a year or so.  And we’ve all seen the pictures of the emaciated corpses.  I mean, it’s – you can’t believe you’re in 2014.   And so we just felt the idea that this embassy is sitting here with representation that we could take seriously is an insult, and we closed it.  It’s that simple.  
And we’ll see what happens in other places, but the Assad regime can never regain legitimacy in Syria whether they win, don’t win.  They can’t regain legitimacy.  The people of that country who have been driven out, whose kids, parents, brothers, sisters, grandfathers have been killed are never going to look to him for leadership.  And so I think this is one of the great, compelling things.  And we are working in so many different ways.  We’re the largest donor of any nation in the world to the humanitarian side of this for the refugees in the camps, and we are aiding the opposition in a number of different ways.  And we will continue to do that, and we will even augment that if we have to.  So there’s a lot on the table.  
QUESTION:  I was also curious as to the timing -- 
MODERATOR:  Maybe – sorry.  Maybe we should get – there are so many people waiting.  
QUESTION:  There was a second part.  Okay.  
MODERATOR:  Go ahead. 
SECRETARY KERRY:  Good try, though.  I admire your spirit.
MODERATOR:  Actually, I’m going to jump in and be horrible.  Can I just follow up on that really, really quickly?  (Laughter.)  Sorry, guys.  
SECRETARY KERRY:  She’s breaking her own rule.  (Laughter.)
MODERATOR:  Do you have any concern that the fact that relations are so bad with Russia right now that that’s going to affect cooperation on Syria getting rid of the chemical weapons, but also on what’s going to happen with Iran?
SECRETARY KERRY:  Well, obviously, we really hope not.  We hope that Russia will realize beyond what is happening in Crimea that it has serious interests that haven’t changed.  The interests that brought it to the table originally to work with us are the same interests today.  And so if you’re serious about nonproliferation, then you shouldn’t walk away from the responsibility to make sure Iran does not have a nuclear weapon.  If you’re serious about wanting to end a war in Syria and keep chemical weapons out of the hands of terrorists, then you shouldn’t walk away from your responsibility to help finish the deal that you helped to broker.  What’s significant is we’ve been able, despite differences with Russia, to find areas of significant cooperation on the big-ticket items:  Afghanistan, START Treaty, nuclear weapons.  On Iran, on Syria, on other things we’ve been able to cooperate, even as we have some differences and serious differences on other things.  
That’s the tragedy of what has happened with respect to Crimea.  Nobody that I know of who reads the facts doubts Russia’s interests in Crimea.  That’s not an issue here.  Russia has an enormous historical connection to Ukraine.  Kyiv is the birth – I mean, this is the birthplace of the Russian religion.  It has extraordinary connections.  We know this.  But that doesn’t legitimize just taking what you want because you want it or because you’re angry about the end of the Cold War or the end of the Soviet Union or whatever it is.  You need to work through the operative process.  The government in – the interim government in Kyiv, Prime Minister Yatsenyuk, has publicly stated – and I’ve seen the plan – that they are completely prepared to work on full representation in the country, full protection of minority rights, full protection of churches, full protection of Russian language.  All of those things can happen.  But they ought to happen through the legitimate legislative process, not at the butt of a rifle.  
MODERATOR:  Go ahead.
QUESTION:  Hi.  I want to say thank you for all you’re doing to fight runaway climate change.  Climate change is a critically important issue for my generation and for me personally.  Rumors are rampant in Washington that you will be recommending approval or rejection of the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline.
SECRETARY KERRY:  Well, it’s not a rumor.  That’s the only two choices.  (Laughter.)
QUESTION:  Yeah.  So I want to take this opportunity to urge you to say no to the Keystone XL pipeline and tar sands in general, and to ask how you think a decision to invest in the world’s third largest oil reserve by approving the Keystone XL pipeline would be perceived by other countries considering their own investments either in tar sands or in other major fossil fuel reserves?
MODERATOR:  Can I just mention very quickly we’ve got just time for one more question after this.
SECRETARY KERRY:  Oh man, I’ll try to stay a little longer.  I don’t know what I have.  I can’t?  (Laughter.)  Did you hear him say he’s sorry?  (Laughter.)  Are you sure?
STAFF:  (Off-mike.)
SECRETARY KERRY:  Oh, I have to go back to the – okay.  I’m sorry.  (Laughter.)
Okay, I now have 1.9 million plus, plus one, comments on Keystone.
QUESTION:  I did one.
SECRETARY KERRY:  I appreciate it.  Honestly, look, I respect so much the passions on both sides of that issue.  And lots of – really, we’ve had one – we’ve had some extraordinary – almost 2 million people commenting on the most recent EIS.  It’s 11 volumes long, thousands of pages.  I need to review it, and my job is to stay down the middle, neutral, measure it, obviously against some life experience, but on the facts, and then render an opinion to the President of the United States, which I will do, as to whether or not I find that it is in the national interest.  I have to converse – or not converse – I have to get the input from I think some 11 different agencies, so there’s a massive job of information sifting and accumulation here.  And I – honestly, I’m not commenting in any other way on it to anybody, including my wife and others, all of whom have opinions.  (Laughter.)
MODERATOR:  Okay.  One last question.
QUESTION:  Thank you.  
QUESTION:  Hello, Secretary Kerry.  My name is Yulia.  I am with the University of Georgia, but originally I was born in Lviv in Ukraine.  And so this -- 
SECRETARY KERRY:  When you said Yulia, I said wow, Ukraine.
QUESTION:  I don’t have my braid today.  I’m working on that.  But I was disturbed recently by the rise in Putin’s approval ratings in Russia.  Given his policy in Ukraine, that’s frankly a little bit terrifying.  And the fact that I heard the other day a statistic that only about 11 percent of Russians have regular access to the internet also makes it difficult for us to give them any other kind of message besides what they’re hearing from the likes of Dmitry Kiselev and (inaudible) and the kind of just nasty propaganda that’s being told about us.  So should we be reaching out to those 89 percent, or are we in some way? 
SECRETARY KERRY:  Sure.  Yeah.  No, I mean, absolutely we should be.  And I appreciate the question very, very much.  It’s very, very difficult.  I am told – I was in Kyiv a couple weeks ago, and I heard and saw some of what’s happening propaganda-wise.  But if you’re in the eastern part of Russia, you are being – Russia – you’re in the eastern part of Ukraine, you are being bombarded by Russian television, which is carrying these extraordinary exaggerated sense – you would think that the Nazis had actually come back and taken over Ukraine.  That’s what’s going on.  And that has huge historical linkage to Russia’s past, obviously.  
When you combine that with the fact that there’s some real economic challenges in Russia, and unhappiness often gets challenged into this national sort of pride and it becomes an outlook for an awful lot of frustration and anger that could be directed elsewhere.  So indeed, you’re right; the president’s approval ratings have gone up significantly.  They’re at 70 percent or something.  Everybody’s feeling great about flexing their muscles about this, quote, “achievement” as they put it.  But in the end, I think it’s going to be very costly if they continue to go down that kind of a road.  Because it will wind up – I mean, the vote in the United Nations on a resolution the other day about this was 13 in favor of the resolution; one abstention, China; and one no, Russia.  I call that isolation.  And I think that’s what’s going to begin to happen in various ways, if this were to continue.
So our hope is that we can find a way out.  But today was very confrontational and very triumphalist about something that is a breach of international law.  And I think people are deeply concerned about it.  
QUESTION:  Thank you. 
SECRETARY KERRY:  One more, I’m told.  One more.  I got one more out of him. 
QUESTION:  Lucky me.  First, thank you so much for doing this.  You’re amazing.  (Laughter.)  And do you want to hear the question about gridlock or about American fear and culture in history or future? 
SECRETARY KERRY:  History and future.  (Laughter.)
QUESTION:  Okay.  I’ll go with fear then.  It seems to me – you mentioned the tension, and I’ve thought about that previously.  It seems like in my generation a lot – and so I’m wondering, do you think that there is an attitude of fear that is built up in America through McCarthyism and the Red Scare and on now into the war on terror?  I’m not saying I have a say in this, but are we afraid of something?  What is it?  How does this affect us, and how does this relate to gridlock and the way my generation is going to react to American democracy and politics going forward? 
SECRETARY KERRY:  Well, you’re kind of dragging me out of my role as Secretary of State back into my previous hat -- 
QUESTION:  Yes, sir.  
SECRETARY KERRY:  -- which I try to stay away from. 
QUESTION:  Sorry about that.  (Laughter.)  
SECRETARY KERRY:  But without, hopefully, getting in trouble, I’ll share a couple of thoughts with you.  I don’t think Americans are fearful.  I don’t think Americans fear very much at all.  I think – and I think Americans are concerned and I think they’re concerned about the future because they see gridlock and Americans see a stagnation in the rate of wage increase, and Americans see challenges in terms of life, everyday life – paying for education, getting your kids the opportunities they want, and so forth.  
But we’re a very optimistic people by and large.  I mean, I think America is amazing for that.  It’s part of our spirit.  De Tocqueville noticed that about Americans when he came over here and visited in the 1700s.  It was – he noticed our charitable giving, I guess it was the early 1800s.  And he wrote about it in terms of America, and what really distinguished America was the way in which Americans would do – would get involved in charitable efforts and be involved with their neighbors and give to other people.  We have a huge spirit for doing that in the United States, and it is quite special.  And I think that there is a confidence in America.  
And what Americans are frustrated about, I sense, is a feeling that decisions aren’t being made that are advancing that sense of optimism and the direction that they want it to go.  So there’s a frustration built up on every side politically.  This is not reserved to one side or the other of the political spectrum.  And I think a lot of you – if I took a real poll here, you’d probably say you’re pretty agnostic about which party or where you want to be, how you affiliate, because that process is losing some people to our system, losing some talent and some capacity.  
So – but I don’t think it’s fear.  I really don’t put it in the category of fear.  I think it’s frustration, and I think it’s a little bit of anxiety about where are we going with all of this kind of turmoil in the world and how is it going to affect us, which forces people to look inwards a little bit. 
QUESTION:  How do we fix it? 
SECRETARY KERRY:  Beg your pardon?  
QUESTION:  How do we fix it?  
SECRETARY KERRY:  All of you get involved.  That’s how you fix it.  I’m serious.  Demand accountability.  Get involved in the political system.  If you don’t think somebody else is making good choices, go tell people what the better choices are and show them how you can follow through on them.  And don’t get bought out by the vast sums of money in American politics.  Fight that and give people’s voices back to people.  That’s how you do it. 
QUESTION:  Thank you, sir.  
SECRETARY KERRY:  Thank you all.  (Applause.)  Thank you all very much.  And you’re going to continue with Miriam and keep things rolling.  Thanks a lot.  Thank you.