What is your counsel?

America can't solve the world's problems, Hamilton says, but we want to help.
  • Transcript


Question: What should America be doing?

Transcript:I think the United States wants to use its power in a way that will understand the cry for dignity in the world today; the cry for progress, for a better life. And the United States ought to try to say to the world, “We’re on your side. We can’t solve all of your problems. We would like to help.” Let me give you a very specific example. We think the madras schools in Pakistan are very bad. They teach hostility of Americans. They don’t teach the basics of education. So we have a program in effect now to help develop alternative educational systems in Pakistan. It’s a small program. It’s not gonna solve all the problems in Pakistan for sure; but the signal is right. “We’re on your side. We want to try to help you.” You see I think people around the world basically want the same things. They want a decent life for themselves. They want to be able to have healthcare and education. They want to be able to marry the person of their choice, and they want to have a decent retirement. All the things that we talk about all the time in America, I think it’s wanted by everybody in the world. So America has to be on the side of decency and on willingness to help; but it also has to recognize that we can’t do it all; that we can only say, “We can be on your side.” I’ll tell you an analogy. Every American politician is approached regularly by somebody who asks him or her to do something that is utterly impossible to do. I don’t know any successful American politician who says to that person, “I can’t help you.” What do you say? You say, “I understand your problem. I’d like to try to be helpful. I’m on your side.” It may be simplistic, but I don’t think it is. That’s what America has to do in the world. “We can’t solve all your problems, but we want for you the same thing we want for ourselves – a decent life – and we want to help.”