Question: What is your counsel?
Robert Hormats: Collectively we have to find a way of going to the American people and explaining to them the tough issues this country faces over the next decade or two. So you enter into a robust dialogue within our society on the kinds of issues that have to be addressed to make a better society 10 years, 15 years, 20 years down the road.
Collectively we also ought to be finding ways to support, encourage innovation; support and encourage change, while also finding ways of making sure that there are not a large number of people who feel left behind by that change; who feel threatened by that change; who feel that they can’t participate in the benefits of that change. That, to me, is important.
And the third is you need to have an integrity in the political process and integrity in the social process that enables people to see that their leaders are honest people; are people who are willing to go out of their way to be candid enough so that if they are wrong, they can change course; that they’re not so bullheaded that if they get new ideas, they are not willing to change their old ideas. They’re not so ideological that they push aside new thoughts and innovative notions and reject ideas that don’t conform to their ideology or their doctrine. I think that is an extremely important thing. If you’re _____________ or you’re ideological, you miss a whole lot of opportunity for change.
And things are moving so rapidly that if you are so wedded to one ideology or one set of doctrines that you’re not flexible enough to change when you’re confronted with new thoughts, new ideas, new ways of doing things, society becomes a very rigid society.
Recorded On: July 25, 2007