Gates: I Ended Up Giving History Lessons in the Situation Room
Robert Gates is among the most trusted men in America today. The liberal-friendly blogosphere loves citing him as an authoritative critic of the GOP primary candidates and would leap at the slightest hint he was criticizing President George W. Bush. While visiting William & Mary last week, however, he sat for an interview that got very little play. In it, he criticizes the media and Washington for not knowing enough history.
The full video is below, beginning around 11:40. Gates is asked for his views on the debate between soft and hard majors in universities. He replies: "Our civilization is not a civilization because of our technology. It is because of languages and the arts, knowledge of our history -- and, frankly, I think there are way too many in Washington, in the media, and elsewhere, who don't know anything about history, and it's a danger."
He elaborates: "Part of the reason I knew it was time to leave was that I ended up having to give a history lesson, it seemed like, every time we were in the Situation Room. You know, 'This happened this way, and if you did it this way, and so on and so forth.' I just think that you have to have both the hard sciences and the soft sciences, and frankly the cutbacks on the soft sciences, I think, will have an impact on the quality of life for people."
Are we surprised the media hasn't highlighted their favorite statesman's critique of the chattering classes?