WE ARE TOLD THAT WE HAVE NO
INTEREST IN FOREIGN AFFAIRS. I DON’T BELIEVE THAT, I NEVER
HAVE BELIEVED THAT. I THINK THAT WE DO HAVE AN
INTEREST IN FOREIGN AFFAIRS WHEN IT’S EXPLAINED TO US. THE PROBLEM IS THAT THE
GOVERNMENT IS NOT EXPLAINING IT TO THE PEOPLE. DURING THE CAMPAIGN OF 2000,
THE CANDIDATES DID NOT EXPLAIN IT TO THE PEOPLE AND THEY ALL
OPERATED ON AN ASSUMPTION THAT WITH THE COLD WAR AT AN
END, WITH PROSPERITY BOOMING, WITH NO LARGE WARS
AFFECTING THE UNITED STATES, THAT THE AMERICAN PEOPLE HAD NO
INTEREST IN WHAT IS HAPPENING BEYOND THEIR BORDERS. BUT, TO ME, THAT IS A
FUNDAMENTAL MISREADING OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE. THE COUNCIL ON FOREIGN RELATIONS
IN CHICAGO DOES A POLL OF AMERICAN INTEREST IN FOREIGN
AFFAIRS EVERY YEAR. AND THAT POLL, WHICH IS DONE IN
A VERY SCIENTIFIC WAY, HAS DEMONSTRATED TO MY
SATISFACTION ANYWAY, THAT THE AMERICAN PEOPLE ARE INTERESTED
IN FOREIGN AFFAIRS BUT, AGAIN, NOBODY IS EXPLAINING IT
TO THEM. NOW I HAVE CITED THE POLITICIANS
AS BAD GUYS IN THIS AND I’VE CITED THE GOVERNMENT AS A
BAD GUY IN THIS BUT WE ALSO HAVE TO ADD THE MEDIA AS A
BAD GUY IN THIS. THE MEDIA, FOR THE MOST PART,
FOLLOWS WHAT IT TAKES TO BE PUBLIC ATTITUDES AND, BECAUSE
FOR THE LAST SEVEN OR EIGHT YEARS, THE GIVEN HAS BEEN NOBODY
CARES ABOUT FOREIGN AFFAIRS. THE NEWS MEDIA HAVE NOT DEVOTED
ANY TIME OR ATTENTION TO FOREIGN AFFAIRS. AND SO THE AMERICAN PEOPLE GET A
GREAT DEAL OF THEIR SENSE OF THE WORLD AND THE NATION FROM
WHAT THEY SEE ON THE NEWS. AND, IF WHAT THEY SEE
ON THE NEWS IS AN ALMOST TOTAL PREOCCUPATION WITH
DOMESTIC AFFAIRS, THEY ASSUME THEREBY THAT FOREIGN AFFAIRS HAS
NO RELATIONSHIP TO THEM. NOT TRUE.