The nation’s first female Secretary of State spent time Thursday in Fulton recounting her journey from a newspaper reporter in Rolla to the nation’s highest diplomatic post.

Former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright lectures at Westminster College in Fulton on September 19, 2019 (photo courtesy of Westminster Twitter page)

But the biggest part of Madeleine Albright’s speech was her warning that democracy “appears to be in retreat”, and her criticism of President Donald Trump (R).

Dr. Albright, who served as Secretary of State under President Bill Clinton (D) from 1997-2001, spoke to a capacity crowd of more than 1,500 at historic Westminster College. She tells the audience that President Trump “has become a source of comfort to anti-democratic forces across the globe.”

“The president has picked fights with Europe over trade, climate change, Iran and NATO instead of rallying our democratic allies to push back against Russia and compete together against China,” Albright says.

She says President Trump “touts a world in which each country is only out for itself.”

“It is a world in which the strong strut, the weak submit, and people everywhere may be divided into patriots and subscribers to, and I quote, ‘the ideology of globalism,’ whatever that may be,” says Albright.

Dr. Albright is also warning about Russia, saying Vladimir Putin’s “clear intent” is to divide the transatlantic community and cause NATO to collapse from within.

She served as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations from 1993-1997.

She also recapped her long career journey from a newspaper reporter in Rolla to becoming Secretary of State. Dr. Albright tells the audience she moved to southern Missouri’s Waynesville after college, where her husband was in the Army at Fort Leonard Wood.

Albright worked for the “Rolla Daily News”.

“Where I wrote obituaries and articles for the society page, reported on an occasional sports story, and even interviewed people who had seen a UFO,” Albright says, to audience laughter.

She also notes she sold classified ads in Rolla. She says her favorite read “Cemetery plot, owner must move, will sell at sacrifice.”

Westminster College is where former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill delivered his famous “Iron Curtain” speech in 1946.

Previous Westminster Green Lecture speakers have included Presidents Harry Truman and Gerald Ford and Vice Presidents George H.W. Bush and Hubert Humphrey.

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