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Former Defense Secretary Gates Opens N.G.A. Show

Last updated on August 16th, 2012 at 01:16 pm

The National Grocers Association (N.G.A.) 2012 Show kicked off in Las Vegas on Feb. 12 with and opening session attended by more than 1,400 independent grocers, wholesalers and industry partners. The opening event featured an inspirational speech by former U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates.

Secretary Gates shared his thoughts on the state of world affairs and domestic policy issues facing the country. He expressed real concern about the political discourse and polarizing trends that are threatening the nation’s ability to function at the most basic levels of government.

He said to get America’s finances in order, sustain strong institutions of national defense and foreign policy and to reclaim our confidence and credibility on the world stage, more humility is needed by both political parties.

“The inability of so many of our political leaders today to step out of their ideological cocoons, or offend their most partisan supporters, has become a real threat to America’s future,” said Gates. “As a result of these and other polarizing factors, the foundation of our political system is not holding.”

Gates stressed that our country needs more continuity, more bipartisanship and more compromise to deal with its most serious problems. America’s entire system of government has depended on compromise; the Founding Fathers created the Constitution based on compromise, Gates pointed out.

While he holds out hope that the nation can come together, he concluded by saying, “doing so will require America’s political class to show leadership and to make decisions that may be unpopular in the short run but will strengthen the country in the long haul.”


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Featured Photo PLMA Annual Private Label Trade Show
Donald E. Stephens Convention Center
Chicago, Illinois
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