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'Stay Above It': Ex-Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel's Call To Preserve Democracy

The Pentagon building in Washington, DC. (STAFF/AFP via Getty Images)
The Pentagon building in Washington, DC. (STAFF/AFP via Getty Images)

Listen: A conversation with former defense secretary William Cohen.


This week, we spoke with two former secretaries of defense, Chuck Hagel and William Cohen. Chuck Hagel served as defense secretary from 2013 to 2015. He was the Republican Senator from Nebraska from 1997 to 2009. He had this message for the men and women of the United States military:

“You know who you are. You know the difference between right and wrong. You know why you’re there. You have a commitment and a decision to give your life, your career to the defense of this country,” Hagel says. “That’s as noble a thing as any human being can do, that I know of.”

As President Trump continues his efforts to overturn the results of the presidential election, Hagel joins On Point senior editor Dorey Scheimer for an extended conversation on the presidency, military and how to strengthen American democracy.

“You cannot allow yourself to be degraded in any way by partisanship and politics,” Hagel says, in a message to military members. “You’ve got to stay above it all. Because you’re better than that.”

This article was originally published on WBUR.org.

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