Former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson warned of a "growing crisis in ethics and integrity" among U.S. leaders during a commencement speech Wednesday at the Virginia Military Institute.
Though Tillerson never mentioned President Donald Trump by name, the president seemed to be the subject of Tillerson's warnings, including an acceptance of "alternative realities."
"As I reflect upon the state of our American democracy, I observe a growing crisis in ethics and integrity," Politico quoted Tillerson's address. "If we do not as Americans confront the crisis of ethics and integrity in our society and among our leaders in both public and private sector … then American democracy, as we know it, is entering its twilight years."
Tillerson also warned against the assault on truth and facts.
"If our leaders seek to conceal the truth, or we as people become accepting of alternative realities that are no longer grounded in facts, then we as American citizens are on a pathway to relinquishing our freedom," Tillerson said.
"This is the life of non-Democratic societies, comprised of people who are not free to seek the truth," Tillerson said.
"A responsibility of every American citizen to each other is to preserve and protect our freedom by recognizing what truth is and is not, what a fact is and is not, and begin by holding ourselves accountable to truthfulness," Tillerson told the assembly.
When we as people, free people, go wobbly on the truth, even on what may seem the most trivial of matters, we go wobbly on America," Tillerson said.
Tillerson was removed by Trump as secretary of state in March after a tenuous year as the country's top diplomat.
Mike Pompeo was confirmed as Tillerson's replacement.
© 2021 Newsmax. All rights reserved.