Excerpts from the interview:
CHARLAYNE HUNTER-GAULT: And how did you set your priorities, and what kinds of things did you do that you weren't doing before?
FRANKLIN THOMAS: I think at the core of the strategic change was a recognition that women were the majority of the world's population, they were the majority of the world's poor, and they were the least powerful in terms of decision-making, whether it was within families, communities, governments, or enterprise, and it was our belief that if you could focus your attention on gender inequities, wherever they occurred, and try and help people remove those inequities so that opportunities for women would be equal to those opportunities for men, you would dramatically increase the capacity of the world to address its problems.
. . .
HUNTER-GAULT: Finally, you've had a unique vantage point from which to look at this country and the world. As you look at the state of the world today, how do you feel about it? Are you optimistic, are you pessimistic? How do you feel about the world?
THOMAS: Well, I'm--maybe by nature--an optimist, so I remain optimistic about the world. I think that we have evolved to a point where we have defined what's worthy of communication as equal to controversy. And if there isn't controversy, we tend to think it isn't worthy of communication, so it's much more difficult to communicate those things that are working and working well than it is to be aware of our shortcomings as a people, as a nation, as a world. At the core of everything I know about life are the very basic simple messages we all learned as kids, and that includes do unto others as you would have done unto you. It is one of the simplest, most fundamental truths about life. It's what anchors the human rights movement in the world. It's what anchors a belief in democratic systems. It's what anchors an opportunity- driven society. What we're struggling with is how best to do that with entrenched interest, feeling threatened, and those on the rise feeling that they aren't being able to rise as fast as their talents would allow. We're struggling with the very process of democracy and opportunity. And I'd say to you that's a struggle that's going to go on forever. What we need are additional perspectives from which to understand that struggle so that we aren't led to despair by the headlines.
This clear, forthright talk is the kind of thing I want to see in people who hold high office in this nation. We could get Mr. Thomas in there with Walter Cronkite. They would make a great team. Exceptional leadership qualities: Integrity, honesty, courage. They would do it if we ask.
It is the Electors to the President who have the responsibility for choosing the President and Vice President, but if there is not a majority of Electors who can agree on one nominee, then the choice goes to the Congress.
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