Question: Where is America today?
Tommy Thompson: The dynamism is right now! I mean we are living in the most expensive, exciting times of our life! I mean the mapping of the genome in 1998 set science completely apart from what it’s been for the last 200 years in America! There have been more medicines, more therapies, more results in the last five years since the mapping of the genome than ever before! There have been more new discoveries in the last five years than there has ever been in the last 50 years! Look at the computer! Look at IPod! And this is the exciting times. Can you imagine that 50 years ago, we were all still using land lines. I mean landline telephones are going the way of the dinosaur. We’ve don’t . . . we got Palm Pilots. We’ve got mobile phones, and they are changing dramatically. And we are dramatically changing the face of this world, you know, with science breakthroughs and with new types of technology. Up until the mapping of the genome, there were only 500 points in your body that scientists were looking at for cures, and for medicines, and for therapies. Since the mapping of the genome, that has gone from 500 points in your body to 14,000. And can you imagine what’s gonna take place in the next five to 10 years of coming up with remedies and solutions and so on? So I don’t agree with, you know, “The great times were in the past.” The great times are now! I don’t know anybody that wants to go back and give up their cell phones, their computers, their Palm Pilots, their IPods . . . you know, their GIS geographically finding on their cars. You know we can . . . we’re . . . we are discoverers in America . . . in the world. And so I think the time is right now. And this calling out for great leaders . . . this calling out for the Tom Jeffersons in us to come to the forefront and lead this country with new ideas and new opportunities and new visions. And I am just excited about what’s gonna take place tomorrow rather than what’s happened yesterday.
Recorded on: 7/6/07