by Patrick Goodenough, CNSnews:
Outgoing Secretary of State John Kerry said Thursday he was optimistic about the future, telling State Department employees that the women’s, peace and environmental movements half a century ago had achieved change because people “went out and fought for it.”
“And I am absolutely confident now that people are prepared to fight for the future in the same way, with the same energy, with the same vision and the same commitment,” he said.
Kerry told employees gathered at the department that his generation “came along in the 1960s and we decided to rock the boat, and we did.”
Recalling the 1972 Equal Rights Amendment, the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency, and the ending of the Vietnam War, Kerry said all of that happened “because people like you and others held on to the hope, believed in the possibilities of change, and went out and fought for it.”
Kerry said he was “actually very optimistic about the future.”
“I know some of you accuse me of having blind optimism. No, it’s not blind. But I am optimistic and I’m optimistic because this country has shown again and again how strong we are internally, how powerful we are, how incredibly resilient we are, and how we have the ability to redefine our story, to write the next chapter, to go on into a stronger and better place.”
Kerry did not refer directly to the incoming administration and the possibility it may adjust or reverse high-priority Obama administration accomplishments such as the Iran nuclear deal and Paris climate accord – initiatives which he played a key role in advancing.
But he defend those policies and achievements, among others, declaring it to be “a fact” that the Iran nuclear agreement has made the world and the region “safer than they were before.”
On the Paris climate deal, he said, “it is a fact that people in this world have hope today and believe there is a possibility of literally saving the planet because of what we were able to achieve … an agreement that put 186 nations on record saying we need to deal with climate change and deal with it now.”
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