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Jimmy Carter: A Very Good Man
This will be very brief and is obviously prompted by the news that former President Carter will be going into hospice care at home to spend his final days at home with his Rosalynn and his family rather than making the numerous trips he has apparently been making to the hospital of late.
When I heard the news, in addition to the obvious sorrow anyone feels for the person and the family when an announcement is made containing the dread words “his final days,” I felt a sense of enormous sadness at what has happened to our — it is necessary that, in these bleak days I repeat that word — our Presidency since President Carter and, obviously his successor in office, President Reagan, served us, each in his own way and with his own ideals, honorably and in good faith and with complete, unquestioned integrity and honesty.
While I do not question in any way whatsoever the basic honesty and integrity of the Presidents Bush, what came between their terms was nothing short of the beginning of the end of the dignity and honor of the office of the President of the United States as Bill and Hillary Clinton soiled the institution in more ways than defiling the very sacred space of the Oval Office itself and the space under the Resolute Desk in ways unthinkable before they disgraced that office, and us.
Later came Barack Hussein Obama and his “First” Lady, about whom I feel too much pain and pure chagrin to mention overbroadly except to note that I consider them to be the most dangerous people to ever occupy a position of power in our Beloved Nation. Little did we know how much worse it would get in 2020.
I need not spend a word on President Trump other than to say I think history will eventually deem him to be one of the most successful Presidents in history.
I only set out this brief little rant in order to look back from our vantage point of early 2023 to note our hope for President Carter as he rests in his home with Rosalynn and his family and that many of us who probably disagreed with him politically on every single point wish him not only well but also hope he will know we consider him a person of goodwill who served his country to the very best of his ability, in the best of good faith.
Jimmy Carter is a good man. How desperately we need his goodness in the corridors of power in our time. May his final days be those of peace and solace and tranquility.
May God have Mercy on him as he leaves this earthly sphere for his final rest.Published in General
Agree. I think Jimmy Carter was an awful president, and a terrible example. Nevertheless, I hope and wish that he might rest in peace when the time comes.
Pat Caddell worked on both the Trump and the Carter campaign. “Make America Great Again” had its roots in Jimmy Carter. Both were Washington outsiders and despised by the political class. One should note – Jimmy Carter is the only modern Democrat you are allowed to criticize. I don’t count Bill Clinton because you’re only allowed to criticize his personal life, not his political. I think that says something.
I’ll have more to say on Carter when the time comes. I said this in another thread, but it’s interesting to note that he is probably the last farmer to ever become President.
Good post, and one with which I largely (perhaps entirely) agree. I wish President Carter and his family the best.
It is late. This hour is probably not the time to say what I would like to say about this expression and the venomous article to which it refers. I may have some words to offer when I can approach this comment with far, far, far more equanimity than I am feeling now. I will only say that this is the reason I wrote what I did, when I did, before the outpouring of bile and hatred and venality and malignity and venom which has come to identify our National “discourse” was sure to start.
Is any of it untrue?
The man is dying. The best I can do for you is to quote a great man in a hearing in 1954, Joseph Welch:
“Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last?”
Do with it what you will, Sir.
Jim, I see what you’re saying but from the moment Carter pardoned all the Vietnam draft dodgers, I have wished him nothing but the worst. He didn’t have to do it so early in his administration but under the pretext of “closing the nation’s book” on the Vietnam war, he did nothing but rip the scabs off wounds that were just beginning to heal.
VTK is correct, as is the article he quotes. Carter was not a good man, was a terrible President and an even worse ex-President. I don’t wish him ill or pain or suffering, but won’t lie about him just because he’s dying. Being called names for stating the truth is a bit rich when Carter is the one who demonstrably lied to the point that he lost the support of many of his long term Carter Center board members and staff. Truth is not an “outpouring of bile and hatred and venality and malignity and venom,” it’s just truth. Read the linked Nordlinger article. It quite accurately–and over 20 years ago–describes a nasty, petty little man who never seemed to find a dictator he didn’t love. The real injustice will be the love-fest funeral Biden will throw in his undeserved honor.
I certainly don’t wish ill on former President Carter. My parents taught me better than that. However, I was born and grew up in Atlanta, Georgia. I remember when he was elected Governor and when he was elected President.
He really wasn’t a “good man.” He was a politician – period. He did all the things that politicians do: lie, back-stab, obfuscate, pose for photo-ops (especially things like teaching Bible class at the Baptist church in Plains and working with Habitat), and on, and on.
He chose the practical path. He ran as a weak segregationist the first time he was elected to the legislature because he felt that was what his district wanted. He pivoted later as his gubernatorial ambitions rose and he knew he couldn’t win a state-wide race under that banner. His nickname while in the Legislature was Machiavelli. His presidential campaign was masterful – primarily I think because the media really didn’t know what to do with him. Almost every claim of accomplishment as Georgia governor that he made was a fairy tale. And the “journalists” didn’t fact-check him – maybe because he was a Democrat or maybe they believed the cornpone Baptist hokum.
And after he was defeated for re-election, of course, his ego couldn’t be satisfied with a mere Presidential Library in his home town. He had to build the library in Atlanta along with The Carter Center which “wages peace, fights disease, & builds hope worldwide.” Over the years after his presidency, when no longer in government, he used the Carter Center as a base to try and insert himself into international relations.
No, not really that good a man.
I’ve long grown tired of having to pretend to believe the lies the media insists we must believe about politicians. Jimmy Carter was not a thoroughly decent man as he cast himself as a champion for Arafat (a brutal terrorist who gleefully murdered Jewish schoolchildren) and a parade of thuggish dictators as listed in the cited article. I no more believe in the myth of Jimmy Carter’s decency than I believe in the myth of Barack Obama’s “world-class intellect” (unless world class is meant as a synonym for mediocre) or the myth of Bill Clinton as a master policy wonk.
I have no particular ill-will toward Mr Carter but I resent being told I must believe in lies.
It’s our good custom not to speak ill of the dying or the recently dead.
But mightn’t you be going overboard in the application of that custom by calling Jimmy Carter a very good man? Let’s debate whether he was a very good man, or a very evil one, only after a decent interval has passed.
Damn… you guys are convincing me I have to write my R.I.P. Carter piece before he dies. I’m a little “president’d out” right now after writing more about Millard Fillmore than anyone in their right mind has in 100 years. Maybe later this week.
Mark, that’s a pretty good idea.
2076 works for me…
I was trying to convince you that you don’t.
Take your time. After reading the Fillmore piece I’m looking forward to it.
The Carter Center has done a tremendous amount of good on mental health. Jimmy Carter has used his post Presidency to get a lot of good accomplished. I live in Atlanta area so I have seen it. I have lived it. I have worked it.
Like many presidents, Carter can be narcissistic. He is, like all people, a mixed bag. But he is better as a human being than Bill Clinton. He has been a faithful husband. On balance, after leaving office, I think he has done mostly good.
Mark, mea culpa.
Not in the sense of these cringeworthy groveling apologies we see in these woke days, but to acknowledge that I should not have gone, as you put it, “overboard”, and probably should re-work the title to indicate that compared to some of the Presidents who followed him, he was, at heart, a good man- @vthek, @eb, @cacrabtree, reminded me of the reasons that I, too, was deeply offended by many of the actions he took while he was President. @bryangstephens summed up my thinking far better than I was able to : “Jimmy Carter has used his post Presidency to get a lot of good accomplished.” Thanks again for your good, solid comment; it was much appreciated.
Bryan, not to be flip about a serious topic, but our little puppy Winston is better as a human being than Bill Clinton and putting our great little guy in the same group of words as that [ ] of [ ] is an insult to Winston.
Bill Clinton was a pig to his wife and disgustingly sullied the Office of the Presidency (literally and figuratively). His despicable acts were done to feed his lusts of body and ego and line his pocket. His wife’s lust for raw power was, fortunately, stopped by the voters who in not nearly large enough numbers saw her for what she is. He flirted with Arafat, famously sending Madeleine Albright running–heels clattering in the echoing hallway–to try to bring him back to the table to negotiate Israel’s demise. But even Clinton saw him for the recalcitrant terrorist he always and would remain. Not so Jimmy Carter, who would continue to cozy up to Arafat, Ortega, the Ceausescus (who laughed at his naivete), Mugabe, Castro, Chavez, Kim Il Sung. Let’s not forget the debacle in Iran, over 40 years ago, that continues to destabilize the Middle East. His foreign policy failures of judgement are legion. No numbers of photo-ops of him pounding nails for a few homes for poor people will ever make up for the deaths and destabilization across the world from his bad decisions as President and terrible meddling as ex-President.
Why this ridiculous idea that a dying man deserves praise he never deserved while alive? Perhaps what he needs more, if you believe in an immortal soul, is a reminder of the deeds for which he needs repentance.
Today is President’s Day and I agree Jim, that this is sad news about Carter. It is amazing that our presidents live so long in spite of the pressures while in office and the health challenges. In Carter’s defense, there was a lot going on behind the scenes I think, that many Americans did not know about. When I read the book about the Polish spy Kuklinski who became our ally and helped to stop WWIII when Russia was planning a massive invasion during Carter’s rein, I read the steps Carter took to stop Russia when the information came to him.
Russia was planning to roll over Poland and move across the West. Kuklinski provided years of documents showing the planning. You have to wonder if history isn’t repeating itself. Carter was a pacifist. Thanks for your story.
Thank you; please refer to #17.
Thank you for reading it and for your thoughtful comment.
I genuinely don’t understand this. The guy is ninety-eight years old, surrounded by friends and family, and going out on his own terms. I assume that neither of you, nor any of the other Ricos who have expressed sadness about the former President, actually know him personally. What specifically about this situation is “sad”??
At least he kept his “lust” in his heart. With Clinton it was right down at his belt line.
Thank you for being our man in Atlanta, and checking in with us.
Spare me the Joseph Welch worship.
I’m going to be very circumspect about my response as I’m running out of apologies here but I will simply quote your words back to you: “I genuinely don’t understand this.” Has some new rule been handed down from on high, or a new amendment to the Code of Conduct of which I was not aware, barring expressions of sadness unless they relate family members or personal friends? “I genuinely don’t understand this.”
Perhaps you can help me out here as, based on your observation, I may have been feeling sad about a lot of things unnecessarily lately, e.g., the truly
sadsituation in Washington and the entire Biden administration; the sadprospect of the coming war with China; the deep sadnessI feel every time I hear about a new Billion dollar shipment to Ukraine or the sadnews I read every other day about sending all of our own weapons to Ukraine and the sadnews that we are inching every day closer to nuclear war with Russia (and I don’t even know Vlad like Hussein Obama did!); the sadfact that at times it feels like every single person in any position of responsibility in our Federal Government lies about everything, all the time; the sadnews and getting sadder by the day of the criminal neglect of the needs of the people of East Palestine, Ohio and the sadnessI feel when I read accounts by some analysts that we should not feel sadabout those people as they –now this is really sad!– went out and hired lawyers since no one else would help them; etc. , etc., etc. Maybe you can see that I’m struggling- sadly– with this and would appreciate your guidance with these issues. SadlySincerely, Jim
OK. Of all the things I have now learned I got wrong in expressing these views in the post this may be the most unexpected as (1) I was not aware that I reflected “worship” of Mr. Welch in that statement, unless using the word “great” turns a statement about a person into “worship” and (2) and on this one I need your help, I was not aware there were folks who could get so exercised about Mr. Welch as your comment indicates you did. Could you please do me the favor of letting me know if there are unsavory or questionable things I should know about Mr. Welch before I go and “worship” him again? Many thanks.
Speaking only for myself, a 98 year old man entering hospice care is not earth shattering news. I’m at the age where I have way more days behind me than I have ahead of me, so I have personal empathy for anybody at that point.
But I opposed most of his major political positions.
Other than the general sorrow for the death sentence we all face and the sadness of the family left behind, I do not have any more emotion for his impending death than I would have for anybody else who is in that position.