For many years I have been astonished that so many Americans looked upon President Carter with disdain…referred to him as a failure. I believe the failure is within ourselves. What Carter asked of us was tiny personal sacrifices for the greater good. That’s what leaders are supposed to do. If they are truly interested in the greater good. A shared effort to buoy up the boat we are all sailing in.
It’s interesting that JFK could say such things - “Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country.” Kennedy has been applauded for that speech and his brief presidency has been enshrined in a temple of idol worship. Carter was specific and he got pummeled for it. He asked us to wear a sweater! He suggested we economize on driving during a gas shortage. Outrageous!
I disagreed with Carter on some issues. Like nuclear power. But he put solar panels on the White House. The guy knows his science. I don’t embrace his religion. But when that institution strayed from the actual teachings of his prophet, he moved to another church. Jimmy Carter is the most moral and courageous US President in modern history. The fact that he didn’t play Washington politics effectively is more a statement about the nature of our system than a failure on his part.
Today there was a guest essay that really said it the way I needed to hear it. Jimmy Carter is drawing his last breaths as I write this. He should be honored in a fresh way. Read what he means to Jennifer. She says it perfectly for me. (this link bypasses the NY Times paywall)
Opinion: Guest Essay from Jennifer Finney Boylan of the NY Times
Thanks for reading Bill’s Focus! Subscribe for free to receive new posts.
Today's revelation that Carters re-election was sabotaged by Republicans is revealed by the guy who knows who did it. While our President was just about to conclude a deal that would have released the Iran hostages, a Republican operative was undermining that effort. Here's the story (paywall bypassed):
We had never, nor will we ever see another Jimmy Carter. Jennifer Finney’s article was a perfect reminiscence of what those times were like for many of us who were coming of age then – the search for the morality of our nation, hampered by the reality of its baser greed for the superficial. Bon Voyage, Mr. President. Thank you for your service. Thank you from the bottom of my troubled, creaking heart.