Sunday, December 22, 2013

I Love Jimmy Carter Just the Way He Is

Great episode of CrashCourse, as usual, but I disagree with John Green's decision to emphasize historians' views that Carter's was a failed presidency.  I maintain Jimmy Carter was the best president our great nation ever had.

"We kept our country at peace. We never went to war. We never dropped a bomb. We never fired a bullet. But still we achieved our international goals. We brought peace to other people, including Egypt and Israel. We normalised relations with China, which had been non-existent for 30-something years. We brought peace between US and most of the countries in Latin America because of the Panama Canal Treaty. We formed a working relationship with the Soviet Union."  --President Jimmy Carter

Carter's belief in peace and human worth--and his actions based on those beliefs--shaped my political views profoundly.  I was nearly six when Carter was elected president.  I grew up watching him on TV.  He reminded me of Mister Rogers.  Both men were fans of sweaters and progressive Christianity.  I believe that is no coincidence.

"As an ordained Presbyterian minister and a man of tremendous faith, Mister Rogers preached tolerance first.  He never engaged in the culture wars.  All he would ever say was 'God loves you just the way you are.'" --John Green

What kind of United States President gets on national TV and tells the American people to put on a sweater and quit being so greedy with the planet's energy resources?  The kind who actually cares about the earth and not ratings and re-election.

Everyone complains about Carter's handling of the Iran Hostage Crisis, but because of Carter, historians call it the Iran Hostage Crisis and not the Iran War.  It's because of Carter's mountain-like strength that he was able to achieve peace in a crisis and not allow it to escalate into war.

Say what you will about Carter's weakness as president.  I love Jimmy Carter just the way he is.