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There are many negatives that people these days put on the legacy of President Jimmy Carter. But even if you think he was a bad president/leader, and for some, maybe think he is meddlesome in current international affairs... I don't know anybody who doubts that he is a good human being.

Jimmy Carter was never poor- he wasn't a peanut farmer- his parents owned peanut land. Carter was a U.S. Navy submarine nuclear officer with a degree in physics- so he wasn't a dumb hillbilly, either.

For those who care greatly about their faith, Carter has been more than inspirational. In his elderly years, he still helps to build homes for others through Habitat for Humanity, and not just as a photo stunt. Those on the right might not like him going to other countries "on his own," but dammit, he was a US President, and just trying to do what he thinks might do some good.

I consider myself very light in faith- but I am a man with some faith. I believe in science, but I also believe in the good parts of common faith's teachings. And Jimmy Carter has shown these through his life's works more than anybody I've experienced in my life, aside from one of my grandmothers.

Faith isn't something a person uses to prop themselves up after their world has fallen- A person's faith prevents their world from falling, no matter how deep it goes. I don't mean that bad things don't happen to people of faith- I only mean that, for some people of great faith that I've seen, even the worst shit luck bad stuff won't deter them- they persevere no matter what. People of no faith do this, as well, but I think those with it are able to rally their emotions and strength more solidly. No elixers- just a belief that something positive will prevail.

Still, regardless of his politics and whatever yours might be, I think that when it comes to living your faith, Jimmy Carter was about the most truthful politician of the last 100 years


Do you believe that God and Science can coexist, if people don't take 2-5,000 year old writings literally?.

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Comment Preferences

  •  GOP mocks Carter and glorifies Reagan (6+ / 0-)

    Its lies from liars who lie.

    •  Reagan- not evil (4+ / 0-)

      Reagan wasn't an "evil" man- he was an ideologue who did what he thought was in the interests of what he supported. I believe he was wrong in most of his efforts and beliefs, but not evil.

      Carter, on the other hand- I don't think you could find a modern-day Republican who would speak as kindly of Carter, as I just did of Reagan.

      Regardless of political ideologies- Carter's personal actions are what I'm talking about. Particularly those since he left office- where he has no future political gains to strive for- but he still pushes for peace.

      •  I don't think Reagan was "evil" (0+ / 0-)

        Not in the psychological sense. And i'm not a religious person, so i don't equate him with the whole pitchfork thing. I agree with you that he was an idealogue who also happened to not see things my way.

        But when we talk about "evil" what do we really mean? Isn't it all about the general faults that we stupid humans can succumb to? In that sense, i would say that he—and his supporters, and all of the "movement"—represents a kind of evil, if you will, that we, as citizens—and as a species—should strive to avoid. Or overcome, or resist, or whatever.

        But yeah, i don't think Reagan was "evil". Tragically misguided, perhaps. Like a lot of other people, and let's try to keep them away from the reigns of power. We need more Jimmy Carters.

        All things in the sky are pure to those who have no telescopes. – Charles Fort

        by subtropolis on Thu Aug 23, 2012 at 12:24:28 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  he was evil (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          possessed of a "breezy indifference to suffering" to paraphrase Alex Cockburn, and the truth, to him, was "whatever he was saying at the moment".

          After Jimmy Carter's timid efforts to make America adjust to late-twentieth-century realities, Reagan installed fantasy as the motor of national consciousness, and it's still pumping disastrously along. -- Alex Cockburn
          That sums him up nicely.
          •  Agreed. Not the smirking, hand-rubbing evil of (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            redstella, judyms9

            Rove, Cheney, etc., but evil nonetheless. As a delegate in the Illinois House put it, "Reagan legitimized selfishness. He made it OK to say, 'I don't give a damn. I'm not my brother's keeper.'"

            Reagan, despite assurances from the Right that he was possessed of a keen, insightful mind (remember the discovery of a cache of the young "Dutch's" writings? Crisp, cogent, insightful commentary! Take THAT, you liberal naysayers!) was as genuine as a bowl of wax fruit, and almost as smart. Like "The Manchurian Candidate," he said and did whatever his handlers told him to. "Tell them gummint is evil! Tell them about the welfare queens in Cadillacs! Tell them the LIBERALS are behind it all!" I found his grandfatherly image and silky voice absolutely unbearable and I suppose we're lucky his puppeteers weren't more ambitiously evil.

            •  The people in central america (2+ / 0-)

              weren't so lucky - his stupid policies cost many thousands of people their lives and has left those societies in tatters. His foreign policy caused havoc (Rachel Maddow's new book has a good bad-policy review of Reagan's foreign rompings) and his domestic policies have wrecked  many decades of work for the unprivileged - the poor, the mentally ill, the elderly.

              That is a pretty bad legacy. Somehow, he has been known for his sunny disposition - his morning in america. Too bad for us - it was curtains for our civil society and social fabric.

              Everybody knows it already

              by redstella on Thu Aug 23, 2012 at 05:07:38 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  And yet Carter's record is excellent (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Musial, imobannon

      The freepers like to repeat their talking points but if they put in just the slightest effort into honestly evaluating Carter's record (no, FOX doesn't count) i think they'd change their tune.

      Except for the whole lock-step thing. Mustn't go against the party line. No! No!

      All things in the sky are pure to those who have no telescopes. – Charles Fort

      by subtropolis on Thu Aug 23, 2012 at 12:33:56 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  A lot of people turned on Carter (5+ / 0-)

    for his stance on Israel and his support of  Palestinian rights.

    Carter unlike other Presidents, heavily criticizes Israel for its human rights violations.

    He does this in his writings, but also on television:

    That is why many liberals (or supposed liberals), such as Alan Dershowitz have turned against him.

    •  Good for Carter (6+ / 0-)

      People of non-Jewish faith were in Israel and Palestine before 1948. And yes, also for a comparable 5,000 years. So- for a Christian man to think that the people who also lived there have a right to continue living there... I love the guy.

      Was that supposed to be shocking? If some people came into your community and said, "God gave us this land 5,000 years ago, so get out," what would you do? You'd fight. You'd fight with rocks and bottles and yes, if you were desperate, sometimes kamikazi attacks.

      Why do I say that? Because if that situation were to happen to me... if people tried to take my land based on 5,000 year old beliefs... well, I have a few weapons.

      Israel needs to live up to the peace accords it has signed- and stop helping its citizens squat on territory that it does not own.

      •  careful, or your diary will degenarate fast (4+ / 0-)

        The I/P flamefests can get pretty flamey.

        For the record: Like Carter, i have no problem with the nation of Israel. It just would be nice if the two principal parties could listen to each other more without the interference of outside parties.

        All things in the sky are pure to those who have no telescopes. – Charles Fort

        by subtropolis on Thu Aug 23, 2012 at 12:07:53 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I support the people of Israel (0+ / 0-)

          and their right to a nation that can be run as they see fit- to some limits. That does not include encroaching on other nations. My girlfriend is Jewish, as are several friends and a couple of relatives. I am not anti-Semitic, nor more pro-any religion over any other faith. I am simply anti-Theocratic.

          •  I will trust that you are not an antisemite (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Dr Swig Mcjigger

            But having friends in a group that is subject to prejudice does not automatically mean that you are not prejudiced against the group.

            Also, where does theocratic fit into the conversation for you?

            Finally, and to paraphrase a common phrasing style in Judaism:

            If one believes that all criticism of Israel is antisemitic, he is a fool.
            If one believes that none of the criticism of Israel is antisemitic, he is an idiot.

            (maybe I'll make that my sig...)

            •  Skepticism is good- (0+ / 0-)

              Anybody who says "I am not a..." should be scrutinized. I will rephrase what I said to: "I am not intentionally anti-semitic, although there may be times when I unintentionally do or say things that are impolitic."

              The point about "Anti-theocratic" was actually meant to be "anti-theocracy." I'm against countries being overtly and, essentially officially, in favor of one religion over another. I dislike it when I see it in our nation, and when I see it in nations that our country has fought for.

    •  The problem with Carter (and others) (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dr Swig Mcjigger

      is that whenever a major public figure engages in certain rhetoric related to Israel it takes away from the conversation instead of adding to it.

      First, there is no Palestine yet. The moment many Jews - and we're not just talking about the right wingers here - both in and out of Israel hear the West Bank referred to as Palestine they immediately shut out the rest of what is being said. It may be irrational, but that's the reaction. You want to get Jews - especially those with an influence over Israel's behavior - to listen to you, don't give the Palestinians a state until either (a) they declare their independence (which I wish they would do already) or (b) the UN declares it to be so.

      Second, and similar, the use of Apartheid in the title garners an even stronger reaction from Jews in and out of Israel. It feels like another version  of UN resolution 3379, the one equating Zionism with racism. Who is going to react rationally or positively when an outside body singles out the idea on which your country was founded as being inherently racist?

      Did Carter really expect a different reaction to the cover than the one he got? Did he think it would be more or less likely for people who disagree with him on Israel, the exact people who he theoretically wants to influence, to read the book after seeing the cover?

      Jimmy Carter is a smart man. Jimmy Carter is a good man, who has done laudable things for his fellow human beings all over the world. For better or for worse, though, Carter's contribution to the debates about what Israel should do have done nothing to advance the cause he seems to be aiming for - peace between brothers.

  •  Check out the Carter Center in Atlanta (6+ / 0-)

    ... an institution that does a great deal of good.  My daughter did an internship there, and it was a class organization from beginning to end.  Amazing man and leader.

  •  I just commented elsewhere about Carter (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    He was steamrollered by a shameless GOP (yeah, redundant), setting us back decades. I would have liked to see more from Clinton but i recognise that 12 years of Republican rule left a lot to deal with. Gore could have picked up Carter's torch but …

    And now the first term of our next best opportunity has been taken up dealing with even more of the Republicans' mess. Even more infuriating, they're trying to hang the results of their clusterfuck around his neck and it's working!

    We're fucked if they get back in so soon.

    All things in the sky are pure to those who have no telescopes. – Charles Fort

    by subtropolis on Thu Aug 23, 2012 at 12:15:06 AM PDT

  •  Carter was a visionary and ahead of his time. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    redstella, Illinibeatle, RoIn, Via Chicago

    If we had stuck to his policies, the U.S. would be energy independent and the #1 renewable energy powerhouse in the world.

    And the world would be a far better place.

    "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" - Mohammed Nabbous, R.I.P.

    by Lawrence on Thu Aug 23, 2012 at 03:31:39 AM PDT

  •  Carter: When a truly moral man is president... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    America chokes and vomits.

    I'm the plowman in the valley - with my face full of mud

    by labradog on Thu Aug 23, 2012 at 03:54:36 AM PDT

  •  Carter was top notch and I see that someone (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Via Chicago

    else has mentioned the Carter Center, which is one
    of his main post-presidency contributions.  Too bad we don't hear more about that.

  •  Arguably, along with Truman the greatest President (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    imobannon, judyms9

    since WW2.

    He appointed Paul Volcker and gave him free reign to extinguish inflation from the economy.  His administration bore the blunt of the policy and the benefits went to St. Ronald Reagan.  

    Essentially, short-term interest rates were deregulated in October 1979. Banks were able to offer interest bearing checking accounts for the first time since the Great Depression.  These market forces helped bring inflation in check.

    While the Saint Ronald and the two Bushes quacked about free markets, Jimmy Carter allowed free markets to flourish.

    President Carter allowed large banks to fail. The Saint was terrified at the prospect and had no problems using taxpayer money to save ill run banks.

    President Carter also in great secrecy and at enormous political cost nurtured and bought into production stealth technology.

    He canceled the B1-B bomber to funnel those billions into stealth technology. He could not divulge the reason for the cancellation at that time. The right wing media accused him of bowing to Moscow. And he leaked zilch.

    Plus he made the decision (derided and mocked by the conservative media) to retrofit B52 bombers with cruise missiles.  That platform still serves the US Air Force to this day.

    The stunning difference between President Carter and the Saint can be seen in their reactions to Iran. One sent a Delta Force to rescue hostages. The other sent a plane load of arms, a bible, and cake shaped like a key to beg for the release of hostages.  

    His policy of short-term sacrifice for long-term gain is the antithesis of the modern day GOP. And the country and the world have paid an enormous price for this myopia.  

    •  Hear! Hear! (I thought St. was for stupid) +1 n/t (0+ / 0-)

      I screwed up with a careless uprate so I'm a "No Rate" pariah. When I give a comment "+1 n/t", please consider that a recommend. (That's my workaround to participate here). DK haiku, one complete thought in a title field. Roar louder!

      by Josiah Bartlett on Thu Aug 23, 2012 at 07:00:46 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  And Carter used none of the weaponry he (0+ / 0-)

      knew would become necessary.  His resistance to warlike actions makes him weak in the minds of the rightwing bloodshed vampires.  History will be kinder to Carter than to any that have followed.

      Romney went to France instead of serving in our military, got rich chop-shopping US businesses and eliminating US jobs, off-shored his money in the Cayman Islands, and now tells us to "Believe in America."

      by judyms9 on Thu Aug 23, 2012 at 09:40:31 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Carter vs Reagan (0+ / 0-)

    Let's take a look.  Reagan's policies were composed of economic deregulation, and he exploited Southern backlash and Northern ethic pride to get disaffected Democratic voters.  He appealed to small town nostalgia and brought evangelicals  and their moralizing onto the national stage.  His appeal was that he was a Washington outsider.  He had a pronounced antipathy to working people and organized labor.  He introduced supply side economics.

    Am I talking about Ronald Reagan?  Nope, Jimmy Carter, the real Jimmy Carter.  The Age of FDR ended with Ford.

    Carter was the first Neoliberal president.  We should should give credit where credit is due.  We are living in the Age of Carter not the Age of Reagan.  Carter, Clinton, and Obama are Democrats whose policies, beliefs, and ideology are aligned not with FDR, Truman, or Johnson, but instead are closest to Grover Cleveland.

  •  Carter was a god awful president (0+ / 0-)

    Very good, decent, hard working man. He held a lot of good concerns for things like civil rights, human rights and the environment, but his presidency was an unmitigated disaster. He was incredibly naive, relying on his Georgia inner circle and intentionally alienating people who would have been natural allies, like Tip O'Neil and Ted Kennedy. I just find it odd that people who bash Bill Clinton for "giving us a GOP Congress" let Carter skate on giving us Reagan for 8 years. Reagan did more damage to our economy, environment and race relations than Newt Gingrigh and Bob Dole could dream of.

    •  Ineffective is the word. (0+ / 0-)

      I think he was/is a beautiful human, but when it comes to leadership... how many scientists do you see in the political ranks? Not many. I come from a family of scientists who seem to mostly flourish as independent entities- not necessarily introverts, but they seem their best when working with controllable variables... and other humans are horribly inconsistent variables.

  •  Love Jimmy (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Spent some time with him on his trips to Chicago post-presidency. I can tell you his Habitat work is not a photo shoot, he puts in a full day.

    Here's a song about him not too many people know about:


    In the bicentennial summer of our faded glory land a bright new face appeared upon the scene. Of an honest peanut farmer by the name of Jimmy Carter. His eyes were set on every school boys dream.

    Chorus: Well the odds were stacked against him but he was not afraid to fight, the mighty facist empire lined up on the right. So shake the hand of the man, with a handful of love, the one and only Jimmy Carter.

    There was joy throughout the nation, at that great inauguration, the GOP stood shakin in their shoes. Serenaded by Willie, and toasted by Billy, this president with honest peanut roots.

    Chorus: Well he said I'd never lie to you, and what's more he never did. Though the times grew mighty tough, he never flipped his lid. So shake the hand of the man, with a hand full of love. The one and only Jimmy Carter

  •  President Carter and peanut farming (0+ / 0-)

    From Wikipedia:

    Farming and personal belief

    Though Carter's father, Earl, died a relatively wealthy man, between Earl's forgiveness of debts owed to him and the division of his wealth among his heirs, Jimmy Carter inherited comparatively little. For a year, due to a limited real estate market, the Carters lived in public housing (Carter is the only U.S. president to have lived in housing subsidized for the poor).[20]

    Knowledgeable in scientific and technological subjects and raised on a farm, Carter took over the family peanut farm. Carter took to the county library to read up on agriculture while Rosalynn learned accounting to manage the businesses financials.[20] Though they barely broke even the first year, Carter managed to expand in Plains. His farming business was successful, and during the 1970 gubernatorial campaign, he was considered a wealthy peanut farmer.[21]

    From a young age, Carter showed a deep commitment to Christianity, serving as a Sunday School teacher throughout his life. Even as President, Carter prayed several times a day, and professed that Jesus Christ was the driving force in his life. Carter had been greatly influenced by a sermon he had heard as a young man, called, "If you were arrested for being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict you?"[22]


    Here's another peanut farming quote:

    Naval Career and Peanut Farming Business

    Also in 1946, he married Rosalyn Smith and began his naval career. In 1953 he was forced to return home due to his father’s death, and at that point he took over the family’s peanut farm business. He subsequently expanded it to a booming operation.

    Maybe the diarist needs to retract this statement:

    Jimmy Carter was never poor- he wasn't a peanut farmer- his parents owned peanut land. Carter was a U.S. Navy submarine nuclear officer with a degree in physics- so he wasn't a dumb hillbilly, either.
    If one looks, there seems to be a lot of evidence to the contrary.  Jimmy Carter was indeed, a peanut farmer, and a very good one.

    Republicans are like alligators. All mouth and no ears.

    by Ohiodem1 on Thu Aug 23, 2012 at 07:57:17 AM PDT

    •  Retraction... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I was, apparently, wrong. My broader point was to discount the common talking points/blather that he was a hillbilly southerner who only knew peanuts.

      It appears from your sources that he and his wife worked or at least managed the land for more than a decade. My stresses were trying, however, to focus on his academics and experience as a nuclear physicist. Not many people seem to recall that.

  •  Carter (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dr Swig Mcjigger, imobannon

    He's an illustration, positive and negative, of what happens when we get what we want in a leader: someone whose integrity is unimpeachable, he was fairly non-partisan (he's obviously had some second thoughts about that in retirement), and he was a person of faith who was nonetheless very tolerant and able to avoid the wackjob-faith based route.  And he told people what he really thought (remember the malaise speech?  I don't think the Obama or Clinton teams would have let that one go on-air.).

    And the Republicans walked all over him, and he let them get away with it because he thought he would paralyze the government with partisan bickering if he did and because he thought he was the president of the entire country.  He clearly gets it now but it's too late.

    Oh, yes.  He was up against a talented politician (Reagan) whose campaign team was prepared to intervene in foreign policy against American interests (keep the hostages until Carter leaves office and we won't blow you up afterwards).  And he infuriated his own base (thus, the Kennedy challenge).

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