Early this month, I had lunch in Plains with a family from Panama City, and a high school girl asked me why she should be a Democrat. I asked her a series of questions that all bloggers should use in discussions: Do you prefer peace or war? Do favor tax breaks for the richest Americans or working families? Would you rather destroy the environment or protect it? Do you approve the torture of prisoners? Do you think our government should secretly spy on your family? Do you think we should abandon every nuclear arms control agreement negotiated since Dwight Eisenhower was president? Do you approve of your part of the national debt now being $28,000 and increasing by $300 each month? Do you think we should meld religion and government? She gave me the Democratic answer to all the questions, and I believe that most Americans will agree, no matter if their state is red or blue.
A question, after picking myself off the floor (26+ / 0-)
You and James Baker co-chair the Commission on Federal Election Reform. What's been happening with this? And can you explain how the presence of James Baker on this project is a good thing?
Thank you for your principled leadership, Mr. President.
Let the great world spin for ever down the ringing grooves of change. - Tennyson
by bumblebums on Thu Mar 23, 2006 at 08:51:59 AM PDT
Mr. President, how can we secure the vote? (9+ / 0-)
Dear Mr. President,
I am aware of the role the Carter Center has played in monitoring and certifying elections in 3rd world countries. Given your extensive knowledge of how to run and monitor elections, what observations and advice can you offer with regard to the lack of integrity and lack of transparency of voting systems in the USA?
I see this as the biggest issue we face, followed closely by corruption of the media, as it cuts to the heart of democracy itself. When the people lose their power to influence government, and government is no longer responsible to the people, I'm afraid discussing all the other issues becomes an exercise in futility.
The intrinsic nature of Power is such that those who seek it most are least qualified to wield it.
by mojo workin on Thu Mar 23, 2006 at 10:30:37 AM PDT
After the 2000 presidential election debacle (when Al Gore won in Florida and the U.S. but lost in the Supreme Court), President Gerald Ford and I headed a commission to recommend improvements. Surprisingly, the Congress adopted most of them in what became known as the "Help America Vote Act," or HAVA. 2004 revealed some additional needs, and with President Ford not available, Jim Baker became my co-chair. He is a brilliant and honest man, partisan like I am, and our highly bi-partisan commission made 87 recommendations, all but one unanimously. There were 3 dissenting votes on Voter ID, but most of us thought it was a good compromise. With 26 states already requiring photo ID and 11 others considering legislation, it is obvious that some uniformity is needed with an emphasis on expanding & not restricting registration. Also, last year a national homeland security law was passed requiring a REAL ID card for travel by air, entering federal buildings, cashing a check, etc. We recommended that, beginning in 2010, voters should have a photo ID, but that all states must have an all-inclusive and massive registration drive, the cards should be free, etc. Our recommendations can be found on the American University website.
Here's a question for Sarah's grandfather: (8+ / 0-)
I'd like to thank you for your dedication to higher education, and your role in establishing the Department of Education. It was in no small part due your help that a kid like me, whose single mom made minimum wage, could go to college, and go on to successfully raise a family and become an employer.
What policies are necessary for the country to regain your dedication to allowing all qualified high school graduates to go to college, regardless of family income?
by Pacific John on Thu Mar 23, 2006 at 11:21:45 AM PDT
As president, I established an attainable goal of all high school graduates being guaranteed an opportunity to have college-level education. Subsequently, the Republican administrations substituted budget-breaking tax reductions (and even promised to eliminate the Department of Education that we inaugurated). Some states, including Georgia with Hope Scholarships, accomplish this goal, which is certainly feasible.
Hello, Mr. President (10+ / 0-)
I am in awe, sir. I turned 18 two weeks before your first run for president, and I was so proud to wear that I voted sticker. So excited to have voted for a man I admired and trusted. I have come to admire you 100 fold since then. You will always hold a special place in my heart. The first is always special, don't ya know. LOL - that means laugh out loud. You were my first vote and now you're responsible for my first post ever on a blog. We'll learn this together.
If your son is half the humanitarian you are, we'll be blessed to have him in the senate. I'm off to his site to contribute. If I hear good stuff, I'll do it as often as I can.
As to a question, I feel the biggest threat to our country, outside of this administration, is the press. How do we get a free press back?
My apologies to the community if I've done something wrong here. I'll just close my eyes and hit, um, preview?
by Denny in Seattle on Thu Mar 23, 2006 at 09:24:46 AM PDT
Many of the news media in America are either afraid to confront the government propaganda machine, totally subservient to it (like Fox TV), or their owners and executive leaders are heavily influenced by economic considerations. The only hope for improvement is for the public to speak out strongly against obviously untruthful bias, support objective media, and let our own views be known by every available means.
A question for President Carter..... (2+ / 0-)
First, let me again echo all of the welcome and thank you comments above. Your presence here is truly an honor.
Now for my question(s).
As a Christian, how do think we can combat the hateful strain of (so called) 'Christianity' that has seeped insidiously into our Social and Political realms?
How do we reclaim Christianity? Someone unknowing of the faith would believe it to be hateful, hurtful, prejudiced, ignorant, and exclusive....rather than loving, healing, peaceful, enlightened, and inclusive. This is because of the so called Christians who have weaseled their way into positions of leadership, or as advisors to the leadership, nationwide. I often find myself embarassed and ashamed to be linked to them...even if only by the name of my faith.
It took them years of purposeful planning to reach the level of power they have now. How do we begin to counter it? How long will it take us to repair that which they have so sorely damaged?
Where do we begin?
by carolinadreamer on Thu Mar 23, 2006 at 06:31:15 PM PDT
I wrote a book last year, "Our Endangered Values, America's Moral Crisis." It spells out answers to religious and political questions to the best of my ability and, in my non-objective opinion, is an adequate guide for any voter or candidate. Also, many of my other specific views and recommendations can be found at The Carter Center.
A memory and a question (8+ / 0-)
My vote for you in 1976 was the first I ever cast on any local, state or federal ballot, and I cannot tell you the utter thrill it was to have done so. I remember when told us as a nation that you would never lie to us, and since that time, I have always taken you at your word -- a rare fete for a politician to be given these days. And while we went trough some difficult times together, you and us -- we know how the Iran crisis took its toll -- we are a better nation for your having been in office.
I must tell you that one of my strongest and lingering memories of the days after we failed to return you to office was your and Mrs. Cater's appearance with Curt Gowdy, on The American Sportsman. It was, for me, the perfect coda to your presidency; honest and thoughtful, yes, but most of all human. What I wouldn't do for a videotape of that program.
Anyway, here's the question: To fish quietly as you three did that day is one of the most contemplative of means to find oneself and what is truly important; have you ever taught Jack to fish?
All the best to you and your family.
Why is that some Democrats seem to think losing will make them look tougher than will winning? ~Atrios
by GOTV on Thu Mar 23, 2006 at 11:04:41 AM PDT
I really hated to learn of the recent death of Curt Gowdy, a wonderful fly-fishing companion of mine. Yes, Nevada's next senator, my son Jack, is a fly fisherman. He has been in streams with me in Georgia, Pennsylvania, Wyoming, Idaho, Montana, and other places.
an echo of everyone else... (4+ / 0-)
Many thanks for everything that you have done for this country. You were the first President that I got to vote for (and the only one where it was a vote FOR and not against the other candidate). My admiration for you and your family as genuinely compassionate, ethical and moral human beings who truly follow the teachings of Christ, could not be higher.
I very much enjoyed your interview with Jon Stewart on The Daily Show - in the words of my kids, you rocked! Only question I can think of (I'm so shocked that you posted this!): Is Jon really as nice as he appears? (Not a serious question by the way...) All I really wanted to say is thank you for serving your country, and the world, so admirably.
The sky already fell. Now what? -- Steven Wright
by seefleur on Thu Mar 23, 2006 at 10:23:51 AM PDT
I thoroughly enjoyed being with Jon Stewart, and found him to be just as nice and interesting in person as I had hoped.