Jimmy Carter, POTUS #39, has cancer. At 91 he’s had an amazing life, and the most of that has been since he left office 34 years ago. He has done more good for this country, and mostly planet, than all of the other POTUS’ combined in those 34 years. My admiration of Carter though comes from the fact he is the first POTUS I remember.
I was born during the Nixon administration. I was probably just standing up on my own when Watergate happened. I have no recollection of the Ford administration either, but I do remember Carter on TV and I learned to read via the newspaper mostly at the expense of Jimmy.
The first political sense of the world came from an article I read sometime late in his presidency regarding Egyptian President, Anwar Sadat. I don’t remember the whole sentence, but since I was probably in Kindergarten, it said; “Anwar Sadat, says” and I read it as “A war Sadat says”. I knew at a young age that war was a bad thing, and it was something, despite the climate in the country regarding the hostages in Iran, that Carter was about keeping the peace. Carter mostly lost the election and had a tarnished presidency because he tried to do TOO MUCH. Instead of focusing on a few things well, he tried his hand, perhaps poorly, on too many issues.
Carter’s legacy is much more important than his four years in office. It’s a blip that was fortunate enough to put him on a world stage. We have to be thankful for that.
Sadat by the way was assassinated in 1981 by a fundamentalist army. I remember that too. I was still thinking about that war he was referring too. Nonetheless, we have had too many wars in my lifetime.
Carter’s only war will be against cancer. Who knows how long he may have lived without cancer jumping in line, but just like me it’s something we must take on regardless of age. We shall both live in peace, and we will die hoping that peace will finally be the ultimate answer to our worldly problems at hand.
Keep smiling, James Earl Carter. We are a better world because of you.