The Under-rated President Peanut

He was the first president whose election I can recall (I was born during Nixon’s reign) though I was hardly old enough to appreciate much of the politics going on in the country and the world at the time.

Carter was and IS a GOOD man. In my opinion, he might just be one of the most decent human beings ever to sit behind the desk in the Oval Office. Carter is a sincere religious man but never seemed to come across as the kind to push his views on others.

Jimmy Carter’s soft southern drawl belies his incredible smarts and a singular method of wielding power. He has chosen to lead by example instead of by fiat. When the country found itself in the grips of a terrible energy crisis, he installed solar panels on the White House, turned down the thermostat, and wore a sweater.

Back with 5 cent coupons were valuable

Carter inherited an economy in shambles (not to blame Ford, another very decent man) that was way, way overdue for serious market “corrections.” I remember watching All in the Family as a little boy. While Archie Bunker railed against some minority or another, the economic “malaise” and recession were always right there in the background . I doubt if ANYBODY could’ve magically ended those economic troubles but I felt, even at a young age, that President Carter was there with us through it all.

He was a plain-spoken man who pledged to tell the truth to the American people. Someone may pop up to point to something as a contradiction to this promise Carter made, but I believe any such effort would be a stretch.

Carter certainly earned the trust of other world leaders. One of his greatest achievements — and certainly one that he was PERSONALLY hands-on responsible for — was the peace between Egypt and Israel.

Jimmy Carter had a reputation for managing even the finest detail . . . and some have fairly criticized him for this style. What won him success in the peace process also worked against him — he failed to rescue or gain the release of the US hostages in Iran. This failure was not for lack of trying. I think I was in the 3rd or 4th grade at the time; I remember wearing a little armband to school in solidarity with those hostages. What I remember feeling about the President was that, the WHOLE TIME, he was trying his best to fix things. History would reveal that even in the limousine on the way to the inauguration of his successor, he was working to gain their freedom.

Since leaving office (the period which coincides with my entire life since I was 10 years old) Jimmy Carter has worked to bring about peace and end suffering throughout the world. The man (and his remarkable wife) even in his 90’s, straps on a toolbelt and swings a hammer. He has used the power of his ex-Presidency like no other, bringing his fame as a weapon in the fight to help Habitat for Humanity end homelessness. With his foundation, he has led a team that has almost completely eradicated Guinea Worm infestation in the developing world.

Guinea Worm Eradication Program

Carter could easily have hung up his hat and retired to his peanut farm after the rough years he spent as Commander in Chief but he didn’t. Instead, he has worked to make the US and the whole world a safer, better place.

Blessed are the Peacemakers.

Speaking of peacemakers, since you made it this far, why not read about James Finn and Sign the Petition to bring him back to Quora?

I forgot to mention:

During an accident at a nuclear power plant located at 3 Mile Island, President Jimmy Carter (with his faithful wife by his side) actually went to investigate the incident IN PERSON. He used his technical knowledge to direct some of the response and assured the American people that everything would be OK. That kind of leadership takes balls!

Jimmy Carter demonstrated that being a leader isn’t just a matter of posturing and forcing your will on others — it’s showing up, listening to others, gathering facts, working to find answers and DOING THE WORK to care for the people you represent.

Oh, and there was . . .

That time Jimmy Carter walked into a nuclear reactor

Postscript:

In the afterglow of this year’s somewhat politicized Grammy Awards, maybe it’s worth mentioning Jimmy Carter’s TWO (2) Grammy awards:

Grammy Award for Best Spoken Word Album — Wikipedia

images courtesy Google image search

Originally published at www.quora.com.

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Eric Griggs

Eric Griggs

Juxtaposeur, technical analyst, process engineer, poet wordsmith, INTJ, Anansi, MBTI certified practitioner & team-builder, certifiable fabulist & Uppity Queer™