Jimmy Carter, the Un-President
The Courage to Do the Right Thing
Jimmy Carter, born October 1, 1924, turned 91 in 2015 and still is one of the most active ex-presidents America ever has had. In 2002, he received the Nobel Peace Prize based on his traveling the globe in search of possibilities for peaceful solutions to angry problems between nations.
Jimmy Carter is a strong advocate of democracy and human rights. He is not alone among presidents for receiving the Nobel Peace Prize. Others have done so, including former Presidents Teddy Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson, in addition to Barack Obama.
The Carter Presidency--In 1976 American voters chose Jimmy Carter to be president. He served one term in office. Carter's background in technology led him to believe in conservation and to advance educational opportunities that could be useful in growing the American economy.
Mr. Carter had served in the military as a Naval officer. Before that, he was a peanut farmer in Georgia. He became governor of Georgia, which then led to his nomination for president.
America was eager to accept the honest, kind Jimmy Carter as president, following the scandalous presidency of Richard Nixon, who did not win the trust of the citizens.
But when President Carter returned the right to the Panama Canal, giving the canal back to the nation of Panama, many Americans disliked him. They disagreed with his decision because America had built the canal.
They also blamed him for the unemployment and double-digit inflation that came about in the years following the Vietnam War.
But the worst episodes of President Carter's term of office were the Iran hostage crisis and the Three Mile Island nuclear plant accident.
President Carter, throughout all the turmoil of the late 1970's, stood his ground on moral issues. When Russia invaded Afghanistan, President Carter instigated and organized an international boycott of the Moscow Olympics.
Years Following Carter's Presidency--November of 1980 came. Americans had grown impatient with President Carter's kindness and generosity. They blamed him for not intervening forcefully in the Iran hostage crisis and also for the generosity toward Panama plus allowing Fidel Castro to trick Carter by releasing Cuban convicted criminals to enter the USA after Carter promised to take in Cuban citizens to alleviate the impoverished overpopulation of Cuba.
Although Americans elected Ronald Reagan for his promise to deliver a tough, aggressive approach to foreign affairs instead of Carter's patient, trusting approach, Jimmy Carter, as ex-president, continued his activities around the world, working tirelessly and traveling everywhere to stand by his well-known ideals and faith in peaceful resolution of national conflicts.
Former President Carter established The Carter Center in 1982. This organization has worked consistently for the advancement of human rights in all nations. Jimmy Carter personally has traveled hundreds of thousands of miles to meet with presidents of many nations and arrange negotiations to bring about truces.
He has done all in his power to help impoverished nations with their problems in political unrest and health facilities.
Naturally, one of his main concerns is the constant violence between warring factions in the Middle East. Jimmy Carter has openly criticized leaders whom he believes are responsible for situations leading to grave injustice.
He was instrumental in creating the Geneva Accord between Israelis and Palestinians. He traveled to the Middle East and met with leaders there to advocate using negotiations for peaceful settlements instead of engaging in further violence.
Ex-President Carter's concern is focused everywhere in the world where there is potential violence. He has traveled to North Korea in the 1990's on behalf of America during the Clinton administration. Once there, he secured an agreement by North Korea that resulted in a period of peace for several years until different administrations in the USA chose to reignite the conflict with North Korea.
Carter has met and negotiated directly with leaders in Cuba, South America, Africa, Syria, and just about everywhere where violence and war exist or even threaten. He is still a fearless and consistent advocate of resolving conflicts without harming innocent citizens.
Jimmy Carter favors justice and compassion, and for this he's earned the respect of national leaders throughout the world.
Compare Carter to some other presidents who won the Nobel Peace Prize. Teddy Roosevelt was a warrior in the Spanish-American conflict at the turn of the 20th Century. Woodrow Wilson declared war and took America into the First World War shortly thereafter. These men were good presidents for other reasons and deserved the Nobel Prize. However, Jimmy Carter consistently has been a peaceful person, and a kind and compassionate advocate for calm, intelligent resolution of problems. He was the un-president, a man whose consistent goodness surpasses the integrity and character of any other president who came before or after Jimmy Carter.