I’m an atheist. But if a Heaven exists and good people go there when they die, former President Jimmy Carter gets to cut to the front of the line.
Carter, 98, went home to wait for the end of his life with his wife of 70 years, Rosalyn, 95, rather than continue life-extending health care. This piece on NBC News interviews family like his grandson, Jason Carter, and friends like former Ambassador Andrew Young, 91.
I only have one quibble with the author’s characterization of Carter’s 1980 election loss to Reagan, the genesis of all that is rotten in America today.
Alluding to Carter’s landslide re-election defeat, Young said he has personally relished seeing historians and others finding success stories as they reassess Carter’s presidency — ceding control of the Panama Canal, developing a national energy strategy, engaging more in Africa than any U.S. president had. Such achievements were either unpopular at the time or overshadowed by Carter’s inability to corral inflation, tame energy crises or free the American hostages in Iran before the 1980 election.NBC News: Three months into hospice, Jimmy Carter appreciates the tributes — and ice cream
Carter’s flaw was being a good man in an evil system. He absolutely would have had the hostages freed if the Reagan campaign didn’t ratfuck his administration by treasonously negotiating with the Ayatollah to hold the hostages until Reagan’s election, with the promise of clandestine arms deals in the future.
Nixon screwed LBJ’s Vietnam peace talks, getting more people killed, in order to get elected. Reagan screwed Carter’s Iran hostage negotiations, in order to get elected. Poppy Bush screwed Dukakis with the “Willie Horton” racist ads, in order to get elected. Dubya Bush screwed Gore by having his Florida Gov. Jeb! ratfuck the voter rolls and his Opus Dei SCOTUS stop the recount. Trump screwed Clinton by treasonously accepting our enemy’s help in order to get elected.
In other words, there has not been a Republican president in my lifetime who wasn’t a ratfucking bastard criminal. But the Democrats in my lifetime have all been moral disappointments. Clinton’s intern harassment, “end of welfare as we know it,” Crime Bill, and NAFTA made him almost Republican. Obama’s failure to hold his predeccessors accountable for war crimes, his own drone bombing crimes, and his wilting before McConnell stealing a SCOTUS seat and protecting Russian interference. Biden’s entire fifty year career.
Only Jimmy Carter stands among presidents in my lifetime who never disappointed me. Instead, I was disappointed by my fellow countrymen, unable to heed the wisdom of this humble Christian peanut farmer who told us hard truths and demanded personal sacrifice for the greater good, entranced instead by the cowboy B-Movie actor who promised we’d all be trickled down upon by his wealthy puppetmasters. I was also disappointed by his political and corporate enemies who conspired to sink his ambitions at every turn, knowing that an America that turned away from fossil fuels and militarism would cut into power and profits.
But never was I disappointed by Jimmy Carter, in his presidency or in his career that followed. May his every last day be happy and comfortable.