When I learned that Jimmy Carter had left the Southern Baptist Association due to the Association being too long in a “twisted interpretation” of God and the Bible, it suddenly hit me that Jimmy Carter exemplified the best leadership of any President in my lifetime, which includes the much revered Kennedy-Reagan duo (left-right punch). Jimmy Carter brought real internally sprung love to the White House, the US government and the country, and he continued his legacy throughout his life. He has been judged “ineffectual” by the power-money-cocaine-sex fueled cartels that run this country now. They do not even realize that his Spirit shines brightly over all their imagined and over-rated power in the world. The fact that they see him as ineffectual keeps him safe in a way. And even though he only served one term, he lead with vision and integrity.
A studied review of his Administration reveals that he was the first President to move us toward solar energy. In 1979, President Carter installed 32 solar panels on the roof of the White House kitchen. These panels provided solar-heated water for many of the cleaning tasks at the White House until the panels were dismantled by the Reagan Administration under the auspices of redoing the roof. Here is what Carter predicted at the dedication ceremony for the solar installation: “A generation from now, this solar heater can either be a curiosity, a museum piece, an example of a road not taken or it can be just a small part of one of the greatest and most exciting adventures ever undertaken by the American people.” As a skilled leader, he set an example and laid out the choices, and left it to the people to decide.
(For more on this see http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/carter-white-house-solar-panel-array/)
President Carter was the first US President to make “human rights” a centerpiece of his Foreign Policy. While some pundits decried this as interfering with the sovereign rights of other nations, Carter brought this very expansive and loving idea – that human beings have the right to be free from enslavement, violence, threats and persecution no matter the ideological/geographic context of their lives – to the world’s governance agenda. How well his administration implemented this mandate is debatable, but once again, Carter came through as a true leader bringing a new vision based on true Christian love into the global arena.
Another visionary act of the Carter Administrantion was the ratification of the Panama Canal Treaty which guaranteed the neutrality of the Canal after the year 2000. Following years of US administration of the Canal, this resource was returned to Panama with an understanding of goodwill and acknowledgement of American “interest” in its operation. While some Americans argued that we were giving up power and control in the region, Carter demonstrated a deeper understanding of sovereignty with his position that the Canal belonged to Panama. After an intense lobbying effort, the President won the necessary approval of the Senate to implement this historic treaty.
His greatest achievement was the Camp David Peace Accords, which resulted in an end to war between Egypt and Israel. Interestingly, the Accords were the seed for future peace treaties AND further strife in the Middle East. President Carter took on this world peace initiative at the urging of Rosalyn Carter, who suggested he invite the leaders of the two countries to Camp David for a summit. Anwar Sadat of Egypt and Menachim Begin of Israel spent 10 days at Camp David discussing the parameters of peace between their nations. An impasse was reached and the talks seemed failed, when Carter developed his single document mediation strategy. He met with Sadat and Begin individually until they had crafted a manuscript of terms and conditions they both could agree with. This agreement became the Camp David Accords.
President Carter’s administration was based in a politics of the heart that is almost inconceivable within the hyper-Capitalist plutocracy we have today. He and President Obama share a deep integrity that is rare in contemporary politics. Unfortunately for President Obama, he was indoctrinated into a system that was already bought and paid for by the corporate elite. His light and vision were dimmed by the mediated circus that only allows grins, tweets, and little bites of rhetoric with all substance squeezed right out. He did the best he could within the box he is imprisoned in. Carter was able to lead in a time when our government had an inkling of independence and vision. Obama had to settle for the sound and fury that signify nothing.
Come to think of it, Jimmy Carter may have been … the last true President.