Thursday, November 03, 2005

My Hero

My Hero
Originally uploaded by Peacebang.
When I was in the 4th grade, my Dad ran the Carter campaign in our county. We were always out passing out brochures and leafleting, and attending some Democratic Party thing or another. I remember it well, mostly because we lived in an overwhelmingly old-money Yankee Republican area, and my little friends thought I was doubly weird for my Carter-fever (they also thought I was suspect for being Jewish -- even though we attended the Unitarian church).

One day on the bus, Jud Askins ripped the Carter Peanut necklace off of my neck and got into big trouble for it. His mother, Trieste, made him get it repaired and then drove him to my house to come to the door and give it back to me with an apology. (Jud, where are you?)

The night of the election, the house was filled with people and even though it was electric and exciting, Mom and Dad finally sent us off to bed. At some wee hour of the morning, my Dad came in to our bedroom (Sister of PeaceBang and Little PeaceBang shared a room back then) and told us that Carter had won the election. It was one of the few times I saw my Dad cry.

Some people think that Carter was the worst president we ever had, like this guy:

I don't know that he was a great president, but he is a truly great man.

Jimmy Carter has come out with a new book about the moral crisis in America, and how this current administration is violating all the basic principles that made our country great. I plan to buy it in hardback as soon as possible.

Jimmy Carter was supposed to fade into the noble obscurity that all past presidents are expected to fade into (especially one-termers). Look at what he's done: written numerous, substantive books, advocated for peace and won a Nobel Peace Prize, built houses and served on the board of Habitat for Humanity, traveled the globe as an ambassador of international cooperation, and taught Sunday school.

I am so glad to be able to say to my 4th grade self, from the distance of almost 30 years, "Someday you'll be very proud that you were associated with helping this man ascend to a position of world leadership."


Blogger Adam Tierney-Eliot said...

Mine too. Dad used to do some campaign work for him back in the day (Dad was in the Maine House then). I remember going door to door in 1980 and having Carter brochures thrown back at me and (one time)a guy threatened to release his dogs! I was, incidentally, five years old when he was elected and 9 when he lost... Man, people were angry!

Once (during the 1988 Democratic Convention, I was a Jackson Page and Dad was a Dukakis delegate) I got to meet him at a Carter Center reception. I believe I remember the entire very brief conversation word for word.

A great man. I will read this book as I have read all the others...

Blogger fausto said...

Larry King interviewed him last night on CNN. He made a lot of sense. He had a lot to say, too, about the differences between his personal old-time Baptist faith and the fundamentalists who have taken over the right wing of Protestantism, including his own SBC.


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