Jimmy 3/5/23

Thoughts with Richard Bleil

Recently a newspaper article (from a legitimate source, as opposed to Faux “News”) said that former president Jimmy Carter has been admitted into Hospice care.  This breaks my heart, as it means end-of-life care.  He’ll continue to receive treatment and there are those rare occasions that people are released from Hospice, but for the most part it’s all about providing comfort, reducing pain and making the transition easier. 

We have a few former presidents still with us today.  Bill Clinton opened an office in Harlem in an attempt to rejuvenate the neighborhood.  Obama seems to have disappeared, although I’ve heard he’s still touring and giving speeches.  Bush Jr. is hiding in his ranch creating just awful paintings.  Trump is living a delusional life continuing to claim that he is still the legitimate president.  Most of them are all friends, with the exception of Trump himself.  It’s interesting that regardless of ideologies, both Democratic and Republican former presidents have been brought together in the belief that, no, Trump just isn’t one of them.

Jimmy Carter was a one-term president between 1977 and 1981.  These were my high school years, running from the ages of 14 to 18.  I probably didn’t pay attention as perhaps I should have, but I was young and had far too much attention focused on my crush on Melissa the cheerleader to really pay attention to politics.  True to his nature, his time in office was spent looking out for people, not creating but bolstering social security, and creating the departments of education and energy, including a focus on energy conservation and control.  Unfortunately, these were not popular with the general public and he lost his bid for re-election against Ronald Reagan.  I think the Iran hostage crisis was too much in the news and shadowed his other accomplishments, and by the time fire-and-brimstone candidate Reagan came onto the scene, people were ready to use military solutions to get the hostages back (it never came to that; Iran released the hostages as soon as Reagan won with very suspicious timing). 

Regardless of his skills as president, I think we can safely agree that Jimmy Carter is the best former president in modern times.  Well into his nineties, he continued his efforts and work with Habitat for Humanity, literally showing up in person to pitch in with building houses for those in need.  I guess you could decorate them for paintings from Texas pretty cheaply. 

As a role model, he didn’t just collect royalties.  He literally put his muscles where his mouth is, trying to make the country just a little bit better one household at a time.  He didn’t whine about the election results.  Instead he bowed out gracefully, helping to ensure a smooth transition, and as is tradition with the former presidents, he kept his opinions to himself and didn’t speak, to the best of my knowledge, on the decisions of the presidencies that followed.  And he didn’t hide from the public.  He literally showed up in person to help out, sometimes even injuring himself in the process. 

By the time this posts Jimmy may very well already be gone.  I hope not, but he was admitted a few days ago, and this won’t post for a week, and seeing that he is ninety-eight, there’s a good chance he won’t make it.  Of course, even if he’s still alive on the day this posts, he won’t read it or even know of its existence anyway.  As far as bloggers go, I’m pretty much nobody.  But he made a real impact not just on me, but on the hearts and minds of so many Americans regardless of their political affiliation.  The Iching suggests that the best changes are those that are casual and nearly imperceptible to the casual observer.  Jimmy made such an impact on the American people by simply caring for people.  He kept working on their behalf, and even when he was out of office, he continued to be a leader in a way that few people can if only by example.  His spirit of caring, of giving of himself, of giving a hand up rather than a hand out he has inspired so many.  When he passes it will be a darker day in the nation, and the world, without his light.  He is (or was) apparently a Freemason of lodge number 20, an organization that tries to improve the world by improving ourselves, and leading by example.  I would say he succeeded.


One thought on “Jimmy 3/5/23

  1. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has a youtube channel that is providing coverage of how Plains, Georgia, is preparing for his last days. I agree with your view of Carter, with the addendum is that we are still coming to grips with how much damage Reagan did to the country, from both a foreign policy and domestic inequality perspective.


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