Wow, I really appreciate this video. Abby's delight in talking with him comes across as very genuine, and reminds me of my own experience. If you'll indulge me, I'll tell my (long-ish) Jimmy Carter story, for what its worth...
My university student council at Georgia Tech brought Carter to speak not too long after Reagan became president - I think within the first year of his term or so. (You might remember that Carter attended Georgia Tech for a year or so as a nuclear engineering student before going off to the Naval Academy.) Carter was still stinging a bit over the loss, but was very gracious and down-to-earth all the same. He spoke to an auditorium full of students, probably 400-500 or so seats. He talked frankly about his presidency, good and bad. He described how hard he worked to release the hostages. He described his efforts at Camp David that are echoed in this video.
He described the hand-off of the presidency to Reagan, which was an astonishing account. Carter had Reagan come in so he could basically brief him on the job itself. Things like the status of certain negotiations, and work-in-progress stuff that Reagan would be expected to continue with. He related that Reagan took no notes, and wasn't all that interested in any of it - but rather indicated he was more of a big-picture guy and would learn what he needed as he went. Basically blew off an opportunity to learn something potentially useful :-(
Anyway, it was an interesting talk, and Carter came across as quite sharp and very personable. Then he opened it up for questions. *From 500 college students*.. *for over an hour*! For over an hour he fielded unscripted questions on every imaginable topic from his own presidency as well as concerning current events. Particularly on current events, he was *very* well informed and easily rattled off details and in-depth explanations about events unfolding all over the world - details that were conspicuously missing from the news reports and press briefings of the day. I gained a very healthy respect for the man in that hour.
Of course, Carter is no Austrian - he did not oppose the Keynsian status quo in any significant way. And he didn't shy away from government solutions. But he did have a pretty good grasp on our Natural rights (he tended to think more along the lines of "human rights"). I give him credit for respecting the rights of people everywhere to self-govern without US meddling. For restraining the CIA. And for genuinely *seeking* peace.
I also give him credit for appointing Volker (RP's favorite Fed chair), who prescribed harsh medicine to beat back the inflation that was such a problem throughout Ford's term (remember Ford's campaign slogan against Carter was WIN - whip inflation now). Reagan gets a lot of credit for the growth that occurred as the inflation settled down and we normalized after that deliberate recession, but Carter bought into Volker's pitch that containing the inflation would require the unpopular methods he went on to employ.
I recommend his book, "Everything to Gain" which describes how he got started with Habitat and how he has embarked on his post-presidential career, which has often earned him recognition as the best ex-president in memory.
Even now, in his late eighties, he works productively and earnestly as a humanitarian. I'd be happy to take several more like him in public life. He's not the total package we love in Ron Paul, but he's a good voice for peace and sanity.
I'm voting for Peace.
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