The reports that former President Jimmy Carter has returned home for hospice care came as sad news for all Americans this week.
Ever since the self-described peanut farmer burst onto the national scene shortly after he was elected governor of Georgia, it is not an overstatement to say that Jimmy Carter served as the conscience of America for the past half century.
Jimmy Carter served four years as president from 1977-81. But that term of office was just a small mark left by this wonderful man during his decades of service to our country and the world.
He became the face of Habitat for Humanity, the organization that builds housing for low-income persons. He served as an official who oversaw numerous elections in foreign countries to ensure that they were run honestly and above-board. He also undertook a campaign to eradicate the Guinea worm, a human parasitic infection that plagued 3.5 million people across the globe annually 40 years ago, but thanks to the efforts of the Jimmy Carter Center, there were just 13 reported cases world-wide in 2022.
For his many years of service to the world, Carter was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2002 “for his decades of untiring effort to find peaceful solutions to international conflicts, to advance democracy and human rights, and to promote economic and social development.”
It is fair to say that no former American president had as great an impact on the world after he left office than Jimmy Carter — it’s not even close.
But the most remarkable aspect of Jimmy Carter’s life has been his incredible humility, which no doubt was informed by his faith as a Christian minister in his small hometown church in Plains, Georgia, where he gave a sermon every Sunday. It often is a cliche to say that someone will be missed. But in the case of our former President, Jimmy Carter, a man who spoke the truth — even if America did not want to hear it (such as when he said in 1979 that America must end its dependence on fossil fuels) — his absence truly will be a great loss for all of us.