Today's Washington Post includes two articles that stand in stark contrast, together demonstrating sadly the deterioration of values and morality within the leadership of our nation.
Predictably, the first article recounts the many racial invectives uttered throughout his presidency by Donald J. Trump, and the reluctance of most Republicans to stand up to him. There is no need to recount here those racial slurs; they hit us in the face every day.
But in contrast, Jimmy Carter, who was defeated in his bid for reelection in 1980 by Ronald Reagan, spends his time, even at age 94, helping to build Habitat for Humanity homes using his own tools, and teaching a Sunday School class every other Sunday morning.
Instead of living in palatial mansions with gold gilded bathrooms like Trump, Carter lives in a modest two-bedroom rancher in his hometown of Plains, GA, where he paints, goes for strolls with Rosalyn, his wife of 72 years, and teaches Sunday School.
When he travels, it is not by private jet, but by commercial airline, often strolling the aisle to greet fellow passengers and take selfies.
Carter says he realizes that as a former President he could be making millions giving speeches and playing the big shot, as others have done.
He told The Post, “I don’t see anything wrong with it; I don’t blame other people for doing it. It just never had been my ambition to be rich.”
Instead, when he left the presidency he had to sell his peanut business because it was deep in debt. So he decided that to earn a living beyond his presidential pension, he would write books. And he's done that, although, according to the article, he has not cashed in like other former presidents have done.
Carter may be best known, in his post-presidency life, for his work with Habitat for Humanity. He has helped renovate 4,300 homes in 14 countries and will be working on homes for low-income people in Indiana later this month. That's a 94-year-old man who has been battling cancer.
No butlers, no servants, no cooks or chefs. Jimmy and Rosalyn Carter live modestly, serving others. He even does the dishes.
What a contrast to where we are today.