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Quotes / Jimmy Carter

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Quotes by Carter:

"We have already found a high degree of personal liberty, and we are now struggling to enhance equality of opportunity. Our commitment to human rights must be absolute, our laws fair, our natural beauty preserved; the powerful must not persecute the weak, and human dignity must be enhanced."
— Inaugural Address, January 20, 1977

"I want to stress again that human rights are not peripheral to the foreign policy of the United States. Our pursuit of human rights is part of a broad effort to use our great power and our tremendous influence in the service of creating a better world, a world in which human beings can live in peace, in freedom, and with their basic needs adequately met."
— Remarks at a White House meeting commemorating the 30th anniversary of the signing of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, December 6, 1978.

"In a nation that was proud of hard work, strong families, close-knit communities, and our faith in God, too many of us now tend to worship self-indulgence and consumption. Human identity is no longer defined by what one does, but by what one owns. But we've discovered that owning things and consuming things does not satisfy our longing for meaning. We've learned that piling up material goods cannot fill the emptiness of lives which have no confidence or purpose."

"History teaches, perhaps, very few clear lessons. But surely one such lesson learned by the world at great cost is that aggression, unopposed, becomes a contagious disease."
— Speech on the Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan, January 4, 1980

"A party with a narrow vision, a party that is afraid of the future, a party whose leaders are inclined to shoot from the hip, a party that has never been willing to put its investment in human beings who are below them in economic and social status."
— Remarks on the Republican party, July 18, 1980

"The battle for human rights — at home and abroad — is far from over. We should never be surprised nor discouraged because the impact of our efforts has had, and will always have, varied results. Rather, we should take pride that the ideals which gave birth to our nation still inspire the hopes of oppressed people around the world. We have no cause for self-righteousness or complacency. But we have every reason to persevere, both within our own country and beyond our borders.

If we are to serve as a beacon for human rights, we must continue to perfect here at home the rights and values which we espouse around the world: A decent education for our children, adequate medical care for all Americans, an end to discrimination against minorities and women, a job for all those able to work, and freedom from injustice and religious intolerance.

We live in a time of transition, an uneasy era which is likely to endure for the rest of this century. It will be a period of tensions both within nations and between nations — of competition for scarce resources, of social political and economic stresses and strains. During this period we may be tempted to abandon some of the time-honored principles and commitments which have been proven during the difficult times of past generations.

We must never yield to this temptation. Our American values are not luxuries but necessities — not the salt in our bread but the bread itself. Our common vision of a free and just society is our greatest source of cohesion at home and strength abroad — greater even than the bounty of our material blessings."
— Farewell Address, January 14, 1981

"Except during my childhood, when I was probably influenced by Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel depiction of God with a flowing white beard, I have never tried to project the Creator in any kind of human likeness. The vociferous debates about whether God is male or female seem ridiculous to me. I think of God as an omnipotent and omniscient presence, a spirit that permeates the universe, the essence of truth, nature, being, and life. To me, these are profound and indescribable concepts that seem to be trivialized when expressed in words."
Living Faith (2001)

"War may sometimes be a necessary evil. But no matter how necessary, it is always an evil, never a good. We will not learn how to live together in peace by killing each other's children."
— Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech, December 10, 2002

Quotes about Carter:

"I'm devout, I'm sincere and I'm proud to say
That it's had exactly no effect on who I am today
I believe for the benefit for all mankind
In the total separation of church and mind"
Steve Taylor, "It's a Personal Thing"

"He's history's greatest monster!"
The Simpsons, "Marge in Chains"

"Carter lusted in his heart for peanuts."

"Please, everyone knows that Jimmy Carter is just a fairy tale Republicans use to scare children."
DiZ, Ansem Retort

“Recession is when your neighbor loses his job. Depression is when you lose yours. And recovery is when Jimmy Carter loses his.”

"A vote for Carter, Reagan or Anderson is a vote against the actual interests of the country. But for those who like to vote against their interests, I would pass over the intelligent but unadventurous Anderson as well as the old actor who knows nothing of economics ('Parity?'), foreign affairs ('Well, I've met the King of Siam'), geography ('Pakistan?'), history ('Fascism was really the basis of the New Deal') and return to office the incoherent incumbent on the ground that he cannot get it together sufficiently to start a war..."
Gore Vidal, "The Real Two Party System"

"It really is a perfect embodiment of the old saw that 'Republicans fall in line and Democrats fall in love.' This idea that you can have this fresh-faced outsider who’s not corrupted by Washington, who is embraced by liberals as if he’s one of them, is what you see. In fact, Carter was incredibly cagey in committing himself to absolutely nothing and straddling the sides of every issue. The old joke was, they wanted to put Carter’s face on Mount Rushmore — and this is from 1976 — but they didn’t have room for two faces."

"Carter, probably inadvertently, taught the lesson that you can mobilize a large contingency by presenting yourself, honestly or not, as a Bible-fearing, evangelical Christian. Up until that point, religious beliefs were other people's concerns. There has been a conscious takeover of the electoral system by the public relations industry, which now sells candidates the way you sell commodities. And the image of a God-fearing, believing person of deep faith who is going to protect us from the modern world is one you can sell."
Noam Chomsky, 2005

"Jimmy Carter is a perfect example of the way Democrats meekly go along when the Republicans create a false meme... when Obama talks fondly about a President from his youth, he cites Reagan as an inspiration. But Obama's supposed to be an environmentalist. He should be inspired by the President who put solar panels on the White House roof! Not the President who came after him and tore them down because he thought the sun was interfering with Nancy's astrology!"


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