1,000 Words: Jimmy Carter

Jimmy Carter wants you to know he’s OK. He had a little spell up in Winnipeg today but he’s using the occasion to teach us all to stay dehydrated.

He was working on a Habitat for Humanity house when he collapsed, the CBC reported.

Take a long look at these pictures and think about these things and see if it strikes you as extraordinary as it strikes me.

(1) Jimmy Carter was only the 39th person elected to be president of the United States.
(2) Jimmy Carter is 92 years old.
(3) Jimmy Carter is still swinging a hammer building Habitat for Humanity houses.
(4) Did I mention Jimmy Carter is 92 years old?

In this photo provided by the Manitoba Government, former U.S. President Jimmy Carter helps build homes for Habitat for Humanity in Winnipeg, Manitoba on Thursday, July 13, 2017. Stacia Franz/Manitoba Government via AP. Stacia Franz/Manitoba Government via AP.

Maybe you had to live through the Carter administration to truly appreciate the reverence people have for him as ex-president.

They were not good years, some of it by his making, some not.

Inflation was out of control before he took office — mortgages were running 10% — the U.S. embassy hostages were taken in Iran a year after he said Iran was an island of stability in the Middle East, the Soviets invaded Afghanistan, the nation was hit with a recession, and disco ruled the nation’s radio airwaves.

Carter tied America’s foreign policy to human rights and declared that America deserves a government as good as its people and both of those points are debatable still today.

When he left office and the Reagans came to power, Washington wags said it would be good to have “glamour” and “class” back in the White House.

History has not been kind to the Carter administration but it has been kind to Carter, a recognition that maybe in the here and now, we’re never as smart as we think we are.