Mrs. Rosalynn Carter was laid to rest this week at 96 years of age. She was an admirable woman whose 77-year marriage and partnership with former President Jimmy Carter is downright remarkable.
Mr. Carter is 99 years and has been in hospice for some months, yet he attended his wife’s funeral.
I did not agree with a lot of Mr. Carter’s politics, but I respected his Christian faith, his willingness even at the risk of loss of supporters to work toward a two-state solution in the Holy Land, and his disciplined work ethic. Indeed, his body of work surpassed the prolific Teddy Roosevelt as the most-published former president.
Mr. Carter’s idealism got him in trouble. His hope that if people could dialogue, they’d agree to live peaceably, failed to account for the deceitful nature of the human heart. He was taken off guard by Iran’s Ayatollah Khomeini in the 444-day hostage crisis of 1979-1980.
Leaders must recognize that evil exists in the world. Evil is why George Washington said, “To be prepared for war is one of the most effective means of preserving peace,” why Nobel Peace Prize winner T.R. said, “Speak softly and carry a big stick,” and why Ronald Reagan said, “Peace through strength” and “Trust, but verify.” Hopefully, today’s leaders do not make Mr. Carter’s error as they calculate how to deal with Hamas.
I wish Mr. Carter well but I do not think he will live much longer now that Rosalynn has passed, which is a good thing, soon to meet the Lord and see Rosalynn again.