In 1976, I went to see Democratic nominee for President of the United States, Mr. Jimmy Carter.He was appearing at Lowry Park, in Tampa, and my then-boyfriend, Peter, thought quite highly of him.So I went.
I was a stubborn young lady, and I remember remarking to Peter,"I think he sounds great--but he's just too idealisitic--I don't think he can be a good President."
Amused, and far more mature than I was, Pete quipped"Is idealism a bad thing?"
"Well, " I countered,
"It's just not realistic."
Only a few years later, I would have a change of heart. I would see that Jimmy Carter was not merely a good man, and a good President-- he was a great man, a great President-- and most importantly--that idealism I so feared--that idealism fueled the vision--the genius of this highly educated, brilliant, soulful man.
I had the fortune of attending a booksigning, Wednesday night, at a usually-lonesome suburban mall called "Discover Mills".But it was not quiet on Wednesday...
Hundreds of folks packed the Books-A-Million store, hoping for a glimpse of this white-haired legend, a signed copy of his newest book:
Palestine: Peace, Not Apartheid
....and perhaps a kind word from him.
President Carter is the subject of controversy again...It seems he still has ethics and morals.So much so, that he writes what he believes and feels, even when it's not popular. Because he trusts that the truth of what you believe, matters. Because besides building up Habitat For Humanity, working with International Peace Organizations, and carrying his strong Chritian faith into the world, President Carter still has the temerity to be an idealist.
And thank God he has been, and remains so.
We--this country--and our world--are the better for it.