Jimmy Carter

39th President of the United States (1924-)

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A strong nation, like a strong person, can afford to be gentle, firm, thoughtful, and restrained. It can afford to extend a helping hand to others. It's a weak nation, like a weak person, that must behave with bluster and boasting and rashness and other signs of insecurity.
According to Gandhi, the seven sins are wealth without works, pleasure without conscience, knowledge without character, commerce without morality, science without humanity, worship without sacrifice, and politics without principle. Well, Hubert Humphrey may have sinned in the eyes of God, as we all do, but according to those definitions of Gandhis, it was Hubert Humphrey without sin.
America did not invent human rights. In a very real sense... human rights invented America.
I thought a lot about our Nation and what I should do as President. And Sunday night before last, I made a speech about two problems of our countryenergy and malaise.
I've looked on a lot of women with lust. I've committed adultery in my heart many times.
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 than the bounty of our material blessings.
Our decision about energy will test the character of the American people and the ability of the President and the Congress to govern this Nation. This difficult effort will be the moral equivalent of war, except that we will be uniting our efforts to build and not to destroy.
The measure of a society is found in how they treat their weakest and most helpless citizens. As Americans, we are blessed with circumstances that protect our human rights and our religious freedom, but for many people around the world, deprivation and persecution have become a way of life.
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.
We become not a melting pot but a beautiful mosaic. Different people, different beliefs, different yearnings, different hopes, different dreams.
We live in a time of transition, an uneasy era which is likely to endure for the rest of this century. During the 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.
We should live our lives as though Christ were coming this afternoon.
We've uncovered some embarrassing ancestors in the not-too-distant past. Some horse thieves, and some people killed on Saturday nights. One of my relatives, unfortunately, was even in the newspaper business.
Well, as you know, there are many things in life that are not fair, that wealthy people can afford and poor people cant. But I dont believe that the Federal Government should take action to try to make these opportunities exactly equal, particularly when there is a moral factor involved.
You can do what you have to do, and sometimes you can do it even better than you think you can.

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