Monday, October 19, 2020
In his new book about President Jimmy Carter -- titled His Very Best: Jimmy Carter, A Life -- Jonathan Alter gives Carter his due as a President who, for all of his weaknesses, embraced international human rights not only in foreign policy but in setting domestic standards as well. Alter's discussion of Carter's human rights legacy is set out in an excerpt recently published in Foreign Affairs. Alter writes, President Carter made human rights "a permanent feature of global political discourse."
President Trump, of course, has threatened that legacy, pulling out of one international body after another - the Paris Accord, the Human Rights Council, the WHO -- undermining the work of others, and ignoring human rights violations occurring in plain sight.
Alter's book tells the story of Vice President Walter Mondale's toast after Carter's failed re-election bid: “We told the truth. We obeyed the law. We kept the peace.” These might have been modest accomplishments, but we can see now how important it is when a President adheres to basic tenets of human decency.
Now's the time. Make a plan to vote. And then vote!