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Quotations From JIMMY CARTER (JAMES EARL CARTER, JR.)


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  • Reinhold Niebuhr observes that the sad duty of politics is to establish justice in a sinful world.
    Jimmy Carter (James Earl Carter, Jr.) (b. 1924), U.S. president. Why Not the Best? P. 93, Nashville, TN: Broadman Press (1975). He is describing the compatibility of religion and politics.

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  • A nation's domestic and foreign policies and actions should be derived from the same standards of ethics, honesty and morality which are characteristic of the individual citizens of the nation.
    Jimmy Carter (James Earl Carter, Jr.) (b. 1924), U.S. president. Why Not the Best? P. 123, Nashville, TN: Broadman Press (1975). Explaining that the government should be as good as its people.

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  • The reduction of nuclear arsenals and the removal of the threat of worldwide nuclear destruction is a measure, in my judgment, of the power and strength of a great nation.
    Jimmy Carter (James Earl Carter, Jr.) (b. 1924), U.S. president. transcript, Vertical File, Box No. Carter, Jimmy, Addresses, Jimmy Carter Library, Atlanta, Georgia. Address at Southern Methodist University, March 26, 1984, pp. 8-9. Commenting on one of the major goals of his public career.

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  • We become not a melting pot but a beautiful mosaic. Different people, different beliefs, different yearnings, different hopes, different dreams.
    Jimmy Carter (James Earl Carter, Jr.) (b. 1924), U.S. Democratic politician, president. speech, Oct. 27, 1976, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvia.

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  • America did not invent human rights. In a very real sense ... human rights invented America.
    Jimmy Carter (James Earl Carter, Jr.) (b. 1924), U.S. Democratic politician, president. Farewell address, January 14, 1981.

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  • 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 country—energy and malaise.
    Jimmy Carter (James Earl Carter, Jr.) (b. 1924), U.S. Democratic politician, president. Remarks at town meeting, July 31, 1979, Bardstown, Kentucky. Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: Jimmy Carter, 1979. The speech referred to by Carter, broadcast July 15 from the White House, did not include the word malaise.

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  • This is the first national administration we've ever seen where the housewife couldn't afford to buy groceries and the farmer couldn't afford to grow them.
    Jimmy Carter (James Earl Carter, Jr.) (b. 1924), U.S. president. Bridge Dedication, Reed Bingham Park, Georgia, July 13, 1974, Addresses of Jimmy Carter, Governor of Georgia, 1971-1975, p. 274, compiled by Frank Daniel; Atlanta, GA: Ben W. Fortson, Jr., Secretary of State (1975). Criticizing the presidency of Richard Nixon; he had already decided to run for president himself but had not yet announced it.
  • Testing oneself is best when done alone.
    Jimmy Carter (James Earl Carter, Jr.) (b. 1924), U.S. president. "Trout," in Always a Reckoning and Other Poems, p. 115, New York: Times Books (1995). Describing the challenge of fishing for trout.

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  • The root of the problem is not so much that our people have lost confidence in government, but that government has demonstrated time and again its lack of confidence in the people.
    Jimmy Carter (James Earl Carter, Jr.) (b. 1924), U.S. president. Announcement Speech, National Press Club, Washington, DC, December 12, 1974, transcript in Speechwriters File: Nesmith, Box 1, Jimmy Carter Library, Atlanta, Georgia. Explaining the change he hoped to bring about as president.

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  • Ours was a highly activist administration, with a lot of controversy involved ... but I'm not sure that it would be inconsistent with my own political nature to do it differently if I had it to do all over again.
    Jimmy Carter (James Earl Carter, Jr.) (b. 1924), U.S. president. Georgia Governors in an Age of Change, p. 250, edited by Harold P. Henderson and Gary L. Roberts; Athens: University of Georgia Press (1988). Commenting in 1985 on his governorship of Georgia, 1971-75.

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