I’m too young to remember Jimmy Carter‘s presidency. Though I was alive during Carter’s time in office, my earliest political memories are of the 1984 Regan vs. Mondale campaign. But after seeing Jimmy Carter: Man From Plains (Demme, 2007), I’m a big fan of Carter. I couldn’t agree more with Ed Norton‘s reaction to seeing Carter backstage at The Tonight Show: “Jimmy Carter for president!”
The movie isn’t actually a straight documentary about Carter — it’s actually about Carter’s recent controversial book Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid — but I loved the historical accounts of Carter’s policies. We can only wonder what would have happened if he had been reelected and allowed to continue his sustainable energy policy, his anti-nuclear weapons campaign, his Mid-east diplomacy, etc.
And Carter’s supposed failure in the Iran hostage crisis, turns out to be his greatest success. Carter may be the only president ever to avoid a war, even to his own political detriment. Now that’s an Christian president. Unlike the allegedly Christian George W. Bush, who invented a war out of a trumped-up act of terrorism (the alleged connection between Iraq and 9/11), Carter managed to keep our country out of war with Iran, eventually saving all the hostages from actual terrorists.