Four more years! The case for Jimmy Carter in 2020.

We’re just days before the 2018 midterms, but it’s time to fasten our safety belts for the major whiplash that’ll happen November 7th, when Washington quickly shifts into 2020 mode.

Things are a lot different for the Democratic Party in 2020. Although Bernie Sanders put up a surprisingly big showing for an underdog in 2016, Hillary Clinton was the party’s clear choice from the onset.

Don’t believe me, just ask Debbie Wasserman Schultz.


However, there’s no such clear-cut favorite in 2020. Sure, some Democrats are rooting for Senator Elizabeth Warren. But pragmatists fear she’s a bit too left-of-center to win a national election.

Kamala Harris, the first-term democratic senator from California, has shown herself to be an aggressive fighter for progressive values, but does she have enough experience in Washington to be president?

If former vice president/America’s drunk Uncle, Joe Biden, throws his hat into the ring it’ll be a “big fucking deal.” But, let’s not forget, the Scranton Scrapper already as two failed presidential bids.

With so many wishy-washy candidates, I propose a Democrat that poses the sharpest contrast to the presumed Republican nominee, Donald Trump. A man who has the moral courage to restore America’s image abroad while providing the steady leadership needed to quell domestic chaos.

I nominate Jimmy Carter.

via Department of Defense/Wikimedia Commons

Much like the heroes and villains you see in comic books and movies, politics thrives on candidates that contrast one another. For every David Dunn in "Unbrakeable," there is a fragile Mr. Glass. For every intense Batman, an unhinged Joker. For every warm and positive Beto O’Rourke, a cold and calculating Ted Cruz.

Jimmy Carter grabbed national attention back in the mid ‘70s, by representing a stark contrast to the cynical and scandal-ridden Nixon years. Carter called for an elimination of government secrecy and repeatedly told voters, “I’ll never tell a lie.”

Jimmy Carter is an honest-to-goodness man of the people. The former peanut farmer spoke plainly, wore the type of clothing you could pick up in the Sears men’s section, and to this day, still teaches Sunday school at the Marantha Church in Plains, Georgia.

Personality-wise, candidate Carter would provide a day-and-night contrast to the bloviating, ostentatious, pathological liar that is Trump. But, that’s just the tip of the iceberg. The contrast in their behavior is even more striking.

Through Habitat for Humanity, Jimmy Carter builds homes for the needy.

Donald Trump builds monuments to himself.

By Brad/Flickr

Jimmy Carter was the first president to put solar panels on the White House. Trump put a 30% tariff on imported solar panels to stop the growth of alternative energy.

The 39th president is a self-made man who lives modestly in a two-bedroom home that’s assessed about $167,000.

Our 45th president's (who inherited over $400 million from daddy) penthouse.

Carter and Trump also have divergent thoughts when it comes to women.

In the run up to the 1976 election, Carter confessed to Playboy magazine that he sometimes has impure thoughts about women. “I’ve looked on a lot of women with lust,” he said. “I’ve committed adultery in my heart many times.”

In the run up to the 2016, Trump infamously bragged about grabbing women “by the pussy,” and committing adultery IRL.

Donald Trump is a cartoonish display of American materialism who routinely brags about his wealth and is known to inflate his net-worth for the sake of ego.

Carter once berated the American people for being too materialistic in his infamous “malaise speech. In his speech, which addressed the oil crisis and unemployment, Carter asked Americans to do some soul searching.

While the speech was popular when delivered, his inability to capitalize it would be his demise.

In a nation that was proud of hard work, strong families, close-knit communities, and our faith in God, too many of us now tend to worship self-indulgence and consumption. Human identity is no longer defined by what one does, but by what one owns. But we’ve discovered that owning things and consuming things does not satisfy our longing for meaning. We’ve learned that piling up material goods cannot fill the emptiness of lives which have no confidence or purpose...

We are at a turning point in our history. There are two paths to choose. One is a path I’ve warned about tonight, the path that leads to fragmentation and self-interest. Down that road lies a mistaken idea of freedom, the right to grasp for ourselves some advantage over others. That path would be one of constant conflict between narrow interests ending in chaos and immobility. It is a certain route to failure.

America has clearly taken the second path of "self interest" and "fragmentation." It looks like this ...

.. and this.

Did Carter's speech predict the historical inflection point where America lost its way?

Could it have occurred just two years later, when Ronald Reagan defeated Carter and Americans pledged their allegiance to self-interest over community?

What if we could turn back the clock and take the first path instead?

Jimmy Carter of Plains, Georgia is 94 years old. Although constitutionally-eligible to hold the office of president for another term, his age and recent health battles make his candidacy as likely as the return of Reagan.

via LBJ Library/Flickr

However, even though Jimmy Carter was a one-term president whose accomplishments in the oval office haven’t been lauded by historians, he has left a beautiful legacy as a human that shines even brighter in America’s current darkness.

So, when Democrats look for a candidate to run against Trump in 2020, they should know there is much more on the line this time than economic growth or international relationships.

America’s moral fiber is up for grabs and, for those looking to restore it before it's too late, there are few better examples of it than the life and values of Jimmy Carter.

Simon & Garfunkel's song "Bridge Over Troubled Water" has been covered by more than 50 different musical artists, from Aretha Franklin to Elvis Presley to Willie Nelson. It's a timeless classic that taps into the universal struggle of feeling down and the comfort of having someone to lift us up. It's beloved for its soothing melody and cathartic lyrics, and after a year of pandemic challenges, it's perhaps more poignant now than ever.

A few years a go, American singer-songwriter Yebba Smith shared a solo a capella version of a part of "Bridge Over Troubled Water," in which she just casually sits and sings it on a bed. It's an impressive rendition on its own, highlighting Yebba's soulful, effortless voice.

But British singer Jacob Collier recently added his own layered harmony tracks to it, taking the performance to a whole other level.

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Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
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Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

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