2005...My correspondence with JIMMY CARTER
In January of 2005 I saw millions of dollars being spent on the pageant that was supposed to be an inauguration. It was widely advertised as being funded by "private interest" money and not coming out of the pockets of the lowly taxpayer.
What rubbish! Just how naive do there politicians think we are? The big money guys do not shell out that kind of money without expecting to get a return...and we all know that it is the low man on the totem pole that carries the biggest burden.
In a moment of complete frustration I sat down and wrote a letter to Jimmy Carter. I chose to write to him because I have always admired his courage and humility. The accomplishments of his life are varied and impressive, even though he was not a very effective President, in my opinion. (Much too nice a person for that thankless task.)
After he left office he chose to make a real difference in the world, rather than retire to obscurity. In 1984 he and his wife, Rosalynn, became active in "Habitat For Humanity", and it was their participation that helped to make it a world-wide project. He loaned his name to many Foundations, as well as establishing the "Carter Center"...all in the quest for peace and to fight disease & build hope among the peoples of the world.
In my letter to President Carter I explained that I had been in Italy when 9/11 happenend and I told him of the support and love the Italians had shown to us. In 2004 I returned to Italy and was shocked at the difference. Just 3 short years of our present administration had ruined years of fence mending. Once again we have taken on the "ugly American" syndrome.
I explained to him that I felt like a small voice in the wilderness, that I didn't recognize my country anymore and that it frightened me to see the decline of the middle class.
Imagine my surprise and the thrill that I felt when I received an envelope bearing no postage...simply the words "Jimmy Carter" where the stamp would have been placed. Inside I found a copy of my letter and his hand-written message in the upper right hand corner.
I will treasure that piece of paper and, even more to the point, I will try to do as he says. I will continue to let my views be known.