Opinions on Jimmy Carter

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This article is about the 39th President of the United States. For the submarine, see USS Jimmy Carter (SSN-23).

James Earl "Jimmy" Carter, Jr. (born October 1, 1924) is an American politician, author, and member of the Democratic Party who served as the 39th President of the United States from 1977 to 1981. He was awarded the 2002 Nobel Peace Prize.

Carter, raised in rural Georgia, was a peanut farmer who served two terms as a Georgia State Senator, from 1963 to 1967, and one as the Governor of Georgia, from 1971 to 1975. He was elected President in 1976, defeating incumbent president Gerald Ford in a relatively close election, running as an outsider who promised truth in government in the wake of the Watergate scandal. As of 2015, he is the second oldest (after George H. W. Bush) of America's four living former presidents.

On his second day in office, Carter pardoned all evaders of the Vietnam War drafts. During his term as President, Carter created two new cabinet-level departments, the Department of Energy and the Department of Education. He established a national energy policy that included conservation, price control, and new technology. In foreign affairs, Carter pursued the Camp David Accords, the Panama Canal Treaties, the second round of Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (SALT II), and the return of the Panama Canal Zone to Panama. On the economic front he confronted persistent "stagflation", a combination of high inflation, high unemployment and slow growth. The end of his presidential tenure was marked by the 1979–1981 Iran hostage crisis, the 1979 energy crisis, the Three Mile Island nuclear accident, and the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. In response to the Soviet move he ended détente, escalated the Cold War, and led the international boycott of the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow. By 1980, Carter's popularity had eroded. Running for re-election that year, he defeated Ted Kennedy in the Democratic Party's primaries for the presidential nomination, but lost the general election to Republican candidate Ronald Reagan.

Carter has been highly active since leaving the White House. Although his presidency has drawn mixed responses from historians, many consider his post-presidency work to be highly accomplished. He set up the Carter Center in 1982 as his base for advancing human rights. He has also traveled extensively to conduct peace negotiations, observe elections, and advance disease prevention and eradication in developing nations. Additionally, Carter is a key figure in the Habitat for Humanity project. Regarding current political views, he remains highly critical of Israel's role in the decades-old Israeli–Palestinian conflict.


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