Jimmy Carter has returned to his usual, busy schedule following his announcement earlier this year that he has cancer and it has spread from his lungs to his brain. When he cleared his normally busy schedule, there were fears that his health had deteriorated to the point that the former president would no longer be able to play a very active role as a goodwill ambassador around the world. However, those fears may have been allayed by a recent announcement that Carter and his wife, Rosalyn, will be traveling to Nepal’s Chitwan district in November to provide labor for Habitat for Humanity.
Nepal was hit by a serious earthquake that devastated much of the country earlier this year. This will mark the 32nd consecutive year that the famous couple will participate in the Habitat for Humanity mission to build affordable housing for people in need.
Carter, the Nobel Peace Prize winner in 2002, received clearance for the trip by a medical team. For his part, the former President said that he felt grateful for the opportunity to go on the trip with his wife and suggested that it should help to put the problem of inadequate housing on the radar as a serious problem in the world.
There have been other signs that Nobel Peace Prize laureate was returning to his normally busy schedule following the cancer announcement, as he has recently been making news headlines frequently. In his hometown of Plains, Ga, Cater returned to teaching Sunday school at the local Maranatha Baptist church. These sessions usually draw a good number of people, although the first services featuring the former President since his cancer announcement drew an unusually large number of people for such a small church of only a few dozen members.
Also, Carter called for greater cooperation between China and the United States just ahead of the planned visit to the U.S. by Chinese President Xi Jinping. He argued that leaders on both countries have, at times, criticized the other nation because it has been politically profitable to do so. While many politicians are outspoken in their criticism on China, particularly on the issue of human rights, the former president said they usually moderate their tone considerably once they attain higher office. Carter is urging Americans not to simply lump China into the same category as they viewed the Soviet Union during the Cold War, because they are different countries, and the times and circumstances are also completely different.
Recently, Carter made an appearance on Oprah Winfrey’s SuperSoul Sunday show, which aired this past week. During that appearance, he discussed his rise to the presidency as an evangelical Christian, as well as the climate of American politics today. The 90-year-old repeated some earlier claims that the United States is not so much a democracy today, and that it has become an oligarchy. He suggested that it takes hundreds of millions of dollars to become a serious candidate for president and that he would not be able to be the president today. However, he says this has inflicted considerable damage on the integrity of the American political process, to the detriment of American citizens.
So while it is clear that Carter is returning to the famously busy schedule the author and former President was accustomed to before the cancer announcement, it should nonetheless be noted that not all of the attention that he is receiving is welcome. Billionaire Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump criticized Carter’s presidency, suggesting that he tried to appeal to the common man too much which took away from the exceptionalism that Trump feels befits a president. There is a history of animosity between the two and Carter, for his part said that Trump has tended to make a lot of stupid statements.
By Charles Bordeau
ABC News – Jimmy Carter to Join Nepal Project With Habitat for Humanity
The Himalayan Times – Jimmy Carter receives consent from doctors for Nepal visit
The Greenville Online – Despite cancer, Jimmy Carter continues his work at Maranatha Baptist
Atlanta Journal Constitution – Jimmy Carter on Oprah’s ‘SuperSoul Sunday’
Atlanta Journal Constitution – Donald Trump takes aim at Jimmy Carter’s Everyman image
Photo courtesy of LBJ Foundation’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License