The Carters have lived a full life of equity, humanity, and empathy, and will leave behind a legacy.
In an op-ed written by CNN's Kate Andersen Brower, she discussed why Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter are the epitomai of good leadership. When Jimmy Carter was in the White House, there was a certain dignity to the position of President of the United States. And that's because of the unique way Carter and his wife lived—and continue to live—their lives. Unlike other leaders, they have carried their principles and values from their professional lives into their personal ones (or perhaps vice versa) in order to maintain equity, humanity, and empathy at the very core of all their projects.
Brower writes, "I can't help but be emotional myself when I think about the Carters' specific brand of patriotism and the fear that we may never see another president and first lady like them again." While in office, Carter never let his staff play "Hail to the Chief," a tradition dating back to 1829, for he thought it was too ostentatious. Even now, he refuses to let anyone call him "Mr. President," as he believes there is only ever one President at a time. He is now the oldest living former President, and it is clear that his values haven't changed in even the slightest.
The Carters are definitely a stark contrast to the first couple in office today. For example, Carter took the oath of office wearing a $175 business suit made in his home state of Georgia, Brower states. Similarly, his wife Rosalynn chose to wear the same outfit that she wore to Carter's inauguration as governor of Georgia to his Presidential inaugural balls over half a decade later. According to Brower, "[That's] a far cry from the $51,500 Dolce & Gabbana jacket Melania Trump wore while traveling in Italy in 2017. Or the way Trump and his family brag about their wealth, fame and power on a near-daily basis." True that.
Additionally, as a former President, Carter and his wife cost taxpayers less than half of those of the other living Presidents. However, now, of course, the Carters are perhaps best known for their work through the Carter Center, the idea for which first came to him in January 1982. The former President abruptly awoke from his sleep in the middle of the night and, "startling his wife," stated he finally knew what he wanted to do with his presidential library. "We can make it into a place to help people who want to resolve disputes," he had told her at the time. "There is no place like that now." That's when they established the Carter Center to "wage peace, fight disease, and build hope." Since it was first created, the Carter Center has helped hundreds of thousands of people and will continue to do so, long after the Carters have left, leaving behind a legacy of humanitarianism and undying empathy.