Paul Thomas had a good article in the NZ Herald yesterday, where he describes the work Jimmy Carter has been doing since he lost the US Presidency in 1980.
Apparently, he’s on the verge of eradicating the guinea worm – a parasite that is ingested from drinking water and grows to around a metre in length, then erupts from blisters (eewww I know!)
The Carter Foundation’s campaign of education and distribution of water purification strainers has reduced the number of cases from three million reported cases in 1980 to 1700 last year, mostly in Sudan.
Yet, as Paul Thomas says :
(Jimmy Carter)… remains the benchmark of liberal ineffectuality and a prime target of that curious pejorative, habitually delivered with a curl of the lip, do-gooder.Carter is routinely described as a peanut farmer, which is true as far as it goes. He was also a naval officer involved in America’s nuclear submarine programme and a modernising governor of Georgia, but those parts of his CV don’t conform to the narrative.
Sarah Palin, who during the 2008 presidential campaign sneered at Barack Obama’s background as a community organiser, recently joined the dots. Asked to summarise Obama’s presidency, she offered, “Two words: Jimmy Carter.”
This is the same Sarah Palin who, since she resigned her Alaska governship, has made $16 million through books, speaking engagements and appearances on Fox News.
It says something about today’s society that we (some) hang on Palin’s every tweet and treat her as a serious political figure when all she seems to be good at, or interested in, is self-promotion, while continuing to deprecate Carter despite his measurable contribution to mankind.
I agree. And don’t we see it here? The denigration of those whose work involves helping others, rather than themselves and whose causes are about more than building personal wealth.
We need to value and respect those who are dedicated through their work or community involvement or activism, to doing good and to fighting for important causes.
Because if they don’t, who will?