Blessed Are The Peacemakers

By Judith Gayle | Political Waves

Jimmy Carter may not have been the most productive president of the last century, but I doubt that few took their responsibility more seriously or had more faith in the cause of democracy. Like Obama, he inherited a nation torn by final instability and marked by growing distrust of government.


Running as an outsider and truth-teller, he remained both during his one-term presidency, which was likely his downfall. The American public preferred the manufactured optimism of Warner Bros. contract player, one-time union rep and former-Democrat, Ronald Reagan, who — despite all indicators — insisted it was “morning in America” (cue the extras and hit the Klieg lights!).

Jimmy is something of a futurist, a man of positive vision. Where would we be today, I wonder, if we had taken his advice, put on a sweater, turned down the thermostat and learned to conserve energy? His decision to put solar panels on the roof of the White House speaks volumes about his sense of stewardship of  the planet, as did Reagan’s decision to remove them.

Jimmy was green before it was fashionable, and Kermit had that right: it ain’t easy being green. There was something else Jimmy showcased, even when he took hits for it. James Earl Carter is a shining example of mid-20th century Christianity, at its best.

Carter’s announcement this week of melanoma metastasized to his brain is a death knell, not unexpected in a man of 90 years, but it still brings a lump to my throat and a stinging rush of tears. We need more like him in this world, not fewer.

Like the Pope, the Dalai Lama, and others who have practiced their faith to the point of certainty, Jimmy’s dedication to the advancement of humanity, delivered with characteristic and unshakable humility, defines him. He and Rosalynn have spent the majority of their lives in service to others.

When asked if he had regrets about his presidential performance, he had this to say:

“I wish I had sent one more helicopter to get the hostages, and we would have rescued them and I would’ve been re-elected. But that may have interfered with the foundation of the Carter Center. If I had to choose between four more years and the Carter Center, I think I would choose the Carter Center.”

The enormous good that Jimmy Carter has done for the world is, as the gentleman says, more important than his presidential legacy, and isn’t that what we’d expect of him? Truly, what he has accomplished globally would never have been allowed nationally, and that is one of those ah-ha! moments we need to acknowledge as we track this man’s career.

Presiding over one’s nation requires a competitive edge that precludes doing good across the board, and not much has changed since Jimmy was in office. As a CEO is obligated to profit, the American president is expected to play a zero-sum game like a champion going for the gold. The popularity of Donald Trump’s brutish brand of capitalism in place of statesmanship illustrates our continuing — and archaic — devotion to ‘exceptionalism.’

Fortunately, past presidents have the ability to move in broader circles, capture public attention for the greater good, and represent an international agenda. If they will. Some, like our Dubby, keep to themselves, but not Jimmy. He has decades of statesmanship to his credit.

Read about the Carter Center’s amazing work eradicating and controlling disease, and promoting civil rights at this link.

While you’re at it, juxtapose the Clinton Foundation’s admirable work in treating AIDS patients worldwide, while making no complaint against the outlandish cost of drug cocktails supplied by Big Pharma. Both foundations do good work, but only one is politically “connected,” as they say.

In a season when economics take center stage once again, with staggering levels of income inequality and government not trusted, Hillary may well come to envy the Carter Center’s track record and ethical standing.

I can’t say that the 39th President did everything right back in the days of Billy Beer, but I will pledge my oath that I always felt his heart was in the right place. I think the years since stand in testimony of that truth, and I hope he feels the love, in these last months of his life. Here’s a cartoon with the warm hug we wish him.

Jimmy is still an outsider, all these years later, hated on the right and avoided by many in his own party. Why? Open this link and admire the raw courage it takes for a former Commander-in-Chief to tell it like it is. A truth-teller in Washington, D.C. has few friends. But a peacemaker, a healer, a man willing to roll up his sleeves and win hearts and minds with sweat equity? He is beloved by millions.

In a press conference this week, Carter was calm and relaxed discussing his cancer, saying that he was “looking forward to a new adventure.” I can pretty much assure you he wasn’t talking about the four rounds of chemo ahead. In a nation terrified of death, Jimmy is, once again, modeling a faith and positivity that should instruct us all.

To the only U.S. president who did not wage war during his time in office, I send my thanks, my admiration, and my prayers that his coming adventure provides him reward for the love and compassion he extended to his fellow travelers here on Planet Terra. He’s one of the good ones. May all the kindness and mercy he set in motion gently lift him up and take him home.

(A word about last week: I’m again without a computer, tippy-tapping this on my tablet. Last Friday, I lost my piece at the last minute and I apologize to all you Saturday morning readers for the blank space where it should have been. I’ll do my best not to let that happen again!)

15 thoughts on “Blessed Are The Peacemakers

  1. Barbara Koehler

    This was pitch perfect Jude, I can’t thank you enough for seeing the real legacy President Carter has created and then telling it to us so beautifully.

    I believe this month we entered a new phase of evolution, one that utilizes the emotional intelligence of humanity. Jimmy Carter leads this phase with all the charm, strength and integrity one could ask for in a leader and I concur he is a peacemaker and a healer. As the transit of Jupiter (understanding) came to oppose the U.S. Moon – a symbol of The People of the U.S., this phase of adapting our souls to a new stage of being commenced. It was followed by transiting Sun in Leo opposite U.S Moon in Aquarius, then Venus followed suit, once, twice and in October a 3rd pass will take place. These aspects have a full-moon quality to them, a reflected view of who we are. Are we Trump? Paul? Bush? Clinton? Sanders? Carter? All of the above?

    One week from now we will have a Full “Super” Moon, the 1st of 3 in a row. This is when the Moon comes closest to Earth and most closely aligns with Sun and Earth. These full super moons have a reputation of expanding our emotions to the hilt, and the 2nd of the 3 is also an eclipse. Certain aspects I won’t go into now advance the transitioning of Aquarian expression from its Saturnian form into a more Uranian form of energy during the phase that began with transiting Jupiter opposite the U. S. Moon.

    Suffice it to say that this period will be grueling for our feelings. A quick view of the Fall Equinox, coming 4 days before the 2nd Super Full (Eclipsed) Moon features Mars at 28+ Leo, opposite the U.S. Moon , and on the ascendant when set for Washington DC. It also has Venus trine Uranus but square the U.S. Vesta, suggesting U.S. resistance from what it is we invest in toward the creative financial ventures in technology and other untested discoveries being made available. This chart is an energetic snapshot for the months between late September through late December as described by patterns produced by the planets. The U.S. Moon is indeed going through changes.

    I believe we are (somewhat) gradually being acclimated emotionally to drastic changes in our societies (especially in the U.S.) that will facilitate a cultural leap in evolution in the very near future. But while minds may grasp the leap forward, the feelings are still lodged in the old, tested, tried and true world of the Past. August, September, October, November and December will be filled with events that will wear down our feelings (in the U.S. that includes the oppositions to the natal Moon) through the lunar eclipse and the 3 super moons that will be taking place. It is a necessary rite of passage, facilitated by the transits of Chiron, Uranus and Saturn as well as the ongoing opposition of Pluto to the U.S. natal (Sibly) Sun in Cancer. In fact all the planets will participate in this process, as they always do.

    As well, the ongoing cycles of Neptune-Pluto, Neptune-Uranus and Saturn-Pluto support the transformation of life and living things through transiting Saturn’s arrival at 3+ Sagittarius. We may be emotionally wrung out and hung to dry by Christmas but the crisis, at least the hardest part of transitioning, should be noticeably over when Saturn gets to 4+ Sagittarius and leaves the shadow phase of his recent retrograde. Jimmy Carter isn’t the only one looking forward to his next adventure!

    We truly missed you last Saturday Jude and I for one am so glad you checked in with this column despite your handicapped delivery system. Been there, done that; we all have. Love you.

  2. Deborah

    Welcome back, Judith. Thank you for your heartfelt tribute to a most righteous and honest man, hopefully not the last of his kind willing to serve as a leader with humanity.

  3. Kathi

    Hi Jude,
    Glad you wrote about Jimmy Carter. I watched the press conference, during which I laughed (at his one regret you mentioned!) and I cried, at the grace and kindness this truly honorable man exudes. I saw a joyous man who said he was completely at ease, ready for anything, with a smile to match. I also saw his looks toward Rosalind, respecting her need to not be on stage and to keep her as private as he could. I’ve seen him on Jon Stewart talk about the guinea worm (great interviews to watch, for Carter and to get a dose of Jon, still going through withdrawals!) and at this event he stated “I want the guinea worm to die before I do.” Again, laughter and tears.

    I had to look at his birth chart, Libra sun and Libra rising, Scorpio Saturn and Moon, Neptune conjunct Venus in Leo. Now I know what makes a truly great man and a gifted negotiator. Let’s not forget about the Camp David and the Peace Treaty between Egypt and Israel that still exists.

    One thing that bothered me afterwards was the news cycle of the day using the phrase “Battle with Cancer” to describe Jimmy Carter. Yes, he is undergoing treatment for a deadly disease, and I pray for his ‘adventure’ to include a much-deserved rest at home without side effects or suffering, but I did not see a man prepared for ‘battle’. I saw joy and acceptance. I guess those pundits can’t help themselves….

    And for Be – With the global financial markets going wonky and North Korea/South Korea grabbing our attention I FEEL the impending changes of the next four months.

    With prayers that we all learn from President Carter’s example regarding how to conduct ourselves during the tribulations we may face.

  4. Tana

    Judith, a lovely and moving writing. Over time I agree, Carter has demonstrated a beauty that few humans attain. He combines service, faith, honesty, and acceptance. Those all are different threads that make up his character. In a world of people constantly arguing it’s us against them, Carter reaches out his hand to say simply, can I help? That’s beautiful.

  5. Geoff Marsh

    Jimmy Carter’s presidency coincided with the most depressed four years of my life, and I have barely a faint recollection of him from the British media at that time. For me, 1977 was the end of my 15 year sojourn in London, from the first Bob Dylan and then The Beatles’ albums to the punktual arrival of The Sex Pistols, the first album from The Clash and the death of Marc Bolan. It signalled the end of my freewheelin’ lifestyle on the outskirts of hippiedom and the arrival of a darker social and cultural reality.

    In the UK press, the news was of demonstration and counter-demonstration against the far-right National Front under newly-incumbent Prime Minister Edward Heath. Strangely, on reflection, Heath’s public persona now seems to resonate with that of Jimmy Carter’s as I perceived it then. Both seemed personable and gentle men who had the misfortune to be rightly concerned about global affairs in a time of resurgent nationalism. Both served just the one term in office. I very much regret not recognising the qualities of the man in The White House at the time.

    Judith, I know it wasn’t your fault last week but Saturday just wasn’t Saturday without your erudite and deeply wise analysis of current American politics. For a Brit, it provides insight and a wealth of information not otherwise available on the machinations at the heart of what is still the world’s most powerful nation. I don’t mean to pry into your financial situation but you surely deserve a more reliable computer. Would it help if your ardent followers on PW were to “chip in” to a PayPal account or similar and help to provide you with one? It seems to me a viable way of satisfying my addiction. I was so relieved, as well as deeply moved, to read your column this week.

    Be: I read your prognostications avidly and try to keep up. I share my Moon placement with the U.S. (Sibly) and, on a small scale, inevitably compare the emotional outlook for America with my own small problems. It certainly jibes with my experiences much of the time; I, too, sense the need for radical change as well as the start of a new adventure.

    I wish Jimmy Carter all the very best and pray that the new immune-reactivating treatment will destroy the cancer and return him to health. I now see that he encompasses the many attributes I was looking for in a world leader, back in the day.

    The bow is faith, and the arrow hope.

    1. Barbara Koehler

      Geoff, that doesn’t surprise me all that much. . . you having a Moon conjunct the U.S. Sibly Moon. You noted the fall equinox placement of Mars I assume, and will not be surprised when that energy surfaces this September-October.

      In a press meeting today one of the 3 American young men who, with others, subdued a would-be terrorist on a French train, said upon being questioned about what he was thinking, “I wasn’t thinking”. This is what I believe we are being encouraged to do. To get in touch with our instincts and intuition and gut feelings rather than relying just on our minds to solve problems.

      It’s a matter of balance; getting in balance. We have pulled too far in the direction of science and math based rational thinking and have forsaken our God-given gifts of irrational instinctive know-how. One thing we might watch for as far as emotional wisdom making a comeback is the September Super Moon which is also a lunar eclipse. The Moon herself at 4+ Aries will be conjunct Vesta (how we invest) at 5+ Aries retrograde. Opposite the Moon will be the Sun at 4+ Libra conjunct Juno (partner searching for equality) also at 4+ Libra.

      4+ Libra is where the Greek Pluto-Moon conjunction is.

      Next Saturday’s Super Moon conjuncts Neptune and opposite Luna, the Sun at 6+ Virgo will conjunct Pres. Obama’s Pluto. Surely we will see some compassion expressed during this period.

      On October 27, the final Super Moon of the 3-in-a-row Super Moons will be at 3+ Taurus, the same degree where Chiron was discovered. It’s also the degree where Chiron was when Uranus was discovered, almost 200 years before we knew there would be such a thing as Chiron in the sky. It’s also the degree presently occupied by 1992 QB-1 which Eric “feels” is the symbol of a thresholder who assists in the crossing over from one state of being into another.

      That Sabian Symbol would be THE POT OF GOLD AT THE END OF THE RAINBOW, “Riches that come from linking the celestial and the earthly nature.” Dane Rudhyar’s An Astrological Mandala, page 73.

      Are we tuning in to that inner voice nudging us toward some idea or choice? Trust it. I did!

      1. Geoff Marsh

        Many thanks to you, be, as wise as ever.

        From personal experience I have learned to accept that genuine intuition is always instantaneous and never wrong. This has not been easy to accommodate with a natal signature over-laden with grand trines in air, Mercury my only planet in earth and the Ascendant my only contact with water (Scorpio 28+). Rather than Capricorn, I used to wish I had Mercury in Aquarius too, just to complete the mental picture. Perhaps then I could have been a totally off-the-wall original who would have been of more benefit to future generations.

        I try not to let my rational mind over-ride intuitive insights whenever possible but the very consideration of the information presented usually precludes its implementation. Were I a young psychology student I think I might choose to work towards an understanding of the bio-neurological pathways of the phenomenon of intuition – where in the brain, or mind, does it originate, and why have our survival instincts seemingly relegated it to the back row of significance. It would certainly appear to be a good candidate for a celestial connection and is a seemingly magical pathway to correct action once we learn to trust it. Here’s to looking for rainbows.

        I have indeed taken note of the Mars opposition to my natal Moon at the Autumn equinox and from an astrological perspective I am looking forward to it, if only because it is the only major aspect for me at that time. It’s been an overloaded ride for most of this year, particularly heightened during the last Mercury retrograde. With so many aspects happening simultaneously it’s been difficult to correlate the influences.

        I salute the brave response of the American service personnel in disarming a terrorist on board the French airliner. It indicates that military-style training can develop both instinctive and intuitive action, something that might even seem counter-intuitive. Curiously, my favourite parody of Descartes’ famous phrase “I think therefore I am” is “I didn’t think therefore I wasn’t.” It’s the perfect excuse, really. It couldn’t have been me, I wasn’t there.

        Respect and thanks.

  6. Pisces Sun

    Wow, so enjoyed reading this entire passage of conversation, could use a coke and a smile, Jude, yeah, nothing Freudian that it began with Georgia! I can still see the lady standing on the Hill almost like Maria in the Alps, but instead of the Hills being alive, she wants to “teach the world to sing, in perfect harmony.” Your writeup Jude was so beautiful, you really c!!aught the essence of President Carter and the fact that he was the only President without war and his only regret was not sending the extra helicopter but yet although that was fate, it opened the door to the Carter Center, which it sounds like he believes saved many more lives than any President ever would have done for all the right reasons. Maybe its because “they” were lives that no one else in power was paying attention to. President Carter was a naval officer that served on nuclear submarines and saw first hand how nuclear power could go awry, he steered US policy away from all things nuclear. He was also a peanut farmer and there is something to be said about anyone who toils the earth. Having smelled the sweet scent of peanut fields at a time in my life I can tell you that it is a scent to behold. He came a harsh racially divided south and was able to bridge the diversity gap with all things that always does, love and respect for your fellow human beings. President Carter will be fine in this new phase of his life and journey with Rosalind and his family by his side, for he is at peace with who he is and what he has accomplished and he is, after all, 90. The question is, how will the rest of us fare without his work and living example? Or better yet, the question is, how do we become the example?

  7. Kathi

    [Spoiler alert?] I always liked that coke commercial, but I can’t see it now without thinking how perfect the last scene of Mad Men was – Don Draper finally got Coke!

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