President's Day—which we celebrate today—naturally provokes a tendency to create lists, subjective rankings of the best and worst chief executives of all time. I'm not immune to this tradition. Typically, I restrict my analysis to those presidents in-position during my lifetime (Kennedy to Biden)—unless I am considering Lincoln, usually my all-time favorite.
Now, back to my lifetime. I have no doubt which man was the worst president in my lifetime (hugely); both the worst executive and the worst person. I am likewise certain who my favorite president is (born 718 days and 1.7 miles from my birthplace).
There is another president who holds a sacred spot in my heart—and I'm praying for him at this moment. While in-office, President Jimmy Carter was dealt an extremely difficult hand. Economics, geopolitics, and dirty electoral manipulations all served to undermine Carter's presidency. He had difficult waters to navigate, a task which would be impossible for anyone. And, yet, Jimmy Carter remained the model—the gold standard—of morality, human goodness, and Christian love. In the 45 years since he left office, Carter has devoted his life to alleviating much suffering of homelessness and poverty. As I write these words, President Carter, now 98 years old, is undergoing in-home hospice care, ready to meet his Maker at any moment.
When I consider Carter in my ranked analysis of presidents, his decency and goodness outweigh the troubled economy he inherited—not to mention an unsettled country relinquished by Nixon/Ford. May God provide President Carter comfort, solace, and bring him swiftly to his long-deserved reward.
The bookends, shown above, depict President Abraham Lincoln reading to his young son, Tad. They were modeled by Olga Popoff Muller, based on an 1860's photo of the president and his son by 19th Century photographer, Matthew Brady. Click on the photo above to learn more about them.
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