Tags: Presidential History | jimmy carter | wartime | quotes

Jimmy Carter Wartime Address Highlights: Five Quotes From Notre Dame Speech

By    |   Monday, 18 May 2015 03:12 PM

During his lone term in the White House, Jimmy Carter dealt with the ongoing Cold War with the Soviet Union much like his presidential predecessors. For Carter, warfare of any kind — including an undeclared war with the world's other superpower — flew in opposition to his personal commitment to human rights.

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Carter took controversial steps to re-orient United States foreign policy in a new direction after the Vietnam War. In a speech given at the University of Notre Dame in 1977, Carter blasted what he termed "an inordinate fear of Communism" that led to America supporting ruthless dictator that fought communists. He said that human rights would form a cornerstone of foreign policy going forward.

These quotes from that speech highlight Carter's thoughts on his ultimately unpopular and failed foreign policy.

1. Basing foreign policy actions on democratic principles is most effective.
"I have a quiet confidence in our own political system. Because we know that democracy works, we can reject the arguments of those rulers who deny human rights to their people."

2. Responding to brutality with brutality is not the answer.
"For too many years, we've been willing to adopt the flawed and erroneous principles and tactics of our adversaries, sometimes abandoning our own values for theirs. We've fought fire with fire, never thinking that fire is better quenched with water."

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3. Values-based foreign policy will help America shape a better world.
"It is a new world, but America should not fear it. It is a new world, and we should help to shape it. It is a new world that calls for a new American foreign policy — a policy based on constant decency in its values and on optimism in our historical vision."

4. Freedom leads to prosperity, not the other way around.
"The great democracies are not free because we are strong and prosperous. I believe we are strong and influential and prosperous because we are free."

5. Foreign policy must be rooted in moral values and focused on positive global change.
"Our policy is based on an historical vision of America's role. Our policy is derived from a larger view of global change. Our policy is rooted in our moral values, which never change. Our policy is reinforced by our material wealth and by our military power. Our policy is designed to serve mankind."

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For President Jimmy Carter, warfare of any kind flew in opposition to his personal commitment to human rights. Here are five wartime quotes from Carter.
jimmy carter, wartime, quotes
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2015-12-18
Monday, 18 May 2015 03:12 PM
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