Tags: Presidential History | Jimmy Carter Inaugural | Highlights | Speech | Quotes | U.S. President

Jimmy Carter Inaugural Address Highlights: 7 Quotes From Speech

By    |   Wednesday, 25 Feb 2015 04:59 PM

Jimmy Carter ascended to the nation's highest office as a politician free from the Watergate scandal that forced the resignation of Richard Nixon, as voters were attracted to the affable former governor of Georgia. His inaugural address, on Jan. 20, 1977 echoed the sentiments of change in Washington

A former naval officer and peanut farmer, Carter handily defeated Gerald Ford, whose popularity waned after he granted Nixon a presidential pardon. Carter promised, "I will never tell a lie to the American people."

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Here are seven highlights from Carter's inaugural address:

1. "Let our recent mistakes bring a resurgent commitment to the basic principles of our Nation, for we know that if we despise our own government, we have no future. We recall in special times when we have stood briefly, but magnificently, united. In those times no prize was beyond our grasp."

2. "Because we are free we can never be indifferent to the fate of freedom elsewhere. Our moral sense dictates a clear-cut preference for these societies which share with us an abiding respect for individual human rights. We do not seek to intimidate, but it is clear that a world which others can dominate with impunity would be inhospitable to decency and a threat to the well-being of all people."

3. "To be true to ourselves, we must be true to others. We will not behave in foreign places so as to violate our rules and standards here at home, for we know that the trust which our Nation earns is essential to our strength."

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4. "We will be ever vigilant and never vulnerable, and we will fight our wars against poverty, ignorance, and injustice, for those are the enemies against which our forces can be honorably marshaled. We are a proudly idealistic nation, but let no one confuse our idealism with weakness."

5. "Our Nation can be strong abroad only if it is strong at home. And we know that the best way to enhance freedom in other lands is to demonstrate here that our democratic system is worthy of emulation."

6. "We are a strong nation, and we will maintain strength so sufficient that it need not be proven in combat — a quiet strength based not merely on the size of an arsenal but on the nobility of ideas."

7. "We will be ever vigilant and never vulnerable, and we will fight our wars against poverty, ignorance, and injustice, for those are the enemies against which our forces can be honorably marshaled."

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Jimmy Carter ascended to the nation's highest office as a politician free from the Watergate scandal that forced the resignation of Richard Nixon, as voters were attracted to the affable former governor of Georgia.
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