You know that you’ve lost the respect of the nation when even sweet old former president Jimmy Carter is making jokes at your expense.
President Trump was the butt of the joke that the famously charitable former president made while delivering the commencement speech at Jerry Falwell Jr.’s Liberty University today, according to a report on The Hill
In this instance, Carter was in the rare position of following in the footsteps of Trump who addressed the graduates last year at the evangelical Christian college, a fact that formed the basis of Carter’s humorous remarks.
“This is a wonderful crowd,” Carter told the assembled graduates and their families. “Jerry told me it’s even bigger, I hate to say this, than it was last year. I don’t know if President Trump would admit that or not.”
The former president surely had Trump’s proclivity for comparing crowd sizes in mind when making his joke, with the current president still unable to live down his preposterous claims of having the largest crowd in history at his inauguration when all photographic evidence proves that assertion to be as ludicrous as the rest of his presidency.
Trump’s commencement speech last year was attended by around 50,000 people according to the school. While no exact attendance figures were available for this year, there were more than 20,000 graduates alone at the ceremony, so with family and friends for each graduate included in the final total it’s certainly conceivable that the crowd was indeed larger this year.
Liberty University president Jerry Falwell Jr sycophantically described Trump’s remarks last year as the “best commencement speech” in the history of the college, but with the rest of Carter’s address focusing on Christianity, human rights, equality and justice, it’s hard to imagine someone with Trump’s limited rhetorical skills out-inspiring the Liberty graduates.
Carter exhorted the class to use their education to benefit the world and emphasized two qualities seemingly absent from President Trump’s arsenal of personality traits: truthfulness and kindness.
“We decide whether we tell the truth or benefit from telling lies. We’re the ones who decide, do I hate or am I filled with love? We’re the ones who decide, do I only think about myself, or do I care for others? We ourselves make these decisions and no one else. There are no limits to our ambition,” the former president said.
In an alternative universe, it was a speech that President Trump would have heard and taken to heart, but in this one if he heard it at all, it likely fell on deaf ears.
At 93-years-old, President Carter remains the kind of moral exemplar that sits on the opposite side of the pole from our current con-man-in-chief. He reminds of us of a time not that long ago when Presidents could be pointed to as positive role models, a time that now can only be looked back upon with nostalgia for the good old days.
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