Former President Jimmy Carter has entered hospice care at home. The love of his life, Rosalind, asked that their privacy be respected. They have had their fill of limelights and cameras. When Ronald Regan defeated his bid for a second term, President Carter graciously conceded, and returned to their home in Plains, GA. He spent the rest of his life with hammer and saw in hand, building homes for Habitat for Humanity.
On Presidents Day, President Joe Biden risked a visit to Kiev for a face-to-face meeting with Vladimir Zelensky to assure him that the USA would keep its commitment to Ukraine for as long as it takes to put down Vladimir Putin’s siege. Joe Biden was in the limelight yesterday, but the limelight was not about him. It was about Ukraine and the defense of democracy against autocracy and oligarchy.
Former President Donald Trump was at home alone with a golf club in one hand and a scorecard in the other. The cameras and microphones were missing. His soul, buried in a sand trap, was his only company, if he could find it. No one is holding their breath waiting for Mr. Trump to find the conscience he had sliced into the rough years ago, long before he pressured Vladimir Zelensky to investigate — and announce to the world — Ukraine’s investigation of Hunter Biden as the quid pro quo for releasing the US budgeted dollars he was withholding from the Zelensky administration.
Living in the Metaverse
In the latest issue of The Atlantic (March 23), Megan Garber’s “We’re Already Living in the Metaverse” draws on the insights of George Orwell, Aldous Huxley, Neil Postman, Neal Garber, Hanna Arendt, and others to trace how we came to live in the dystopian “post-truth” era when “the news is entertainment, and entertainment is the news.
Character counts for little in the world of the metaverse. Glitz and entertainment are everything. But flesh and blood reality doesn’t disappear. Within a matter of weeks, Jimmy Carter will breathe his last in Plains, GA. Rosalind and the Carter family will decide how best to celebrate the exemplary character of the former president whose real hammers and saws remind us that character is everything.
Gordon C. Stewart, public theologian, author of Be Still! Departure from Collective Madness (2017 Wipf and Stock), Brooklyn Park, Minnesota, February 21, 2023.