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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Jimmy Carter [exact date unavailable], 1974. Interview A-0066. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Southerners can help the nation practice harmonious governance

Southerners have learned to live in harmony with each other, which helps them model the attitude necessary for harmonious, honest government and foreign policy.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Jimmy Carter [exact date unavailable], 1974. Interview A-0066. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) in the Southern Oral History Program Collection, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Full Text of the Excerpt

WALTER DE VRIES:
If the South is a bellweather for the rest of the country, what do you see in terms of national politics over the next ten or fifteen years?
JIMMY CARTER:
Well, that's a complicated question, and the answer to it would be very complicated. I think there is a faith in the basic institutions of our government. I think there's going to be a resurgence of patriotism. A higher standard of ethics demanded on the part of public servants. A quiet individual reaction against the ones involved in the Watergate scandals. A new searching for a return to . . . well, I'd say the integrity of Washington, and the wisdom of Franklin, and the belief in the common man of Jefferson, and so forth. I believe that we'll have some of the principles that were indicated in the 1972 election continued. A desire for a more harmonious relationship with foreign countries, a commitment to a strong defense, an insistence that government be open, that the shrouds of secrecy be stripped away. I think that McGovern had some inherent defects that clouded the issue last year. But I think if you look at the conglomerate results of many governors' elections, which are the most easily analyzed, that what I've just described has already been exhibited. What would happen in the future I don't know, other than what I've just described. But I think the South has shown a very enlightened attitude. We've learned to live in harmony with one another. We are reaching out to foreign governments and people for new degrees of friendship, and cultural and trade involvement. We are progressive in our economic development, but we have an almost unswerving allegiance to the protection of the quality of the environment. I think we've assimilated the revolutions that have taken place in our nation in recent years, in searching for peace, and protecting the environment, and alleviating poverty, and overcoming racial discrimination. These have been shocks to our system, and I think now we're going to build on them and not let them be undone. But maybe capitalize on them within the framework of our national government structure.