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Dr. Rashad Richey

National TV Political Analyst, Talk Radio Host, Univ. Prof.

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Opinion

Rosalynn Carter’s humanitarian legacy transcends her first lady role

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Dr. Rashad Richey

National TV Political Analyst, Talk Radio Host, Univ. Prof.

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Rosalynn Carter, the United States First Lady from 1977 to 1981, passed away on Nov. 19 at the age of 96. As a vocal first lady, her lasting impact was marked by her efforts to diminish the stigma associated with mental illnesses.

Straight Arrow News contributor Dr. Rashad Richey reflects on the legacy of the former first lady, contending that any conservative politician embracing Carter’s values of tolerance and compassion would likely face challenges at the polls.

You know, recently, former first lady Rosalynn Carter, wife of former President Jimmy Carter passed away. And I was struck by how much we’ve changed in our political leadership class within a very short amount of time.

Rosalynn Carter wanted to make the world a better place, not just for herself, but also for those who were, well, let’s say, “the least of these,” as it says in Scripture. She was a mental health advocate and activist. Because of her life and legacy and what she did at the White House, she literally transformed federal laws as relates to mental health in the United States of America.

She was the first first lady to establish an actual office, have a staff, as she worked on behalf of you. We could say very similar things about former President Jimmy Carter. They wanted to do it right. And we can agree and disagree, as relates to policy and execution of the policy, but we knew the heart of the individual, or at least we believed, we understood where they were coming from, even if at times, we disagreed. Rosalynn Carter represented the best among us at 96 years of age.

Richey: You know, recently, former First Lady, Rosalynn Carter, wife of former President Jimmy Carter passed away. And I was struck by how much we’ve changed in our political leadership class, within a very short amount of time, Rosalynn Carter wanted to make the world a better place, not just for ourselves, but also for those who were, well, let’s say the least of these, as it says in Scripture. She was a mental health advocate and activist because of her life and legacy and what she did at the White House. She literally transformed federal laws as relates to mental health in the United States of America. She was the first First Lady, to establish an actual office, have a staff as she worked on behalf of you. We could say very similar things about former President Jimmy Carter. They want it to do it right. And we can agree and disagree, as relates to policy and execution of the policy. But we knew the heart of the individual, or at least we believed, we understood where they were coming from, even if at times, we disagreed. Rosalynn Carter represented the best among us, and 96 years of age. Remember, she was only First Lady for four years, that small window of time, came and went. What really stuck, what really stands out is what Mrs. Carter did before. And also what she did during and after she remained constant. And her character, or values were expressed, her faith was proclaimed. She did not compromise on trying to help others humanitarian and every sense of the word. And now, we have a leadership dynamic, especially, especially in our political class that says, You must be antithetical to humanitarian rights to be popular among us. If a conservative taught, like they had sense, if a conservative talked about diversity, the importance of racial tolerance. If a conservative talked about being an actual advocate and activist, for those who are mentally ill, in the United States of America, those who deserve affordable and yes, even free opportunities for healthcare, if a conservative talk like that, they could not pull above 1% at a national presidential election survey. But if you ridicule people, if you talk down to individuals, if you talk about the children of your political enemy, you become popular in a particular political party. The contrast could not be more evident. I submit this to you no longer believe that there’s actually a Republican Party. I think James Comey got it right. James Comey, who was a Republican, still considers himself a Republican. He said during an interview not too long ago, there is no Republican Party. What did he mean by that? Well, he means Republicans no longer have an identifiable values marker, there is no platform anymore. All you have now is Trump. You all have allowed each conservative stands by and let this happen. You all have allowed Trump a person to redefine an entire policy agenda, not only for you, but for your children and your children’s children. Shame on us for allowing personality to Trump policy.

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