The position of former President has always been a revered and exalted one in the United States, ever since George Washington did his Cincinnatus impression and retired to his… well, sort of like a farm. Later Presidents wrote good books (like Grant and Coolidge) or bad books (like Clinton) and did good works (like Nixon) or bad works (like Clinton.) Or they could paint funny watercolor self-portraits like George W. Bush.
Indeed, such was the esteem in which Americans held Jimmy Carter that they promoted him to the august role of former President after a single term in office! He left the White House on January 20, 1981, to be welcomed by the lusty cheers of a grateful nation.
Men and women of a certain age recall Jimmy’s tenure as Chief Executive with a shudder, often accompanied by a cold sweat. It is hard to communicate to the younger generation how different life was in those halcyon days. Back then you bought a home by signing a mortgage in the range of fifteen percent. Yes, you heard right, fifteen! That is a mere five times the current rate. You can imagine how much fun life was in that environment.