Humility and the political servant: Jimmy Carter's post‐presidential rhetoric of virtue and power

Ronald Lee

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Humility is at the center of Jimmy Carter's efforts to shape the public memory of his presidency. In the Old Testament sense, Carter explains his term as a time of national repentance. In the New Testament sense, he portrays his leadership as an enactment of the role of Christian servant. Thus, he transforms his trials and tribulations into triumphs of character. This moralizing persona, striking at the heart of liberalism's quandary over power and virtue, fits comfortably about the shoulders of the presidential aspirant or retired office holder, but it makes the active wielder of power appear weak and naive.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)120-130
Number of pages11
JournalSouthern Communication Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1995


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication

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