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     There is a desperate need in America to block and reverse the radical departures from the moral and ethical principles that have made ours a great nation.

    This is not a conflict between liberals and conservatives or even between Democrats and Republicans. The unprecedented changes in policy are from those of Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush, Gerald Ford, Richard Nixon, Dwight Eisenhower, and also, of course, from those of Democratic presidents.

    These changes involve the most basic aspects of America's moral values: peace, human rights, justice, the environment, fiscal responsibility, respects for the civil rights of Americans, the honoring of international commitments, separation of church and state, and the control of nuclear weapons.

    As described in my current book, "Our Endangered Values, America's Moral Crisis," all of these basic principles have been grossly violated. The proud announcement of "preemptive" war as an official policy, repudiation of Geneva Convention restraints and officially condoned torturing of prisoners, refusal to acknowledge the reality of global warning, and rejection of every nuclear arms control agreement of the past half century have tended to make our nation a pariah within the international community. The incredible budget deficits and secret and illegal spying on American citizens have not only burdened our children and grandchildren with enormous fiscal debt but have been embarrassing to traditional conservatives of all political parties.

     Since there will not be another presidential election until 2008, the only chance to modify these trends will be in the elections later this year for U.S. Senators and Members of Congress. Because of gerrymandering by both parties as they gain control of state legislatures, the reelection of most House members are assured - a circumstance in itself that is a radical departure from the vision of our founding fathers.

    The only real opportunity, therefore, is to join in a concerted effort to win seats that are actually up for grabs. The best chance to change party control and therefore national policy is in the U.S. Senate, and eight Republican seats are vulnerable: Arizona, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Tennessee. Among these, the smallest margins of victory by President Bush in 2004 were in Ohio (51%, 136,000 votes), Nevada (50.5%, 21,500 votes), and Pennsylvania (50.8%, 129,000 votes) and they reveal real opportunities this year in statewide races.

    Nevada is the one that has received the least attention, perhaps because the state has traditionally been Republican and the first term incumbent is known to have a large campaign war chest from the gaming industry, but this one real advantage can easily be overcome by three factors:

     First is his almost total compliance with the White House (96% average for the five years he has been in office and 100% in 2004!) at a time when many voters are having second thoughts about the Bush administration.

     Second is a strong candidate, and Jack Carter has already entered the race. With degrees in physics and law, he also has had a broad career as an expert on agricultural commodities, and later in international trade and commerce. A veteran of Vietnam and an effective campaigner in my 1976 campaign, Jack is knowledgeable about security, and especially familiar with a broad range of political issues throughout America. Happily married, with four children, he understands and appreciates real family values. Although he doesn't talk about it on the campaign trail, Jack is also a loyal member of his local church, where he plays the guitar on Sundays.

    Knowing that John Kerry had a comfortable combined margin of victory in the urban areas of Nevada but lost overwhelmingly among farmers, ranchers, and citizens of small towns, Jack's background makes him quite compatible with these voters. Everyone who knows him agrees that he will understand even the most complex challenges of Nevadans and will always address them courageously and truthfully. An added bonus among his supporters is that he will campaign full time and will never back down or give up.

    The third factor - adequate campaign financing - is more difficult, but can be achieved with grassroots support from throughout the nation. Jack needs campaign contributions, which will be a fine investment for any American who is willing to participate in restoring our nation's values.

You can find his website here.

Originally posted to Jimmy Carter on Thu Mar 23, 2006 at 07:34 AM PST.

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