This week, one of America's five living former presidents had a health scare that grabbed headlines, and not solely out of concern over his well-being. Former president Jimmy Carter, 92, reportedly got woozy while working at a Habitat for Humanity site in Winnipeg, Canada, succumbing to dehydration while working under a hot sun. Carter was released from the hospital on Saturday, however, and he's reportedly returned to the work site already. Which is raising some not-so-flattering comparisons for the current American president ― some people are comparing Carter building houses to Trump golfing, drawing a sharp contrast between how the two men use their free time.
Now, needless to say, being a president and a private citizen are very different things, and they demand different schedules. During Carter's presidency, for example, he was not spending countless hours doing manual labor and constructing homes for people who needed them. As a former president, however, he has the time and the means to do so.
Also, as far as post-presidencies go, Carter has been uniquely selfless and service-oriented; Bill Clinton hasn't spent his time doing physical labor for the needy since leaving the White House, for example. And Trump isn't the first president to enjoy golfing; while he was still in office, Barack Obama had his own fondness for the sport. But throughout his first six months in office, Trump's has dwarfed Obama in terms of number of golf games, and he hasn't always been transparent about it.
Basically, it's no surprise that people are drawing this unfavorable comparison. Carter, despite being just a one-term president, has dedicated his post-presidency life to public service, while Trump is in the midst of one of the most unpopular young presidencies in American history.
The point of comparison was driven home even more sharply on Saturday, the day Carter returned to work at the Winnipeg Habitat for Humanity site, while Trump spent his time taking in the U.S. Women's Open, which is being played at his own Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey.
Trump has made Bedminster one of his go-to destinations throughout the early months of his presidency, and the fact that he owns the course raised the possibility of protests descending on the Women's Open, the same sorts of protests that have followed the president many of the places he's gone.
In short, while everyone's human, Carter has earned himself an indomitable and tireless image through his decades of work with Habitat for Humanity, and it doesn't seem like he plans to slow down anytime soon. As he told NPR briefly before revealing he'd beaten his cancer diagnosis, he's still going strong.
"I'm still, except for making overseas trips, I'm staying just about as busy as I ever did," Carter said.
Carter is reportedly already back at work. He's had a tumultuous couple of years as far as his health has been concerned, having been diagnosed with a cancer that had spread to his liver and brain in late 2015. He ultimately survived, however, thanks to cutting-edge treatment, and subsequently made history by being the oldest former president to ever attend an inauguration.