Jimmy Carter: (2004 Democratic National Convention) Ultimately, the basic issue is whether America will provide global leadership that springs from the unity and the integrity of the American people, or whether extremist doctrines, the manipulation of the truth, will define America's role in the world. At stake is nothing less than our nation's soul. But I am not discouraged. I really am not. I do not despair for our country. I never do. I believe, as I always have, the essential decency and compassion and common sense of the American people will prevail.