Of course, we had three presidents during the 1970s and each president faced very different challenges. Because of this, it is very difficult to generalize about how all the presidents attempted to deal with our problems.
Jimmy Carter tried to deal with US domestic problems in the 1970s by being (in his mind) realistic. For example, he tried to persuade people to use less energy as a way to combat the oil crisis of his term in office. His idea was that Americans should sacrifice for the common good. This did not go over well with the public.
In foreign affairs, Carter tried to be more idealistic. A major example of this was when he pushed to return the Panama Canal to Panama. In this and other ways, Carter tried to have the US act in less selfish and aggressive ways than it had previously.