Google Custom Search

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

The Problem with Jimmy Carter--A Foreshadowing of Barack Obama?

Jimmy Carter came along when Americans were weary with government scandal. Fresh from our defeat in Viet Nam due to political restrictions in Washington, plus the fallout from the Watergate scandal, Americans were ready for a fresh face of innocence.

They thought they had found it in Jimmy Carter.

Here was a man who loved to smile, who seemed cheerful, affirming, and warm. He was a Sunday School teacher, a Baptist who didn't shy away from stating upfront that he had been 'born again.' He had been a peanut farmer in the South and later served the state of Georgia as its Governor. But he was also very intelligent...educated as a nuclear physicist.

The fact that Carter's presidency was a failure was not due to any lack of intelligence or ability, or even congeniality. Everyone generally agreed he was a 'good guy.' Rather, Carter's presidency failed because of a fundamental flaw in the Carter psyche--a deep-seated belief that somehow America is at fault for the world's ills and that if only we could demonstrate to Communists, dictators, and other political thugs that we were really and truly 'good,' then they would forgive us for our supposed sins and there would be peace.

It is not to be forgotten that Carter's fate was sealed in the 1980 presidential race, not because he failed to get our hostages in Iran released but because of a televised address to the nation in which he accused the citizens of being sick with a 'malaise.' He seemed to forget the fact that his policies brought on an economic malaise which resulted in skyrocketing interest rates and runaway inflation that brought the construction and real estate markets to a grinding halt.

Carter has never failed to be among the first to blame America while letting tyrants off the hook, such as his penchant for cozying up to Yasir Arafat. Ronald Reagan had to do very little to provide a distinct contrast. Reagan's natural gift of putting people at ease with his extraordinary communication skills, along with his belief in the ultimate greatness of America, inspired millions of citizens, even Democrats, to move America forward by reaching back to recapture the essence of what motivated the Founders to make this country 'that bright city on a hill.'

Without doubt, Mr. Carter would have been much better off doing what he did best--spearheading Habitat for Humanity, leading the Carter Center which he founded in Atlanta, and other such worthy pursuits. But it is as if he never could accept the fact that Americans rejected his political point of view, and thus, he has continued to meddle in American foreign policy, often placing national interests at great peril.

And let's not forget that it was Carter whom Bill Clinton tapped to lead the ill-fated scheme to supply North Korea with nuclear power upon nothing more than a promise from Kim Jong-il that the material would only be used for energy. We all know now that Kim duped the Clinton administration and that America in essence supplied him with the capability to build and deploy nuclear weapons.

We can thank Messrs. Clinton and Carter for that one.

Carter's latest debacle may well be the one to do him in for good. His latest book, which suggests that Israel is guilty of apartheid, is woefully lacking in insight, judgment, and even factual information. He has deftly rewritten history to make himself look better, in spite of the fact that the record is still there for all to see. He has been accused of plagiarism by a former Clinton administration official. One of his closet longtime friends and colleagues resigned over some of the blatant misstatements in the book.

It is a shame that in the sunset of his years Mr. Carter has chosen to pontificate on matters about which he is woefully ignorant. The result is that a furor of controversy has been ignited, with Jews charging him with anti-semitism along with all of the other scandals surrounding the book.

The problem with Jimmy Carter goes far beyond the shortsightedness of his views. There is a fundamental danger inherent in Americans voting against something rather than FOR something. When we cast votes based upon a disgust with the present situation, we tend to make gargantuan mistakes. In electing an unknown in 1976, Americans were voting against the 'thugs in office that gave us the Viet Nam War and Watergate.' Carter's election was almost purely a Watergate fallout vote.

This phenomenon is relevant today because there is yet another untested, unknown political novice waiting in the wings--Barack Obama. After a mere two years in the Senate, he has become the darling of the mainstream media. Cameras follow him wherever he goes as if he were some sort of Hollywood leading man. Democrat Party operatives seem to melt in his presence. Yet he has essentially no record on the issues. We know he is pro-abortion, but that's about it. Yet some voters do not care. In the rush to choose someone who has no political baggage, we may well be on the brink of making another major mistake in electing to the top office in the land a person with no experience, particularly in the realm of the ever-important foreign policy issues.

We have no idea how Obama will react to pressure. We have no clue as to how he will handle the growing threat of terrorism. We don't know if he has staying power, if there is substance behind the style. For all we know he is all fluff.

Even Jimmy Carter had more experience than Obama. Carter had been a chief executive, serving as the Governor of a state.

Excuse-driven Democrat Party operatives and some within the mainstream media offer the lame observation that experienced politicians 'got us into this mess,' the implication being that perhaps inexperience can get us out of it. This is tantamount to saying that since a brain surgeon with 25 years of experience botched a procedure, then clearly a surgeon with ZERO experience in brain surgery could do much better.

Carter's present woes are indicative of the perilous course of choosing a President who lacks the basic qualities necessary for the job. Americans should think long and hard before rushing headlong into joining the Obama bandwagon.

No comments: