The Problem with Jimmy Carter

by Crocker on June 17, 2009, 6:23 am

in Foreign Policy,History,Politics,Terrorism

Jimmy Carter never gets tired of being Jimmy Carter. Arrogant, blinkered and utterly convinced of his own rectitude, Carter has treated his post-presidential years as a weird sort of ‘do-over’, always trying to prove that (1) his presidency really was a success, and (2) he was right and Ronald Reagan was wrong about the use of American power.

For some unexplainable reason, Carter loves dictators, terrorists and assorted thugs more than he loves his own country – and he usually is found explaining why his strange new friends are right and America is wrong. He doesn’t like Israel much either – or Jews, apparently. We therefore shouldn’t be surprised that his newest, bestest friend is Hamas. You know, the same Hamas that’s funded and trained by the Iranians, devoted to Israel’s destruction, Jew-hating to the core.

Yet, Jimmy Carter is emblematic of the modern Democrat party. When we discuss the problem with Carter, we’re really talking about the party’s larger problem. By the time of Carter’s election in 1976, the party had begun an abrupt lurch to the left.

Until the 1972 election, the Democrat party was the party of Truman, Kennedy and, yes, Johnson. It was a centrist party. Solid on American exceptionalism, devoted to defense, cold warriors all. One could be a Democrat and still waive the flag with abandon. My family were Democrats. So was I.

But 1972 changed the party drastically – the hard left made its re-entrance after a long exile begun during the Truman years. Harry Truman was not fond of the hard left and he drummed the Henry Wallace wing out of the party in the late 1940s. There was still Henry Wallace’s friend Eleanor Roosevelt, of course, but by then Eleanor was viewed as more of a gadfly whom time had passed by. Besides, Truman couldn’t very well kick the sainted Eleanor out of the party, could he? So, for the next twenty-five years, the Democrat party left fell on hard times.

But 1972 marked a change, although the poison introduced took many years to ripen into the likes of George Soros and The Daily Kos. In 1968, the anti-war left began its entree back into the party. And in 1972, the party nominated George McGovern – dovish, milquetoast and devoted to unilateral withdrawal from Vietnam. By then, the war was viewed as ‘Nixon’s War’, even though Kennedy introduced American ground troops and Johnson massively escalated American involvement. It was no coincidence that McGovern began his political career as a Wallace admirer and even attended Wallace’s Progressive Party convention in 1948.

Although McGovern was massively defeated, Nixon’s malfeasance created a national vacuum that allowed the contagion to spread. Carter is a classic example of the Democrat type we’ve come to know all too well: running as a centrist to get elected, Carter governed from the left, much to the American people’s displeasure. And during the 1970s, the left began its long march though America’s colleges, universities and, ultimately, its government. And they did it through the Democrat party.

Over the next twenty years, the party’s great men slowly departed – think, Scoop Jackson, Sam Nunn and Zell Miller. Now we have the likes of San Fran Nan and Hope ‘n Change. The America they represent would hardly be recognizable to most of the American people.

But Jimmy Carter remains – a sort of fossilized relic, by turns peevish and grandiose. The one vote I’ve always regretted was my vote for Jimmy Carter in 1976. It was my first presidential vote and my last vote for a Democrat. But if you want a perfect example of the moral inversion that is today’s Democrat Party, look no further than Saint Jimmy.

Be Sociable, Share!

{ 1 comment }

Lew Tibbetts June 18, 2009 at 7:29 pm

I’m quite serious when I say that I believe Jimmy’s failure as President has affected his mind. It must have been very traumatic for him. He wants so desperately to be relevant.

Previous post:

Next post: