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First they came for the communists,
but I was not a communist, so I did not speak out. Then they came for the socialists
and the trade unionists, but I was neither, so I did not speak out. Then they
came for the Jews, but I was not a Jew, so I did not speak out. And when they
came for me, there was no one left to speak out for me.
– Pastor Martin Niemoeller.
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|Jimmy Carter, National Treasure - Monday, September 21, 2009 at 00:06|
Jimmy Carter, National Treasure
El Cacahuate Strikes Again
David C. Stolinsky, MD
I used to consider Jimmy Carter a failure as a president and a disaster as an ex-president. But I was wrong. He is a national treasure. Think about it.
Suppose you had an investment advisor who was often wrong. He would be useless, even dangerous. But suppose you had an investment advisor who was always wrong. At first glance, he would seem even more dangerous. But soon you would realize that he was extremely valuable.
If he told you to buy General Motors stock, you would sell, and watch it fall through the floor. If he told you to sell gold, you would buy, and watch it rise to new heights. If he told you to refinance your home, you would keep your old mortgage, and sleep well when others were in foreclosure, You would listen to him, then do exactly the opposite − and make a fortune.
What the consistently wrong advisor is to investments, Jimmy Carter is to politics − and more importantly, to morality. We should listen to him, then do exactly the opposite. With his track record, we will be virtually certain to be wise politically and right morally.
When James Earl Carter was president, he inspired affection in some by his homespun way of speaking. But in others, he caused annoyance by his self-righteousness and small-mindedness. The ex-peanut farmer was known contemptuously in Latin America as El Cacahuate − “The Peanut.” Perhaps his most fitting memorial is the Jimmy Carter Peanut Museum in Plains, Georgia.
As president, Carter presided over stagflation, an unpleasant combination of double-digit inflation and economic stagnation. His contribution to the energy crisis was to address the nation wearing a sweater. He ostentatiously carried his own suitcase, but only on camera, and his own garment bag − but it was empty. He arrived in the Oval Office early in the morning to appear as a workaholic, then dozed off in his chair. The word hypocrite is over-used, but it applies here.
Carter established the Departments of Energy and Education. Since he did so, our dependence on foreign oil has increased, and students’ test scores have declined. So much for the value of government intervention in areas where individual initiative is preferable. Let us remember these examples when we consider government-run health care.
The Carter years were marked by two foreign-policy debacles. When the Soviets launched a brutal invasion of Afghanistan in 1979, Carter responded by boycotting the Moscow Olympics. He punished our athletes, not the Soviets − typical of his inverted approach to moral questions. Carter chided us for having an “inordinate fear of communism.” After 100 million deaths, perhaps fear becomes “ordinate.”
Despite his lack of concern over communism, Carter reported being attacked by a vicious rabbit. This illustrates the adage that a man is known by his enemies. Some people fight tyrants. Others fight rabbits.
In the same year, Iranian religious fanatics overthrew the shah. No one can say whether the shah could have survived with our support, but surely he could not without it. Pulling the rug out from under our long-time ally was typical of his approach to foreign policy − punish our friends, reward our enemies.
Instead of the shah, who was autocratic but was attempting to modernize Iran, we got the ayatollahs, who are totalitarian and are trying to drag Iran back to the Middle Ages. If you doubt this, ask the women who are whipped for wearing “improper” clothes. Ask the political dissidents who are imprisoned or “disappeared.” And ask those who fear nuclear weapons, and the missiles to deliver them, in the hands of unstable fanatics like Ahmadinejad.
Carter shared the Nobel Peace Prize − now a dubious honor − with Yitzhak Rabin and Yasser Arafat for a Middle East “peace” agreement that, typically, looked impressive but produced no results. In any case, the agreement was due to Rabin’s and Arafat’s desire for it, and Carter’s contribution was questionable.
To top off the Carter presidency, Iranian militants invaded the U.S. embassy − an act of war − and 53 hostages, including diplomats, were seized. Our hostages were mistreated for 444 days. Carter negotiated in vain, dithered, then finally approved a rescue mission that, typically, was under-equipped and under-staffed.
Bad luck played a role, but the too-little, too-late approach brought its own bad luck. During the planning of the rescue operation, the officer in charge was asked what would happen if Iranian guards were encountered. He replied that they would be “taken out.” A high State Department official asked why they could not just be shot in the shoulder. This incident sheds a harsh light on the liberal notion of war. (See “Delta Force” by Col. Charlie Beckwith, page 7.)
No hostages were rescued, eight American servicemen died in the attempt, and America was further humiliated. As a result, Carter lost the 1980 election to Ronald Reagan. Wisely, the Iranians released the hostages on Inauguration Day. Carter left the White House a failure, and has gone downhill since then.
Yes, Carter occasionally picks up a hammer and helps build a house with Habitat for Humanity. But aside from this gesture, Carter has spent his enforced retirement repeatedly demonstrating his affection for bloodthirsty tyrants, so long as they are anti-American, and his contempt for democracies, so long as they are pro-American.
· Carter went out of his way to befriend Yasser Arafat, the inventor, or at least the popularizer, of suicide bombing.
· Carter went out of his way to befriend Kim Jong-il, the dictator who runs North Korea like a maximum-security prison. Carter returned from North Korea claiming to have dissuaded Kim from developing nuclear weapons, which Kim promptly proceeded to do.
· Carter went out of his way to praise Fidel Castro, who has ruled Cuba since 1959. Even the passage of 50 years cannot dim Carter’s affection for anti-Americans, regardless of the pitiable state of the Cuban people.
· Carter went out of his way to support Hugo Chavez, whose suppression of freedom in Venezuela causes Carter to lose not one minute of sleep.
· Carter went out of his way to express support for the late, unlamented Romanian tyrant Nicolai Ceausescu, whose sadistic tendencies were well known. Of him, Carter brayed, “Our goals are the same: to have a just system of economics and politics…We believe in enhancing human rights.” This goes beyond the illogical and reaches the delusional.
Carter’s opposition to Israel verges on the pathologic. He sees nothing wrong with making the Gaza Strip, with its 1.2 million Arabs, entirely free of Jews. But when Israel forcibly evicted the last 7000 Jews, the Arabs responded by launching rocket attacks from Gaza into Israel.
Yet while Gaza is “judenrein” − as the Nazis termed “cleansing” an area of all Jews − over a million Arabs live in Israel. Nevertheless, Carter cannot stand the fact that Jews live on the West Bank. He insists that Jews must accept large numbers of Arabs in their midst, while Arabs are free to expel all Jews from areas they control. Carter’s positions approach frank anti-Semitism.
Thus it ill behooves Carter to claim that the “overwhelming portion” of opposition to President Obama’s policies is based on racism. Did we oppose HillaryCare because Hillary Clinton is white? Then why does Carter assume that we oppose ObamaCare because Barack Obama is black? Can’t we oppose government-controlled health care simply because we fear it will give inferior care, as repeated examples show?
Is Carter projecting his own racial and religious bigotry onto the rest of us? (He called Obama a “black boy.”) Is he still bitter at America for denying him a second term? Is he trying to make himself appear larger by making all of us seem smaller? Who knows? Who cares? What difference does it make why El Cacahuate does what he does?
When we consider Carter’s actions both in and out of office, we wonder how we could have made the mistake of electing him in the first place. We can only hope that the current occupant of the White House will not evoke similar thoughts, although just now, things don’t look promising.
Jimmy Carter is a national treasure. His inverted moral compass unfailingly points south. If we wish to find a wise and moral path to follow, we need only observe which direction he is going, then go the opposite way. Now, if only I could find a financial advisor who is equally misguided, I’d be set for life.
Dr. Stolinsky writes on political and social issues. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.