Friday, October 07, 2011


"I see nothing wrong with ethnic purity being maintained."
-Jimmy Carter,

President Carter is widely understood to have been an awful president but is generally thought of as a nice guy. Sure, he was horrible in foreign policy, gave away the Panama Canal, sunk the US into horrendous recession, and was generally incompetent, but he was a good guy at least, or so the story went.

Except as time goes on we learn more and more we learn he wasn't, from his anti-Semitic books to his idiotic proclamations during the Bush administration, Carter's desperate need for attention made him look worse and worse.

And there's a race problem in his past too, something pretty well buried by the press back in 1976 and 1980, even while they were trying to make Ronald Reagan look racist. At National Review Online, Has Spakovsky writes:
In his 1982 book, Keeping Faith, Carter disingenuously said he “was not directly involved in the early struggles to end racial discrimination.” No kidding — in fact, he directly and unambiguously supported segregation. When Carter returned to Plains, Georgia, to become a peanut farmer after serving in the Navy, he became a member of the Sumter County School Board, which did not implement the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education decision handed down by the Supreme Court. Instead, the board continued to segregate school children on the streets of Carter’s hometown.
Carter also tried to block a Negro school from being built. Now, long time readers know that I have basic constitutional problems with Brown vs Board of Education, since it gave the federal government powers over inner state topics which the US Constitution does not permit, but you can just imagine what the reporting would be like if, say, Governor Perry had done this.

And there's more. Daniel Flynn writes at Font Page Magazine:
Jimmy Carter won election as governor after his campaign peddled a photo of his opponent with black basketball players to rallying Klansmen and as governor visited the Confederados—descendants of American Southerners who emigrated to Brazil following the Civil War—in 1972.
Imagine again if a Republican had done this. The fact is, Cater was a southern Governor in the old south and he went along with how things were done there even if he personally didn't hold those racist positions. And there's no indication he didn't, especially with how he acts toward Jews these days.

There are anecdotal stories of his repeatedly using racial slurs with folks he thought he could trust - white folks, you know, good old boys, wink wink. The Carter campaign team in 1972 put out a paper stating that his gubenatorial opponent "had paid tribute to Martin Luther King, Jr.”

Rush Limbaugh has a theory that Jimmy Carter saw the homage and respect paid to Ronald Reagan at his death and went nuts trying to rewrite his legacy. Maybe if he'd stuck to Habitat For Humanity and doing good deeds he might have been able to salvage his reputation.


Eric said...

I dunno... grading southern politicians on their attitudes and actions on race in the late 60's and early 70's is kind of like grading the Founding Fathers over the slavery issue. They were all a product of their time, and Jimmy Carter I'm sure was no different. George Wallace is pretty much an icon of southern political racism, but it never gets mentioned that in his later years he appointed more blacks to government positions than any governer of those times in the north or south, and that in the 80's he won his final term in office with over 90% of the black vote. Racism and the south and that time period are just hard issues to discuss in rational terms using modern conventional thinking.

Jimmy Carter was a horrible president and a person who has tried to be a decent man throughout most of his life, but failed at that. The way I see it he has done three great things in his life:

1) Appointing Paul Volker as the Chairmen of the Fed... way out of character for Carter to appoint a monetarist who eschewed the liberal Keynesian common wisdom of those times. Reagan kept Volker on board when he became POTUS and Volker's counterintuitive monetary policies played a chief role in the economic rebound that occured in the 80's.

2) His work with Habitat for Humanity. They are a great organization who deserve to be a household name, and with the publicity Carter threw their way they became so.

3) He wrote a history based novel called The Hornet's Nest which is one of the best history lessons one will ever get on the Revolutionary War as seen through the perspective of the people in the Southern states.

Christopher R Taylor said...

I agree that you have to work with people within their context, and in general I'm willing to give people a pass based on their culture, but Jimmy Carter has been running around with his arms flailing like Kermit the Frog calling anyone who questions President Obama a racist, and that sort of compels him to defend his past.

And Carter was always seen as such a decent, good man while it turns out he pretty much was a rat, and that's worth bringing to the light of day.

Darayvus said...

Short version of this post: BECAUSE OF THE HYPOCRISY.

You do realise that you won't win over any Democrats or even any moderates with this argument, right? I don't think very many liberals will even show up here.

In any case, the Democrats in the South back then had the same reasons for their actions as we have for ours, when we don't stroll down MLK Jr Blvd after 6 o'clock at night. Go hence and read Myrta Avary's "Dixie After The War". Chapter 31 is particularly enlightening.

Internet Tough Guy said...

Habitat for Humanity is sanctimonious bs. The free market provides perfectly suitable, clean, efficient, economical housing. They are called trailers. But the left loves to tell everyone how low class and deplorable trailer parks are. And Jimmy is going to save them all from bad taste.

You in a trailer park makes low income Americans rather independent...something intolerable to Jimmy and his racist liberal know-it-alls.

Anonymous said...

Don't forget that Lillian Carter attended a Ku Klux Klan rally while her son, Jimmy, was the President of the United States. Jimmy is a nut that did not fall far from the tree.