By Alan Caruba
Historians and others love to make lists of the best and the worst of personalities and events, so permit me to offer a candidate as the Worst Ex-President Ever. I give you Jimmy Carter, anti-Semite, intellectual and moral weakling, and all-around bad person.
I think Jimmy will edge out Andrew Johnson, Lincoln’s successor who made a botch of the Reconstruction after the Civil War and cannot even begin to compare with the largely unknown Harry Truman who succeeded Franklin Delano Roosevelt to see through to a successful conclusion of World War II, the implementation of the Marshall Plan to rebuild Europe, and after other wise decisions, retired to his home in Independence, Missouri. Neither Truman, nor other former Presidents, constantly sought the public spotlight to voice criticism of those who followed him into the Oval Office.
Jimmy Carter, who gained the highest office largely because of the voter’s revulsion against the Watergate scandals and the resignation of Richard M. Nixon, cannot shut up. During his time in office he blamed the American people for a “malaise” that affected the economy that was largely in the dumps. It never occurred to him that cutting taxes and taking other measures might have helped stabilize or jump-start the economy.
He was in office in 1979 when the Iranian revolutionaries stormed the U.S. embassy in Tehran and took our diplomats hostage. Other than a poorly planned, failed military mission to extricate them, the voters would have to wait 444 days for Ronald Reagan to take office before their release.
Jimmy Carter presided over the giveaway of one of the most important U.S. assets on this and the southern continent, the Panama Canal. The result of that idiotic decision is that the People’s Republic of China now owns property at both ends of the Canal. He is best known for negotiating a 1979 peace treaty between Israel and Egypt in which Israel gave up the Sinai captured in the 1967 war, a conflict initiated by Egypt. Islamic militants rewarded the Egyptian president by assassinating him.
His response to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan was to cancel U.S. participation in the Moscow Olympic Games and imposing a grain embargo. The former short-circuited the benefits that would have accrued from any victories by U.S. athletes and the latter created a world of pain for U.S. farmers.
Jimmy Carter was and is a dunce, a dolt, a moron of spectacular proportions and since his defeat by Ronald Reagan, he has been a petulant, vile little man. Never mind that he won the Nobel peace Prize in 2002. Yassir Arafat, the father of all Arab terrorists, also won that prize and it has since been handed out to a succession of people like Mikhail S. Gorbechev and Kofi Annan with sometimes dubious credentials.
The complete destruction of that Prize’s diminished stature will occur if Al Gore receives it.
Of late, Carter has written a book comparing Israel’s sixty years of being under attack by its Arab “neighbors” to South Africa’s Apartheid policies. This totally ignores Israel’s unilateral withdrawal from southern Lebanon and from the Gaza strip, the occupation of both were the result of wars waged against it.
He is in the news again for having publicly attacked Vice President Dick Cheney as a “disaster” and a “militant.” He accused Cheney of avoiding any service in the military, ignoring the obvious fact that Cheney served as Secretary of Defense at one point in his career of public service.
The former President (1977 to 1981) needs to take heed of the meritorious behavior of former Presidents who refused to criticize those who held the job after them, but he can’t because he knows what a failure he was and is oblivious to what a failure he is.