Monday, September 20, 2010

Carter on US Polarization

Here is an interesting video of former US president Jimmy Carter talking about the political polarization in the US:

I had to stand up and cheer when he fingered Rupert Murdoch's Fox "News" as a divisive force. I like his forthrightness and honesty when he fingers Fox for their "constant hammering away by Glen Beck and others who have no regard for the truth".

Note: Only the first 4 minutes of the above video is really important. The rest can be ignored.

Update 2010sep21: Maureen Dowd has an interesting op-ed in the NY Times that talks about Jimmy Carter. Here is the bit that I find most interesting:
In the last 30 years, Carter has accomplished many grand and important things in the world. Yet it must hurt, I say, that his name is synonymous with presidential ineptitude. Before he got elected, Barack Obama praised Reagan as a “transformative” president. Now in a slump, Obama morphs into Carter, an eat-your-peas president for an ice-cream-sundae nation.


thomas said...

He said some of the same things tonight on The Daily Show, but he had some humor and I laughed a lot and enjoyed the interview.

I watched the interview in your post this morning and I do applaud his comments on Fox News (of course). I am amazed at his health at the age of 85; he is still very sharp. I did watch more than the 4 minutes and he amazed me when he told about how much he studied and read to be educated about the issues and the countries that he was dealing with. This is in sharp contrast to today's latest republican candidates and even the notoriously ignorant George Bush. Jimmy Carter is one of our greatest presidents, ever. And, I say that knowing that many of his policies and ideas were very conservative. I also believe he has higher moral values than many of the self described right wing religious politicians and pundits who probably look down on the Carters and yet, would not lift a finger to help a person in need or even a family member for that matter. Polarization and hatred fill these Christian's lives while their nation is going down the drain into third world status.

RYviewpoint said...

Thomas: I'm glad you enjoyed other parts of the video. I agree that Carter was a good man, but I disagree that he was a great president. Nothing wrong with disagreement. It would be boring if everybody agreed on everything.

I think he, like Obama, tried too hard to find the centre. Carter followed the disaster of the Nixon years (and the Ford pardon which covered up the crimes of the Nixon administration). Carter didn't push to clean the Augean stables of Republican corruption (misuse of the CIA, subornation of officials, lying to Congress, misuse of power in firing the Attorney General investigating corruption in the Executive branch, etc.)

Similarly, Obama did not go after the corruption of the Bush years (lying to Congress, misuse of Presidential powers, torture, illegal confinement and deportation of American citizens, illegal wiretaps of millions of Americans, etc.)

I like Carter, I think he has a good heart, but he lost office after one term because he came across as inept and unable to lead the American people.

I like Obama, I think he has a good heart, but I expect he will lose office after one term because he comes across as distant, cool, and unable to lead during a time of great distress for the American people.

I hope I'm wrong. I do see flashes of fire in the belly in Obama. He certainly did show that he could rise to the occasion during his run for the Presidency. And lately he has show a little fire as midterm elections loom. I do hope that Obama shows me to be wrong. But I fear his character traits are too Carter-like.