The turning point in American politics was the election of Jimmy Carter. He was thought to be a Washington outsider. He wore sweaters, had a minimalist inauguration ceremony, and walked down Pennsylvania Avenue with his wife Rosalynn. The sweater thing was his way of combating the energy crisis. Turn the heat down and bundle up.
Now we learn that the former president will be speaking at the Democrat National Convention via video. Is it to show that while Jimmy Carter was really bad, Barack Obama is not as bad? Good luck with that.
Under Jimmy Carter we had double digit inflation and sky-high interest and mortgage rates. Maybe this is where the contrast will be touted. Interest rates are at record lows. But the economy is near depression levels. I don’t see how this comparison is going to make President Obama look better.
Americans were looking for change, and they thought electing Jimmy Carter would bring that change. They got change alright. States no longer controlled education. During Carter’s term as President, two new cabinet-level departments were created: the Department of Energy and the Department of Education.
In a Playboy (Nov. 1976) interview, Carter admitted: “I’ve looked on a lot of women with lust. I’ve committed adultery in my heart many times.”
We’ve seen test scores drop while educational spending has skyrocketed. The estimated budget for the federal Department of Education is more than $71 billion per year. The Department of energy has been a disaster. Domestic drilling has been held up and America’s Number 1 energy source – coal – is being treated like it’s a form of nuclear waste.
The end of his presidential tenure was marked by the 1979–1981 Iran hostage crisis, the 1979 energy crisis, the Three Mile Island nuclear accident, the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan (at the end of 1979), 1980 Summer Olympics boycott by the United States of the Moscow Olympics and the 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens. Mount St. Helens was probably not Carter’s fault.
Jimmy Carter came in as the first “born again president.” Religion is adored by the left as long as it supports abortion and homosexuality. Carter refused to mix his religious views with politics. He was personally opposed to abortion, but he would not support a constitutional amendment banning the procedure or allow individual states to determine their own laws. I wonder if his personal opposition to segregation and Jim Crow laws netted the same results.
As a candidate for president, Jimmy Carter promised the American people that he would open up the files on UFOs. Carter filed a “sighting report” to the International UFO Bureau in Oklahoma City on September 18, 1973. The incident occurred, according to Carter, in October 1969 in Albany, Georgia. “It seemed to move toward us from a distance, stop, move partially away, return, then depart,” Carter wrote. He described it as “bluish at first, then reddish, luminous, not solid.”1 Carter was the first presidential candidate to make the topic of UFO study a plank in his presidential platform:
If I become President, I’ll make every piece of information this country has about UFO sightings available to the public, and the scientists. I am convinced that UFOs exist because I have seen one.2
Of course UFOs exist. But an unidentified flying object isn’t necessarily an alien spacecraft. People see all kinds of things that are unidentified. I wonder whatever happened to the UFO promise.
There were two positive developments from Carter’s presidential tenure. He deregulated the beer industry and the airline industry. It’s these two actions that should be the starting point for President Obama in bringing about an economic recovery.