Monday, January 19, 2009

Jimmy Carter: The Most Underrated Modern President?

Ivan Eland thinks so.


Nick said...

James Earl Carter, Jr. was almost certainly the best, most decent president in my lifetime. He is a better man and was a better chief executive than any of his successors, including the
horrendous "Saint" Ronald Reagan.

Jim Jordan said...

I know which one is the most misunderestimated....
But seriously, Carter seems to get either a very good or very bad reaction. I think he did some good (peace accords above all) but lacked the strong leadership qualities and particularly the emotional intelligence needed. He has a well-documented petty streak that is unbecoming of a national leader. There was a buzz today when he snubbed the Clintons. A Carter staffer later said that wasn't so, but the video is clear.

His work in foreign relations has some rocky points; his adventure in North Korea, endorsing a fraudulent recall count in Venezuela, and a dubious visit to Cuba. Throw in his halting response to the Iran hostage crisis and you have a good guy who just didn't do well on the national stage.

Btw, is there a link to the story saying he was the most underrated prez? It didn't work for me. Thanks.

Victor Reppert said...

It's a claim made in the Eland article.

I know he has been on somewhat cold terms with the Clintons.

Ray Schneider said...

In my view you can lay much of the terrorism of the intervening years on the presidency of Jimmy Carter. The man was a disaster.

Had he not facilitated the return of the Ayatollah Khomeini and undermined the Shah of Iran the radical Jihadists might not have gotten a foothold in the Middle East. He gave up the Panama Canal for no reason. He created the worst inflation in the history of the country, at least in my lifetime.

He goes around the world blatantly violating the constitution acting like a representative of the United States (read the constitution on that point).

Sorry -- the man is a total disaster and clear candidate for the worst president ever.

Dhalgren said...

Well now that we've had 18 months of Obama, I think the argument for Carter as the best president since Nixon is gaining momentum. Aside from airline deregulation, a painful recession, and the Iranian hostage crisis, Carter's presidency was marked by very positive progress in foreign policy and a very stable, clean executive branch, free from scandal and bitter partisan fighting. Granted, he was not in the Internet / Blog / Wingnut era. But when you compare Carter to Obama, who looks like the better, stronger, more consistent chief executive?

The Born-Again peanut farmer from Georgia. That's who?

Dhalgren said...

In my view you can lay much of the terrorism of the intervening years on the presidency of Jimmy Carter.

Well hold on there just a moment. I'm not going to deny Carter's blunders, but let's look at the timeline.

BTW, I am a terrorism scholar and a WTC survivor, so I think I know what I'm talking about.

Contemporary international terrorism was born in Munich in 1972. So long as there are occupied people, there will be terrorists among them. That goes for Algeria, Israel, and at one point, Northern Island.

Reagan had opportunities to choke terrorist networks, but I see no results. In 1983, Hezbollah and the Islamic Jihad attacked the US twice in Beirut. There was the Lebanon hostage crisis of 1982-1992. But more important, Reagan fanned the flames of hypocrisy relating to guerrilla warfare. He supported proxy wars in Honduras, Nicaragua, and El Salvador which were 'safe' in that they didn't involve US troops in the post-Vietnam period, but resulted in the US sponsorship of Central American terrorists.

Then we have TWA Flight 847 and Pan Am FLight 103. Both incidents were answered with military strikes, but if Reagan had smart advisors, he would strangle terrorist groups at the source - financially.

But then it gets worse. A rich boy mercenary from Saudi Arabia was given cash and arms by our friends. But when Saudi Arabia and the USA cut him off, he formed his own terrorist group to carry out his own personal vendetta. The man is bin Laden. The group is al Qaeda. And one of the people who betrayed him (as he see it) is George H.W. Bush, whose close relationship with Saudi Arabia made the US a target as well as the Kingdom.

That would have happened with or without the Islamic Revolution in Iran.

Please quote the part of the Constitution that Carter is now violating?

Ray Schneider said...

Don't see any reason to change my original opinion of Jimmy Carter. Obama has a ways to go to become worse ... although he's definitely on his way.

Carter was not only a disaster as president, but an on-going trouble maker ever since. The idea that he was ever any kind of an Executive shows a dearth of knowledge of what combination of skills makes an Executive. He certainly had the the touch, everything he touched turned to crap.
What does being a WTC survivor convey that gives you any credence, and when you way you are a terrorism scholar, perhaps you could enlarge on that. What is a terrorism scholar? Someone who investigates the causes of terrorism? Someone who studies the means? the personalities? the motives? What methods support this scholarship? What does it produce of worth?

I'm not very patient with terrorism. I'd generally apply the Russian solution a'la Somalian pirates. Tends to reduce terrorism by upping the cost and reducing the population of terrorists.

Ray Schneider said...

Is a link that mentions some of the issues.

Irate Brixtonite said...

Ray Schneider does not know whereof he speaks.
So...ought to shut it.