15 April 2008

Understanding Jimmy Carter

I've been wondering why Jimmy Carter insists on embarrassing America, transforming himself before our very eyes from the worst modern-day president to the worst ex-president since . . . since . . . hmm . . . ever. At first I thought it was his quest for the Nobel Peace Prize which, based on recent recipients, holds only two requirements as far as I can tell: be fairly well known and attack American politics and culture with lusty abandon.

Carter has done his best to fulfill those requirements. He supported Yasser Arafat, served as a liaison between Saudi Arabia and the PLO to restore funding for the terrorists, he embraced Saddam Hussein, snuggled with Castro and he even called Kim Jong il an honorable man (shocking the formerly unshockable Bill Clinton). So I figured that he would relax and rest on his "accomplishments." The former President has spit in the eye of his country and won his prize. Why does he continue?

It took Carter's latest trip and his rather large lips literally kissing leaders from Hamas for me to understand that I was simply wrong about his goal. This is not about winning a prize; it's about the man's continual obsession with power and recognition. I can't claim to truly understand it since I have the power of a gerbil's spinning wheel, so I'll turn to those with a greater understanding of such things. The founders of this great country recognized the dangers inherit in power and warned us about those who would be drawn to it and refuse to release it.

An ambitious man, too, when he found himself seated on the summit of his country's honors, when he looked forward to the time at which he must descend from the exalted eminence for ever, and reflected that no exertion of merit on his part could save him from the unwelcome reverse; such a man, in such a situation, would be much more violently tempted to embrace a favorable conjuncture for attempting the prolongation of his power, at every personal hazard, than if he had the probability of answering the same end by doing his duty. (Federalist Papers # 72)
Some folk just cling to power as if it were Titanic debris in a frigid ocean and they lack Leo's good judgement to let go, let go, let go, let go.

OK, so that gives some insight as to why Carter can't bring himself to leave the public eye like most respectable former presidents, but why does he need to continually oppose American interests? Ah, the founders can provide insight there as well.

Men often oppose a thing, merely because they have had no agency in planning it, or because it may have been planned by those whom they dislike. But if they have been consulted, and have happened to disapprove, opposition then becomes, in their estimation, an indispensable duty of self-love. They seem to think themselves bound in honor, and by all the motives of personal infallibility, to defeat the success of what has been resolved upon contrary to their sentiments. Men of upright, benevolent tempers have too many opportunities of remarking, with horror, to what desperate lengths this disposition is sometimes carried, and how often the great interests of society are sacrificed to the vanity, to the conceit, and to the obstinacy of individuals, who have credit enough to make their passions and their caprices interesting to mankind. Perhaps the question now before the public may, in its consequences, afford melancholy proofs of the effects of this despicable frailty, or rather detestable vice, in the human character. (Federalist Papers # 70)
Carter's self-absorption seems to demand that he follow this course. His presidency is treated with the respect of William Shatner's singing career so he feels compelled to "set the record straight." Carter needs to demonstrate that he was always right and the county that failed to support him was wrong. And as a former President, people around the world are willing to listen, especially those who are predisposed to loathe America.

Fortunately our founders decided to give the weak a voice as well. The constitution grants us freedom of speech and it's time to claim our right. I found these links on the Queer Conservative blog that may interest you if you would like to be heard concerning the Georgia screech. You can sign a petition requesting that the U.S. Congress censure Jimmy Carter for his activities here:

Censure Jimmy Carter

You can also contact your your senators here, asking them to denounce Carter's attempt to establish his own State Department.


  1. Nikki said...

    Nice Job!! Jimmy is out of control! I am glad you are making friends in the neighborhood! I feel like I have such a great network of blogging buddies and it is great to have you aboard! :)N

  2. Khaki Elephant said...

    Thanks, Nikki. I actually wrote the post on little sleep and just went in to fix a few things. But I appreciate your input as well as the network of interesting folk you have on the web.

  3. Freadom said...

    Yes, great network. That's a good way of putting it. We've established a neat little community here.

    I think this was an awesome post. I love your references to history to put this into perspective. This just all goes to show how intelligent our founders were, and how... well, I'll stop there.