July 31, 2005
-- by Thomas Leavitt
... at least in the last century or so, unquestionably.
TrackBack URL for this entry:
Outstanding! Jimmy Carter was the most honest President in American history. If Bush 41 and Clinton were honest they would be saying exactly the same thing.
I wonder if the most vicious attacks on Carter will come from Republicans or DLC Democrats?
Are you being facetious?
Encouraging, yes. "Greatest Second Act"? Not hardly.
Especially when you consider that Act One co-starred Zbigniew Brzezinski, whose foreign policy prowess "knowingly encouraged" the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan (http://www.globalresearch.ca/articles/BRZ110A.html),
which policy also resulted in a little "blowback" commonly referred to as "Osama Bin Laden."
Best second act "in the last century or so"? Doesn't that century include the careers of Nelson Mandela and Jeanette Rankin, not to mention Marion Barry?
On the other hand, I thought that Habitat for Humanity was actually a decent and interesting Second Act. A too-little, too-late, quasi-statesmanlike call for adherence to basic american principles is a disconcertingly quiet opening to a Third Act.
Though, yes, he will be viciously attacked by Repubs for speaking ill of America's grand and glorious project, particularly in a foreign country. As far as the DLC, well they'll certainly find some way to endear themselves to mainstream America by making some squirmy equivocation about how Mr. Carter's patriotism ought not to be questioned, even though he had the
temerity to speak his conscience.
... I'll qualify the statement to limit it to American political figures, since I'm sure there are others overseas with equivalent or even better records (Nelson Mandela's continued work is a great examples).
As for Jeanette Rankin, readers can find out more about her here: http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/USArankin.htm
I didn't recognize the name off-hand, but I knew of her anti-war votes... and it certainly seems that she played a critical role in all sorts of activities, and had a second and third act and even a fourth act. I'd say her record certainly stands up to and exceeds Jimmy Carter's in total accomplishment and practical change exceeded.
So maybe I should have limited my comment to post-Presidential Second Acts, like I originally thought... ex-President's are gifted with the ability to command far more attention than other former politicians, and I'd say Jimmy Carter has done a lot of good with his ability. Certainly far more than any other former President (even the much maligned Herbert Hoover, who actually doesn't deserve even 1/10th of the condemnation he's given, and accomplished quite a lot before ever becoming President, and a fair amount afterwards as well).
The problem being, of course, that most former Presidents of the 20th century died in office or shortly thereafter... Clinton hasn't had enough time (and has had to moderate his visibility for political reasons), Bush Sr. has done nothing of significance, Reagan did nothing after his term of office, Ford has done little or nothing, Nixon did little or nothing, LBJ died soon afterwards, JFK was killed in office, Eisenhower died soon afterwards, Truman spent twenty years deliberately out of politics and national affairs, FDR died in office, Hoover is the only comparable candidate, Coolidge died, Harding died in office, Wilson essentially died in office, Taft became a law professor and then a Supreme Court justice (which is what he wanted all along), Roosevelt had a second act... but it was pretty short, McKinley died in office.
... so, of those with a significant post-Presidential career on a national stage, you have Carter, Hoover, Roosevelt and Taft. In terms of public service, I think Carter's second act definitely stands out.
Posted by: Thomas Leavitt at July 31, 2005 10:40 PM
Post a comment
Thanks for signing in, . Now you can comment. (sign out)(If you haven't left a comment here before, you may need to be approved by the site owner before your comment will appear. Until then, it won't appear on the entry. Thanks for waiting.)