Two things have always struck me about Jimmy Carter:
1 - He was willing to nominate Volker to Fed chair even though he knew Volker's plan of raising interest rates massively would cost him (Carter) re-election. I believe he would have survived even the Iran crisis but for that, but it was the right thing to do. Reagan got all the credit for it since it started under Carter's watch and finished under Reagan's.
2 - he has such a reputation for Polite gentility and self sacrifice (see above) yet his maneuvering through the primary season and at the democratic convention was masterful -- he was dispassionate but brutal in putting the (political) knife into rivals, and was happy to do so publicly. That genteel/man of the people schtick extended to his use of the pronunciation "nukular" even though he had worked for Rickover and attended to the navy's nuclear school!
A complex guy whether you like him or not.
Too bad we (US Americans) collectively picked the wrong path...
But thankfully some of us did go down the right path individually and in small groups. And so, for example, forty years later, solar power is now cheaper than coal, and electric cars are increasingly cost effective, and we know how to build super-insulated passive-solar homes in cold climates that do not require a furnace, and so on. We could have had that all decades earlier with a lot less suffering and pollution and other expenses from externalities -- and maybe had fusion power and thorium power too by now. But at least we made progress because of individuals with the same spirit of grace-full humanity, community-mindedness, persistence, and cooperation that Jimmy Carter demonstrates.
It's hard to take this as anything but partisan spin.
These issues are never black & white and there is hardly consensus on what you wrote.
There are many who believe his raising interest rates to nearly 20% where fundamental in resulting unemployment to 11% & causing a recession.
Note to say those people are right either.
Just that it's complicated, there are compounding factors & many POVs.
Some other positions:
But my comment was about Carter: he took an unpopular decision because he thought it was in the best interest of the nation, whatever the personal cost. And indeed, as I said, Reagan got the credit. Even if you think Volcker was wrong, or even made things worse, my comment still stands.
That National Interest link you sent is about the "Volcker rule", a 21st-century position decades after he was Fed chairman and having nothing at all to do with the topic (and the article from The Week mentions that people these days think of Volcker more for that).
The article from The Week supports the point as well (that says that Volker's action put an end to the stagflation that resulted from years of not doing anything about the problem), and says Reagan did precisely the wrong thing.
The Economist article does tepidly raise the idea that Volcker may not deserve the level of credit he gets ("Would those [non-Volcker] factors have been sufficient to take the air out of growing inflationary pressures? Perhaps not."). The consensus is of course that it worked; I do think that topic deserves more analysis.
I can't find Jimmy Carter's name in this research:
You appear to have a reading comprehension problem.
Nothing I've seen Trump do so far is even in the same bad/wrong hemisphere as the patriot act. I eagerly await his attempt, it should be a doozy.
Maybe what we need is fewer ex-presidents willing to at most give milquetoast read-between-the-lines statements of vague disapproval at the systematic undermining of our institutions and values.
I was in third grade when Carter was running for re-election against Ronald Reagan. Our teacher gave us an assignment to create a campaign poster for your favorite candidate. I chose Jimmy Carter, and added the campaign slogan, "I will gladly trade peanuts for the American hostages" (referring to to Carter's history as a farmer and to the Iran hostage crisis ). I thought I was really clever at the time, but now I think I was just being a stupid smartass.
Whenever I have seen Carter in the press since his presidency, it always seems like he is going something unambiguously good, like building houses with Habitat for Humanity or trying to negotiate peace agreements between unfriendly countries as an unbiased mediator.
I think we won't have this great man with us for much longer. The world will be a worse place when he departs.
I think he had a bit of bad luck with the economy of his time and also with the Iranian hostage situation. If freeing them had worked he would have been a superhero. Or he could have done it like Reagan with Iran-Contra: talk tough in public but secretly pay off the Iranians.
That’s not to say it didn’t happen, but it hasn’t been proven by any means.
Before you say things like this maybe you should ask yourself something like "Is this my personal opinion I invented on the spot without any evidence."
That's pretty much the way it goes with every president, good or bad luck, even though very little is the result of a small four-year window - it started well before that.
I wonder if that is a fair judgement or whether he was just the victim of the economic cycle and external forces.
Perhaps one of the better statements we can most accurately make is that his administration was pretty poor at covering things up, spinning - perhaps to the extent of lacking the confidence Americans required.
And make no mistake: the partisan hackery is strong in criticism (more commonly, vacuous dismissal) of Carter. I know a Republican who calls him "that man", a la FDR's detractors.
Fighting to defend a dictator the West effectively installed to suppress a populist movement was unlikely to have a better outcome than the Shah being ousted.
People in the West seem to forget the Iranian Revolution was _extremely_ popular in Iran.
Why was it popular?
Because the Shah was a corrupt and oppressive regime that was hated by the Iranian people. The Iranian Revolution wasn't the first time he was forced out of Iran either.
This delusion that Iran could be "ruled" by the Shah as a positive outcome needs to stop. It isn't borne out by the facts and it would have ended up collapsing eventually. Popular leaders don't need organizations like SAVAK to torture its own people.
What makes a president memorable is what they do when they’re dealt a “bad hand.”
Obama may not be quite the boy scout that Carter has been, but my expectations are that he’ll become an elder statesmen of the republic that we’ll cherish similarly.
People aren't great in and of themselves. They are great within an environment.
So everyone is a "victim" of externalities.
He had lots of really nice things to say about Chavez and Castro when they died, for instance. Even if you're left wing, you need to acknowledge they did some pretty awful things to their people as leaders.
Lots of really nice things? What he said about Castro: "We remember fondly our visits with him in Cuba and his love of his country."
Those would indeed be funny accusations for an ex-POTUS to make.
As polarization has increased, views of former presidents have become more partisan and whether you hold this view now more closely tracks political affiliation.
I really like that story! You'd be a few years older than me, but we would have gotten along well as kids/stupid smartasses...:)
Nah, not if you talk to any craft brewers or beer enthusiasts. They are basically inches short of having his portrait hung in every craft brewery and pub due to his H.R. 1337 bill. If it wasn't for political partisanship, this might have already happened.
You've also got to give a lot of respect to someone who could have made themselves much wealthier, but said "No."
I guess everything's relative and you can define "wealthy" at whatever level you want, but Carter could be living in a mansion and flying private jets, and chose not to.
I’m sure Mr. Carter donates a substantial portion of his income and lives rather modestly by choice, but most people don’t have that choice.
Edit: slight numerical correction, source.
The point of the article, it seems to me, is that he has consciously chosen a modest, communitarian life, even though he could certainly arrange for more lavish surroundings.
Is your argument that he’s paid too much? If so, what do you think is reasonable compensation for one of the most stressful jobs on earth?
Someone receiving a $206K/year pension, according to the 4% safe withdrawal method, is the equivalent of having $5.1M in a retirement account, except this is better, because it doesn’t run out. Most people won’t see that much money over their entire careers. This is not someone we should hold up and say “this person shunned riches,” because it’s not true.
On the other hand, how can you say that he’s not shunning riches, or at least their trappings? They live in Plains, Georgia. Their big Sunday dinner is casserole and one Solo cup of “bargain Chardonnay” with the neighbors. They turned down living quarters in favor of a pull-out couch in their office. It’s not at all the stereotypical lifestyle of someone with millions in the bank. Hell, parts of it make my lifestyle (academic scientist) seem opulent—-we at least have IKEA wineglasses!
And for what it’s worth, the median household income is around $60k. Three times that doesn’t seem crazy high.
Another thing is to actively pursue money at the expense of everything else.
Your comment looks rather short-sighted in this regard.
And drinks cheap alcohol/food, and not for a photo op.
What more do you want him to do?
Sure, he may receive a handsome pension for his service as the highest official in the land along with other benefits but what's the alternative, having other world leaders bumping off our former presidents (looking at you Saddam) because they decided to enter public service and can't afford world-class protection for themselves/family?
We claim to want these things, then attack those who manifest them.
We preach understanding and forgiveness, then refuse to exercise it in understanding limitations others face -- external as well as internal -- and working with them to improve things.
No society's perfect. But, America has managed to raise sloth and hypocrisy to new levels.
As I've aged and observed, I've come to think of us more and more, as and become a bully nation.
Of course, a man like Carter doesn't "fit" into that. Which is a credit to him.
Or, depending upon your perspective, his ultimate failing.
(Something I associate with all too well.)
“President Carter would be glad to reduce the frequency of routine maintenance at the discretion of the Park Service,” Ms. Congileo said.”
The back story is that he donated the house to the National Park Service. And, as even the Republican who oversaw that said, the cost is essentially a rounding error.
Carter doesn't need to stay in good graces with organizations that might pay him to speak. That gives him greater freedom to follow his thoughts regardless of who they might offend.
President Carter is the kind of down-to-earth person I would want to hang out with, while at the same time using his position to build thousands of homes and fight river blindness and give vaccines to millions of people.
I wonder if another person like him will ever ascend to lead the United States.
No comment on the opposite...
His leadership came at a tough time, and he did not bring prosperity. The country did much better under his successor, Reagan.
We all have potential for good, in our own ways.
If you equate celebrity with making it rain in clubs, then I guess carter is "un-celebrity". But the guy has been the most visible ex-president in media. Think that makes him the most celebrity ex-president in history.
If you were able to express your opinion without resorting to tremendous amounts of hyperbolism that make it trivially easy to imagine you as a frothing-at-the-mouth partisan you probably would have been able to more effectively convey whatever it was you wanted to get across to the readers at HackerNews.