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Carter: Thanks for the Reminder

September 17, 2009

In our society, mistakes have consequences. Sometimes, the consequences hang over your shoulder forever, as a constant reminder of one bad decision you made many years ago. For example, if you go overboard at a party and streak Mass Ave, you’ll have a sex crime on your record until the day you die. Sleeping around could lead to a rash that’ll always remind you how dumb you were in college.

And, in politics, if we have one bad election, we wind up having to listen to a foolish ex-president run his mouth for the next 30 years.

Obviously, we weren’t thinking in 1976 when we elected the personable yet completely unqualified Jimmy Carter to lead the free world. As a man, Carter was likable, but as president, he was unable to solve any of the problems of the late 1970’s. Tanking economy? No help from Carter. Stagflation? Nothing. Worst energy crisis in our history? Failure. Don’t even start me on Iran and the “unsolvable” hostage crisis. The 39th president even dismissed his entire Cabinet in the wake of his self-styled “crisis of confidence.”

Naturally, America voted Carter out of office in 1980. But just like a viral breakout or a failed CORI check, we were dutifully reminded this week of our mistake 33 years ago, as our worst ex-president opened his mouth and spewed his usual nonsense.

Not at all condoning Joe Wilson’s outburst–it was completely inappropriate–but Carter’s conduct is equally deplorable. Suggesting that the Congressman’s actions were racially motivated not only has no basis, it also undoes much of the racial progress America has made over the past 50 years. Obama’s election was a key step towards a race-blind society, but when questioning his policies (as Wilson, albeit distastefully, did) ignites cries of “racism,” what happens to the progressive, interracial dialogue that Americans, black and white, have worked so hard to build? Carter’s remarks were not only unbecoming of a former president (usually this lunacy is reserved for the ultra-leftist Janeane Garofalo-types), it is also insulting to the victims of true racism and those who work to eliminate it.

The best part? Oh yeah, Carter proclaimed that Sec. of State Condoleezza Rice, an African-American, was “not telling (him) the truth” just 17 months ago. Amazing how it’s not racism when a Democrat criticizes a Republican!

So thanks, Jimmy, for reminding us just how dumb we were in 1976. We promise to learn from our mistakes.

[Kevin Palmer is a Freshman in Hurlbut and a Member of the Harvard Republican Club.]

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