Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Jimmy Carter: Master of the Obvious

"Master of the Obvious" might be an understatement in relation to Jimmy Carter's today.

Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter on Wednesday denounced Vice President Dick Cheney as a "disaster" for the country . . . who has had an excessive influence in setting foreign policy . . . He's a militant who avoided any service of his own in the military and he has been most forceful in the last 10 years or more in fulfilling some of his more ancient commitments that the United States has a right to inject its power through military means in other parts of the world.

In many ways, Dick Cheney is a tragic figure. Cheney waited thirty years for his opportunity to enact his vision of unlimited presidential power and his ideas turned out to be just as disastrous now as they were during the Nixon years.

However, there really is little doubt that "Cheneyism" has been a disaster for the United States and its interests in the world--a disaster that will take a long time to recover from.

Folks on the right might argue that it's improper for Carter as an ex-president to criticize a sitting vice-president so harshly, especially during a time of war.

But ex-presidents Carter, Bill Clinton, and even George Bush I should have a duty to speak out more concerning the abuses and disasters of the current Bush administration, not less.

As I've observed many times in the past, the Bush administration is no longer a credible government and the United States really needs people to step into the void and speak with the (informal) authority of the public concerning issues of public importance.

I initially thought that Nancy Pelosi might be able to serve as a spokesperson for the public at large. But she wasn't willing to risk the next election to serve the public now.

Ultimately, it looks like all the major figures outside the Bush administration are going to sacrifice the public welfare for short-term political manuevering. As a result, Jimmy Carter's willingness to speak the American public's revulsion toward Dick Cheney and the Bush administration is a welcome development.


Blogger Kayla Meadows said...

I find it unfortunate that this article uses such encompassing words as 'the American public' instead of throwing in a modifier such as 'most of' or 'some of', because I'm part of the American public and I strongly support this administration. One of the most fantastic things about America is that everyone can express a different opinion, and when someone such as this speaks for me, as a member of the American public, and totally destorys what I personally believe, I get frustrated.

Everyone thinks different. We are individuals. I'd rather be opinionated than a robot, in any case. Jimmy Carter has a right to his opinion, as much as the writer does, as much as I do, and as much as you do, Dr. Caric. But it is not appropriate to assume that everyone agrees with you.

While I'm not a hater of the administration, I'm not a total optimisit, and I'm not going to make what we are invovled in some sort of fancy romantic scenario such as done with the various horrors of humanity in periods such as the Romantic and even post-World Wars. I'm a Libertarian more than a Republican, despite how conservative I am, and I think that's what makes me so supportive of differing opinions.

My point is that, before an author writes an article, they should check their facts. Because, while expression one's opinion based on fact is intelligent and acceptable, making assumptions and ignoring the opinions of others is juvenile.

I'm not here to argue politically - that's quite pointless, actually, because arguing, debating, anything like that will very rarely change a person's mind once their set on something. My mind isn't going anywhere at the moment. Instead, I'm here to argue that assumptions only lead to furthur stupidity.

So. Dear Author, please do not assume that I, as a member of the ecompassing words 'American public' agree with you from now on. I am not a robot. I don't plan on being a robot. And you can't think for me. Thank you.

12:50 PM  
Blogger Heather said...

I smiled when I read the article about Jimmy Carter. Not to say that I am in total agreement with Carter but I commend him for saying what he believes. It seems that the United States has fallen into a nasty hole in recent years. Whenever we believe in something and speak out about it, we say that the first amendment lets us do so. But the moment that someone expresses an opinion different from our own and they are very focal about that opinion we want to condemn them. We say they shouldn’t talk about this issue, or what they said wasn’t politically correct. I have even fallen into this hole, specifically when it came to the preacher at the Bell Tower several weeks ago, but I don’t like that I’ve fallen into it. Like Kayla said, everyone has an opinion and we don’t have to agree with one another. However, we should allow everyone to express their opinion and not condemn them for it. As far as the political side of the article/argument goes, I sort of agree with Carter. I think the current administration hasn’t always done things in necessarily the best way, I wouldn’t go so far as to say that it’s the worst administration in history. I certainly agree with the original post though, in that a former president has more room to critique and speak out then anyone else might have.

6:01 PM  
Blogger Eden Van Bibber said...

I think it is important for the survival of a democratic government to hear opposing points of view. Just because someone is in a position of power doesn’t make him or her automatically right. This isn’t feudal Europe, our leaders can’t claim divinity and thus are fallible just like the rest of us. Thus I find it ridiculous that Carter received any type of negative feedback for expressing his opinions about the current administration. If everyone were willing to simply go along with the status quo for the sake of being politically correct there could be no progress or reform. While I am strongly opposed to the direction America has taken under the current administration, I still believe this is a great nation. And the ability to voice ones opinions, no matter who they may offend, is part of what makes it a nation I’m glad to be a part of. If we try to deny people that right just to avoid rocking the boat I fear it will become acceptable to deny more and more basic rights, which do not suit the interests of the people in power. I can’t speak for anyone else, but I don’t want to live in 1984.

8:58 AM  
Anonymous Nate Sallee said...

I love how this title included the "Master of the Obvious" tag line because so many people have bashed this current Bush administration to the point where you feel like a minority if agree with them. The only thing that struck as an odd statement is when he said that the Bush administration is no longer a credible government. The only thing I have against this is even as bad of decisions Bush has made he is still relevant simply by being the head of the United States. The real issue to me involving politics in general is the relationships with big businesses and special interest groups. No on can sit here and tell me that when candidates receive millions of dollars for their campaigns that the people elected don't owe some people. This nation was built on values that I believe in but unfortunately in this day and age they have diluted. Horrible decisions by Presidents can usually be revealed by following the money. Halliburton was formerly led by Cheney and that major company made BILLIONS of dollars so far through the "war" in Iraq. These sort of things happen more than people realize and all the of corruption within washington disgusts me sometimes. I feel like there are no people to vote for who would really run an ethical government.

4:58 PM  
Anonymous Marissa Manns said...

I LOVE the title of this article. Why does it become a huge crisis whenever someone states the obvious these days? It is preposterous that Jimmy Carter cannot say what he thinks without catching grief for it. It seems anyone who speaks against the president or his associates will immediately be accused of treason. What is the big deal? Free speech is what this country is all about. Aren’t democratic ideas what we are supposed to be bringing to Iraq as result of this war anyway? It is so hypocritical that Carter’s rights should be suppressed so that Cheney’s inadequacies are not highlighted. Being a former president doesn’t mean that you can only speak fondly of future administrations. If anything Carter would be one of the best people to make these types of comments. The attention this situation is getting is exactly what we need. Lastly what better time is there to make these comments than in wartime? More comments and actions like his need to be made to stop this never-ending war. It is our duty as citizens to continually question everything. If we don’t, what are we asking for here? Perhaps we wish to forgo our democracy all together? Maybe we could try a dictatorship on for size. I think not.

8:46 AM  
Blogger Edna said...

Politics in the United States make me want to chop my ears off.

‘Free citizens’ of American society feel it necessary to criticize and attack the government or administrators when they really have no clue what they are talking about. As much as the general public thinks it knows what is going on, they are actually clueless. It seems like all I hear are copycat complaints and political viewpoints that people claim as their own original thinking…when all they really did was turn on the television for a few minutes that morning and steal the ideas of someone else who also had NO CLUE what they were talking about. As a country, we live in denial on how much we truly know about the motives, actions, and accuracy of our government. Of course everyone is pissed about the state of our country! (I think you need an IQ of about 25 to find a reason to be unhappy with our government). Even if gas prices were a dollar cheaper, state taxes were cut in half, Iraq didn’t exist, and there were no terrorists, the people of the United States would STILL find something to gripe about. So while I applaud Jimmy Carter for making things a little more humorous and entertaining, I wish everyone could just admit how little we know about our government, and how little we actually do to change what we don’t like about our government.

10:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Meaghan Dill

While I try my best to remain mute regarding all things political, I do have to applaud Jimmy Carter's words regarding the Bush administration. I personally believe that there is no place for absolute militants in the government, because I am completely anti-war. Dick Cheney represents a poor example of leadership, and Jimmy Carter has every right to state harsh opinions about this, especially in times of war and especially during a war that is entirely unnecessary. Our current government is a joke, and all hope seemed lost until I read Carter's words. We need someone to visibly speak out against these leaders who have made so many mistakes and put our country in a horrible position. I only hope that more people follow suit. As for the outcry against Carter for merely stating his opinion, I'm surprised that this would happen in a country where so many people use free speech as a crutch to express their views. We are all operating under the First Amendment, right? However, these days we're under a dictatorship of sorts, and I'm sure I speak for many (that's for you, Kayla) when I say that I look forward to the end of it.

6:48 PM  

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