America had enough of Jimmy Carter, now if he would just go away
October 19, 2005
“When I studied history in college we were taught that James Buchanan was the worst president of the United States and we will not see the likes of him again; but no-one could have foreseen Jimmy Carter.”So wrote columnist Joseph Alsop. No matter how hard the left tries, facts are facts and Carter remains the most inept president of the post-war period.For those of us who endured Carter’s four years in office no amount of revision can alter the bleak memory of unemployment, gas lines, runaway inflation, sky-high interest rates, amateurish foreign policy and the declining military strength that lost us the respect of our friends and earned the contempt of our adversaries.The ineptitude of his administration was nowhere more apparent than when his Department of Energy, by pure bureaucratic incompetence, created a gasoline shortage where none existed. Those of us driving 100-plus miles to work each day were not amused. One of the policies of the Carter administration abandoned by Reagan was the geographic allocation of gasoline supplies by government bureaucrats rather than the oil companies. I can’t recall seeing any gas lines in America since Carter left office.So what was “Carter’s brave vision on energy” (Oct. 14, Sierra Sun syndicated column by David Morris)?First, America would be forbidden from importing any more foreign oil than we did in 1977. Given our inability to develop our domestic resources, mostly thanks to opposition from environmental extremist, that sounds like a sure prescription for a return to the great depression. Carter spoke of using coal, shale oil, gasohol, sun and wind, all of which are impractical or raise environmental objections today.Second, Carter proposed subsidizing the energy cost of the poor. What better way to discourage energy conservation than subsidize its waste? When I upgraded the insulation in my home two winters ago, I did it not to save the environment but to save some money.Third, apply punitive taxes on energy producers. How better to discourage production and insure a shortage of energy than by crushing taxes on those companies and individuals who actually supply energy? Who will invest in energy companies and where will the capital come from if energy company profits are taxed away? Was Carter really that stupid?David Morris ends his column with an apparent criticism of the Bush administration for not demanding that the car companies build more energy efficient vehicles or allowing the states to order the same. Is it true that all liberals believe that the government can wave its magic wand over the car companies and presto, 100-mile-per-gallon SUVs appear by magic, physics not withstanding? Apparently, Toyota, Honda, BMW and all the other manufacturers are being paid by Exxon Mobil and that crowd to build mostly gas guzzlers. This reinforces my long-standing belief that few liberals could actually change a flat tire if they had to.Incidentally, Carter’s big energy speech was called the “malaise” speech not only by Republicans but the press and everyone else. In his speech, Carter blamed all America’s troubles on a malaise that was affecting Americans; certainly nothing was his fault. More than a few hard-working and overtaxed Americans were not too happy to hear that.As president, Carter was clearly out of his depth but as ex-president he is free to gadfly around the world, undermining American foreign policy (including Bill Clinton’s) and monitoring elections in third-world hell holes, often telling us how much better democrats they are than us.Carter has managed to even pick up a Nobel Peace Prize, which was clearly intended as a slap in the face to America. If he had an ounce of integrity, Carter would have refused that Nobel Prize. Clearly, the legacy of the Carter Presidency is the hatred Jimmy Carter has for the America that refused him a second term.Late on election night in 1980, my best friend and I ducked into the bar of the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York to catch the election returns. Likely, the two of us were the only Republicans in the room. Up on the TV screen, obviously distressed was reporter David Brinkley. Brinkley, who appeared near tears or perhaps uncontrolled anger, was reporting a landslide victory over Carter by Ronald Reagan. America had clearly had enough of Jimmy Carter. Now if he would just go away.Prentiss Davis is a Truckee resident. Comments are welcome at email@example.com.