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Jimmy Carter, the 39th President of the United States.

James Earl Carter Jr is a former Democratic president from 1977-1981. Americans elected Carter in 1976 after they got sick of Republicans again. After all, Republican President Gerald Ford had pardoned Republican Presidential crook Richard Nixon, one of the best examples of cronyism in American history. Carter's Vice President wasWalter Mondale, one of the few Vice Presidents to actually do anything as Vice President.

Unfortunately, because Carter wasn't a Yee-haw Shoot-first, ask questions later Warmonger in regards to Iran, he lost re-election in 1980 to the disgusting plutocrat actor Ronald Reagan.

Presidential Elections

1976

The 1976 Presidential election actually began for Governor Carter on Dec. 12, 1974, when he announced his Presidency. Carter's early campaign, and focus on grass-roots organizing in the earliest primaries were revolutionary at the time. By starting earlier than the other candidates, and focusing on building support organizations, Carter, a relative unknown in National politics, was able to capture the Iowa Primary delegates and vault his candidacy into National recognition and an eventual Party selection. Carter went on to challenge incumbent Republican President Gerald Ford. With Watergate fresh in everyone's memory, especially the unpopular pardon of disgraced former president Richard Nixon, and a surprisingly difficult primary campaign against the conservative Republican candidate Ronald Reagan, the Republican Party wasn't in a good place to win a presidential election. Posing himself as a political outsider, Carter won the election. It should be noted, that media of the time hadn't been fully consolidated and conservative media did not exist in it's present form. Media was unable to neutralize progressive liberal candidacy, nor energize conservative candidacy as effectively as they do today.

1980

By 1980, Carter's administration wasn't looking so good. Despite accomplishments including a peace treaty between Egypt and Israel, Americans apparently still wanted an Aggressive Saber-rattling president.

In 1980, the Iran hostage crisis was in full swing. The Shah of Iran had been overthrown by extremist Shia theocrats. In November 1979, the US Embassy was seized by Iranian students. More than 60 American diplomatic staff members were being held hostage. Americans felt helpless and that their country was losing its power as the Global Superpower. The Iranians had risen up after Carter angered them after allowing the unpopular dictator Shah into the country to seek medical treatment.

Carter wasn't as popular back in the States either. There was a 21% interest rate on loans, 13% inflation, 7% unemployment and little growth. The gas crisis led to people lining the streets for gasoline, which often led to violence. Confidence in Jimmy Carter was low to say the lest.

Those in the Democratic Party didn't like that Carter was a fiscal conservative. Some said if Carter had a quarter, he would squeeze it until the eagle choked. The liberal wing of the Democratic Party felt that Carter had abandoned liberalism. Democrats started to turn towards liberal Ted Kennedy to unseat the centrist Carter. The differences between Carter and Kennedy were vast. Carter saw Kennedy as a spoiled entitled playboy. The younger brother of the late President John F. Kennedy saw Carter as a hick who was in over his head.

On November 7, 1979, Senator Ted Kennedy announced his candidacy for the Democratic nomination, challenging Carter.

Carter's strategy to defeat Kennedy was to not campaign at all. It was called the "Rose Garden Strategy", in which he sought to portray himself as an experienced leader focused on securing the release of hostages in Tehran instead of campaigning. Carter's message was a vote for him was a vote to free the hostages and standing up to the Iranian Ayatollah. After this, Democratic voters rallied behind President Carter.

After 100 days, the hostage crisis had gone nowhere. The Iranians were threatening to hold the Americans hostage indefinitely. President Carter was accused of being weak on defense and not having a forceful response. This gave a a boost to Senator Kennedy's campaign by March, 1980, winning the New York and Connecticut primaries.

Carter was considering a military operation to free the hostages. Operation Eagle Claw was launched on April 24, 1980. Unfortunately, everything went wrong. 3 of the 8 helicopters had to turn back because of malfunctions. Carter had to abort the mission. But a helicopter crashed, killing 8 Americans. After Eagle Claw's failure, there was this increasing air of gloom.

Despite this, Carter was still ahead of Ted Kennedy almost 2-to-1. Carter invited Kennedy to the White House, expecting him to drop out. Kennedy refused, saying, "I welcome the opportunity to tell the President I have every intention of continuing this campaign as a candidate." Kennedy tried once last attempt to secure the nomination by trying to tear up the rule book. The rules bound delegates to the candidate for whom they were elected in the primaries. Kennedy wanted to change the rules and gives the delegates the chance to vote for another candidate, even if they were committed to Carter.

On August 13, 1980, Carter maintained his delegate led and won renomination. The day before, Kennedy made his concession speech. "Someday, long after the signs come down and the crowds stop cheering, may it be said of our campaign that we kept the faith," he said. "For me, a few hours ago, this campaign came to an end. For all those whose cares have been our concern, the work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives, and the dream shall never die."

On August 14, 1980, Carter took the stage, but he wasn't on his game. He went to give praise to former Vice President Hubert Humphrey, who had died two years earlier. But he messed up the name. "We're the party of a great man who could've been one of the greatest Presidents in history: Hubert Horatio Hornblower—Humphrey!". Horatio Hornblower is a fictional Napoleonic Wars–era Royal Navy officer who is the protagonist of a series of novels and stories by C. S. Forester. When he was done, the balloons that usually fall on the stage didn't quit fall properly. Not just that, but Senator Kennedy was expected to rejoin the Convention that night, but a traffic jam slowed him down.

While they waited for Kennedy, the Carter campaign did everything they could to keep the convention going. When Kennedy finally arrived, Carter expected the two to raise their hands together in a symbol of unity. But instead, Kennedy simply shook his hands. This showed that Kennedy was bitter about the defeat and his support base didn't unite behind Carter.

While the primaries was a challenge, Carter thought beating Reagan was going to be easy. Reagan had to prove he wasn't some stupid old actor running for President. Reagan fumbled at first by making stuff up. "I'm happy that to be here and he's opening his campaign down in the city that gave birth to and is the apparent body of the Ku Klux Klan." The KKK was founded in Pulaski, Tennessee, not Tuscumbia, Alabama. This also turned some Southerners against Reagan. He also blamed trees and vegetation for pollution. His campaign also went to California and a hung a sign on a tree that said "Chop Me Down Before I kill again".

Carter took advantage of Reagan's statements. "He wants to cut down all the trees in the United States. He said that's where pollution comes from."

Carter and Reagan were to have a debate one week before the election of 1980. Carter was confident in his own intelligence. A briefing book was prepared with foreign/domestic questions and lines of attack against Reagan. Three sets of volumes were made, one for Carter's review, one of Mondale's review and another for back up. The back up was stolen by Paul Corbin and gave it to Bill Casey, the Chairman of the Reagan campaign. Corbin was fiercely loyal to Kennedy family. He had hoped Reagan would defeat Carter and then Ted Kennedy would defeat Reagan in 1984. The Reagan campaign gaining this information gave them an enormous advantage.

On October 28, 1980, the debate was held in Cleveland, Ohio. Reagan's most notable moments include using the phrase "There you go again" and asking whether or not Americans were better off than they were four years ago. One of the questions was about ending the nuclear arms race. Despite his advisers all telling him not to do so, Carter said:

"I had a discussion with my daughter, Amy, the other day, before I came here, to ask her what the most important issue was. She said she thought nuclear weaponry – and the control of nuclear arms."

He pressed on. "Governor Reagan, as a matter of fact, began his political career campaigning around this nation against Medicare. [...] Social Security benefits should not be taxed and that there would be no peremptory change in the standards by which Social Security payments are made to retired people."

Reagan simply responded with "Oh, there you go again." Reagan also asked viewers whether or not Americans were better off than they were four years ago. Ironically, Reagan portrayed himself as Change vs Carter's Status Quo.

Two days before the election, the Iranians parliament offered to release the hostages with conditions. The Iranians demanded non-interference in Iran's affairs, the American government unfreeze $8 billion Iranian assets, the return of the deposed Shah's wealth and immunity from prosecution for the hostage crisis. For some reason, Carter refused to take the offer. His advisers advised him to attack Iran's for the deal. But Carter refused to "Play politics with this".

Unfortunately, Reagan won the election.

Accomplishments

Jimmy Carter, the 39th President of the United States, having previously served as Governor of Georgia and serving in the Navy during WWII. He did OK as President, meaning he only got to serve one term before being defeated by Ronald Reagan. There are strong suspicions about a conspiracy to keep the American hostages in Iran to ensure that Carter was sabotaged and then Reagan could go ahead and begin a new era of far-right politics. [1] Despite this, he secured the release of the hostages after losing the election, even though it provided no political gain to him. Among his other accomplishments are the creation of the Department of Energy, Camp David Accords (preventing war with Panama with the Panama Canal treaties), environmental protection reforms, the SALT-II treaty, and the establishment of diplomatic relations with China. Despite this nearly flawless record, he was defeated for reelection by some crazy guy who screwed up the country. Had he been reelected, he likely would've been one of the best presidents in United States History.

He grew some peanuts before he was president. Now he works for Habitat for Humanity, which rocks.

Carter also received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2002. He is a liberal Christian who is actually a Southern Baptist as well and teaches Sunday School. He's quite religious and even delivered the 2018 Commencement Speech at Liberty University, but he sees no need to force everyone else to follow his beliefs, unlike the religious right. Even if he is very literal or says he is, he seems way too humble to believe that God would be narrow-minded like the far right.

21st Century

Today, Jimmy Carter has said he thinks the United States is an Oligarchy [2]. He voted for Bernie Sanders in 2016.

As of March 21, 2019, he is the oldest living President [3]. He and Bill Clinton are the last living former Presidents to have defeated an incumbent President.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Progressive President
  • Campaigned for a national health care system (lost election before he could do so)
  • Divested from his business by selling his peanut farm.
  • Not one shot was fired by the military during his term.
  • Post-Presidency, Jimmy Carter has worked on humanitarian issues and combating diseases in Africa.
  • Carpenter
  • Sought diplomacy over military aggression.
  • Gave the Panama Canal to Panama
  • Pardoned draft dodgers
  • Is an true Christian of peace, compassion and love.
  • Supports gay marriage now (better late than never)
  • Camp David peace treaty between Israel and Egypt
  • Created Departments of Energy and Education.
  • National energy policy that included conservation, price control, and new technology
  • SALT II Treaties.

Cons

  • Gave $3 billion in arms to the Shah of Iran, who committed horrible crimes against his subjects.
  • Ended détente with the Soviet Union
  • Imposed grain embargo against the Soviet Union.

Trivia

  • Jimmy Carter is the first President from Georgia.
  • Before being President, he was a peanut farmer. During the 1976 election, Carter sold his farm. He did this because most presidents, even George W. Bush, knew it was the right thing to divest themselves of all business holdings if they were so honored as to become president. Apparently, a certain someone didn't get that memo.
  • While Carter was in the Navy during World War II, he was a midshipman at Naval Academy, did not graduate until 1946, and did not see combat.
  • Jimmy Carter resigned his Naval Officer's Commission in 1953, after the death of his father, to return to his family's farm.
  • John Hinckley Jr almost shot Carter during the 1980 election. He approached Carter and came close to shooting him but lost his nerve and left. A year later, he shot Reagan.

See Also

Giant Swimming Rabbit

External Links

References

[4]

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