President Carter's Presidency
MAY 10, 2013? Carter, Jimmy.
Our Endangered Values: America’s moral crisis. 2001. (accessed May 9, 2013) Carter, Jimmy. Peace Not Apartheid. (accessed May 9 2013). Carter, Jimmy.
Through the Year with Jimmy Carter. Washington D.C.:Library of congress, (accessed May 9, 2013). Sschlesingar, Arthur and Julian Zelizer.
Jimmy Carter (The American President). New York: Henry Holt, 2010. (accessed may 9, 2013). Watkins, Thayer. “The Economic Collapse of the Soviet Union .” San Jose State University Department of Economics .
http://www.sjsu.edu/faculty/watkins/sovietcollapse.htm (accessed May 9, 2013). Jimmy Carter had a dismal persona and portrayed a more a realistic attitude; where Ronald Reagan’s optimism inspired and encouraged many Americans. Carter gets an appropriate amount of back lash in the after math of his presidency and his public popularity decreased toward the end of his presidency, Carter’s accomplishments do not over shadow his presidency’s tone.
Carter had a sense of independence that gained him many supporters in his initial run for presidency. His closing statement in his 1977 inauguration address conveys his initial popularity. I would hope that the nations of the world might say that we had built a lasting peace, built not on weapons of war but on international policies which reflect our own most precious values. These are not just my goals, and they will not be my accomplishments, but eh affirmation of our nation’s continuing moral strength and our belief in an undiminished, ever-expanding American dream. (Carte, 67) When Carter had attained the presidency, the oval office proved detrimental in public relations.
One of Carters detrimental mistakes includes his refusal to engage himself in a give and take with Congress (Peace, 4). Carter would not support Congress supported bills and Congress would reply in kind, stalling and stopping his initiatives (Watkins). His boycott of the Olympic games was very unpopular with the American people along with his inflexibility whilst dealing with both friends and foes alike (Ssschlesingar,10). All of these numerous actions and characteristics branded him as overall ineffectual. Jimmy Carter has been evaluated rather harshly as a U.S.
president in modern historical scholarship for numerous reasons, some fair and others biased. One of the most polemic is that he wrote a book on Commentary on Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid (Peace, 55). This created a lot of controversy especially his use of the word Apartheid (segregated political system) which although correct offended numerous people and instigated many opponents and criticizers for Carter (Peace, 87). Another issue occurred right after Carter was appointed his presidency he nominated four people for four different federal appellate judgeships (Watkins). The Judiciary Committee in the Senate did not process these candidates which created a problem in the predominately Democratic at the time, before the end of his presidency (Through, 67). Jimmy Carter’s successor, Ronald Reagan did not renominate any of the four.
Another political arrow and timing mishap in Carter’s political career was the Iranian hostage crisis. For a frightening four hundred and forty four days, in Iran, fifty-two American citizens were held captive at the U.S. embassy (Sschlesingar, 23). His inability to use effective force to resolve put a shadow on Carter’s presidency; the issue was not publicly solved until President Carter’s presidential term ended.
His misfortune of serving as president in a time of rising inflation and energy costs along with the mounting tensions home and world wide mad for a stressful and public presidency. In 1977 when President Jimmy Carter assumed office he inherited a slowly reforming economy nurturing its wounds from the recession. Carter had previously criticized his predecessor President Henry Ford’s failures in controlling unemployment and bringing down inflation. Ironically after Carter served his four-year term as president inflation and unemployment had risen greatly and steadily. Inflation had nearly tripled in size when the presidential election campaign of 1980 begun. After pledging to eliminate federal deficits, when the federal government spends over it annual revenue in excess and is a leading cause of inflation, instead in doubled near fifty billion dollars (Sschlesingar, 25).
Unemployment was just below ten percent at the start of the 1980 election campaign and some industrial states were even higher. Due to the U.S. reliance on foreign oil the detrition of the American dollar and a trade deficit began (Ssclesingar, 29). One of Carter’s most successful initiatives to propose and get a majority of it passed through Congress involved his energy program (Watkins).
President Jimmy Carter counseled American citizens that they were wasting too much energy; natural gases and native oil supplies were being depleted. Carter deemed foreign oil and gases as too risky because foreign nations would set embargoes. Six months into Carter’s third year as president gasoline depletion reached a critical level, to fix this problem Carter promoted a long-term initiative to solve the energy problem (Watkins). He addressed the people saying he would put a constraint on imported oil, and create a program to work on the conservation of oil and the development of alternative resources. Carter’s success lies in his discernment of the public’s waning affection with liberalism, and his portraying himself as a new type of Democrat. Succeeding presidents have tried to emulate President Carter’s re-inspired, dormant practice of mediation by the president between disputing nations.
Carter’s support of protecting human rights across the globe, using American leadership, hindered the rise of communist power and various dictatorial regimes (Sschlesingar, 39). His activism on this subject led to the human rights initiatives of the 1980s and 1990s. One cannot discuss Carter and Reagan without mentioning their presidential electoral debate in 1980. Carter had prepared to critique Reagan on his voting record, especially concerning Medicare declaring, “You voted this way!” Carter’s main objective, to stay on the offensive backfired when, with humor Reagan brilliantly would reply nonchalantly, “There you go again”, using this rebuttal as a calming mechanism (Through, 79). Reagan’s brilliance continued to shine through with his question to the American people ‘Are you better off now than you were four years ago?’ This seemingly small statement had a gargantuan affect on the people’s thoughts of reelecting Carter (Through, 79). It had them pondering and questioning Carter’s presidency while weighing his faults versus his successes.
All around the U.S. citizens thought about their economic, personal, and working lives and how the economy over the last four years has been detrimental to it. This question became the key point and theme of Reagan’s run for presidency. While Carter gave an extremely feeble closing statement Reagan’s “if you are better off, then you vote for Mr. Carter.
If you’re not, you do have another choice. Me,” gave the quintessential note to leave the American people contemplating (Through, 79). President Carter’s contribution to the American society will not be remembered due to his successes although he did have his triumphant moments. His presidency will be remembered for his controversial writings after term, his boycotts, his failed initiatives, and the greatness of his successor, Reagan. The voting of 1980 reflected the peoples decision and their over all view and opinion of Carters years as Commander and Chief, they did not believe themselves to be better off.