Jimmy Carter Has Never Been Shy About Generating Controversy

Carter

Jimmy Carter has never been shy away about generating controversy by speaking his views on politics in a frank manner. He has sparked controversy again by suggesting that the American political system has been completely subverted, and that big money has completely corrupted Washington. He suggested that the Supreme Court’s controversial Citizens United ruling is largely to blame for this, as it introduced what he described as limitless opportunities for bribery. This has corrupted the process of receiving the nomination for the presidency for both major parties, as well as both the Senate and House of Representatives.

He added that the unprecedented sums of money introduced to politics in recent years has essentially turned the United States into an oligarchy. This system, he suggests, is broken, and has completely detracted from what was a great political system. Nowadays, he argues, the United States does not even qualify as a true democracy. These comments came shortly after he published his most recent book, which was followed by a book signing tour and some other public appearances on television and radio.

President Jimmy Carter has written his personal memories in a new book titled A Full Life: Reflections at Ninety. In this latest book, he reflects on a life that saw him begin his childhood in the Deep South during the days of Jim Crow segregation, then join the Navy to become an officer on a nuclear submarine, before going back to his home in Plains, Georgia, and becoming a peanut farmer. Before long, however, he pursued a career in politics, ascending to the office of Governor of Georgia in 1971, then winning the 1976 election and becoming president.

However, Carter is arguably nowadays better known for what he has done since leaving the Oval Office in 1981. The next year, the Carter Center was established, and worked around the world to ensure fair elections, to combat diseases and promote better living conditions in rural, isolated villages. Carter also worked towards promoting peace by personally getting involved in negotiations in troubled areas around the world. These things helped him to win the Nobel Peace Prize in 2002.  These things, plus the high profile work that he has done in helping to build affordable housing units for the disadvantaged with Habitat for Humanity,  have changed the negative impressions that many Americans had of Carter while he served as president, and essentially redefined what he represents for the country.

In addition to all of this, Carter has also earned the unique distinction as an accomplished and prolific author. He became the first former president to write a work of fiction when his The Hornet’s Nest was published in 2003, and his numerous books have surprisingly strong range, covering personal memoirs, books dealing with both foreign and domestic politics, a book of poetry that he wrote, books on aging, religion, and even a book about his outdoor adventures. This latest book marks his 26th book published.

To illustrate that Carter has never been shy about generating controversy by sharing his opinions on the state of American politics today, some of the contents of his books have generated serious controversy. In particular, the publication of the book, Palestine Peace Not Apartheid drew a storm of controversy after it was released. He was roundly criticized by many supporters of Israel, with most taking exception to the title of the book, suggesting that it was grossly unfair for Carter to compare the situation in Israel today with that of the officially racist system known as apartheid that existed in South Africa decades ago. Some critics of Carter even suggested that he might have revealed a measure of anti-Semitism.

Jimmy Carter has never been shy away about generating controversy, and in keeping with this tradition in his latest book, the former president and Nobel Peace Prize winner discusses other presidents and politicians since leaving office himself, and more generally, on the state of the nation and politics since leaving the White House. Overall, his recently published book shows that he never has been one to simply sugarcoat the situation around the world as he sees it. He argues that the genuine spirit of wanting to achieve greater peace and understanding in the aftermath of World War II has yielded to a renewed cycle of violence and hatred that has served to destabilize the world.

By Charles Bordeau

Sources:

Newsmax.com – Jimmy Carter: ‘Oligarchy’ Resulted from Citizens United Decision by Clyde Hughes, August 3, 2015

Realclearpolitics.com – Jimmy Carter: “We’ve Seen A Complete Subversion Of Our Political System” By Money, “It’s Just An Oligarchy With Unlimited Political Bribery” published by Real Clear Politics Video, August 2, 2015

Seattle Times – ‘A Full Life:’ at 90, Jimmy Carter still pursues the dream of peace, by Carolyn Kellogg of the LA Times, July 28, 2015

Thinkprogress.org – Why Jimmy Carter Thinks The United States Isn’t A Real Democracy Anymore by Judd Legum, JUL 31, 2015

Firstlook.org – Jimmy Carter: The U.S. Is an “Oligarchy With Unlimited Political Bribery” by Jon Schwarz, July 30 2015

Photo courtesy of The Elders Flickr pageCreative Commons License

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