by Ken Hough
What has Jimmy Carter done wrong? What did Jimmy Carter ever do to cause the editorial that appeared in the April 1997 issue of The Prism? My first reaction was that the editorial must be about another president, perhaps Ronald Reagan. But no, there was Jimmy Carter's name. Why?
I would judge that if a poll were taken of Americans asking which US President in the second half of the 20th century was the most humane and a humanitarian, Jimmy Carter would win easily. The editorial accused Jimmy Carter of supporting various despots around the world without a single reference to any specific act that Carter had done. I found the most outrageous charge to be the one concerning Pol Pot in Cambodia. Perhaps the editorial writer has forgotten that it was Richard Nixon's and Henry Kissinger's secret bombing of Cambodia that destabilized that country and led to the emergence of the Khmer Rouge. The blood of Cambodia's dead are on their hands. Lest we forget, Jimmy Carter expended considerable political capital in returning part of America's colonial empire, namely the Panama Canal.
My only complaint about Jimmy Carter is that he was too nice a man to be president. He did not have the toughness needed to go along with his humanitarian and religious spirit. Had he handled the Iranian hostage crisis more directly and forcefully, I have no doubt he would have been re-elected in 1980. Ronald Reagan would be a footnote in history and this country would be a lot better off today than it is.
So lay off Jimmy Carter while he continues to do good deeds around the world. There are plenty of other Presidents, current and ex-, who are worthy of plenty of criticism.
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