by Professor Bob Buzzanco
Jimmy Carter as ex-President has built homes for the poor, brokered peace agreements, overseen elections, and engaged in humanitarian acts without fail. He never cashed in like most ex-Presidents do with huge media deals or constant P.R. appearances. And that’s good on him.
But in the interests of historical accuracy, and to understand why today’s political system has (d)evolved for the past four decades or so, looking at his time as president really tells us a lot about how we got to where we are today.
I’ve been tweaking some lectures in the past few days on the latter stages of the Cold War and was reminded of the turmoil and disorder Carter brought to the global scene.
Carter might be a secular saint to many in the 21st Century, but when it came to engaging with the world during his one-term presidency, he was a war criminal. In Africa, in Asia, in Latin America, Carter created violent programs, aided terrorists, and contributed to death and destruction at a high level. His stewardship over the empire also is instructive in the ways of Liberal militarism and imperialism.