There’s the rather tired saying about Jimmy Carter that he was a better ex-President than he was President. I doubt it though. This is a man who presided over an economic malaise, a hostage crisis, a fuel crisis to boot, and managed to lose an election to Ronald Reagan. I would hardly rate this the work of a political genius. His work with Habitat for Humanity since then has been widely lauded, and rightfully so. But that’s where I feel the accolades should stop.
Much of his political work, such as his recent mission to North Korea, has been less than constructive. His most recent round of comments that the US and South Korea were committing human rights abuses as a result of withholding food aid is rather jaw dropping. If Jimmy Carter wanted to highlight human rights abuses, he could have cited this example: North Korea. It was the North Koreans themselves who abandoned the food aid program in 2009, having since continued with their attempts to develop their nuclear arsenal and sinking the South Korean naval vessel, the Cheonan, a bit over a year ago. Putting blame at the feet of the US and South Koreans while making the batshit crazy North Koreans out to be the victims in this scenario is not only irresponsible, it’s dangerous.
If Carter really believes what he’s saying, then it’s time for him to start his long, long overdue retirement. And even if he doesn’t, then he ought to cash in his chips, and take a cue from George W. Bush. Be silent.