An Open Letter to My Friend, Jimmy
I voted for Jimmy Carter in ’76 (19, not 18) and feel, therefore, that I have the right to say a few things.
I voted for you in ’76. There had never been a Georgian in the White House before, and I thought it would be cool to have one. Yeah, I know what you’re thinking. That’s no reason to vote for a man. I know it now. But why didn’t you tell me that back then? Could have saved me a ton of remorse.
You wanted to be in the White House, and I wanted you there, too. So we had, you might say, a common goal. Almost makes us buds. Almost.
Plus, you possess an honor that no other person in the entire country can claim: You are the last democrat I ever voted for. No, it’s true. Really. The very last one. And you are also, in fact, the actual reason that I have not voted for another one since.
Jimmy, I’m writing this because lately, in the last year or so, I’ve had occasion to trip down memory lane, playing again in my mind some of the memories that we share. For example:
Like how you canceled military pay raises during that time of inflation. All of those service men and women were overpaid anyway, right? Remember that? What a memory.
And when you pardoned all of those draft dodgers. Of course it was kind of a slap in the face to those who had the character to actually serve when called, in spite of great personal risk. The names of many of those are now inscribed upon some memorial or other, but we can’t allow negative thoughts to spoil a good memory, can we?
And remember how all of those aircraft were sitting on the runways because the guys who could fix ’em couldn’t get the parts to do it? Boy, those were the days.
And remember how those pesky Iranians thought that we had a wimp in the White House and just took over that embassy? Bad timing that, eh? Oh, well, we all have our bad luck as well as good, right?
And do you remember how all of the hostages were released just twenty minutes after Ronald Reagan was sworn in as President? Boy, what a coincidence.
And remember how an obscure Iranian student by the hard to pronounce name of Ahmadinejad was alleged to have been among those who took over the embassy? I hear that he went on to achieve some considerable degree of success in politics. Why, you could say that you gave him his start. Hey, is that why you still get cards from Iran on your birthday and during Ramadan?
And do you remember the rescue attempt, when those helicopters broke down in the sand? Maybe they were short a part or two. You think? Getting (sigh) sort of misty-eyed now.
And, remember how those ungrateful OPEC Arabs decided to test you with that oil embargo? Why did they do that, Jimmy? I mean you weren’t really a weak president. Not exactly. Were you?
And I know you remember those long, long lines at the gas pumps? Good times those.
And, do you remember how you gave us that new word? What was it, now? Seems like it was a combination of ‘stagnant’ and ‘inflation’. Stagflation! That’s it. That’s your contribution, Jimmy, and don’t you ever let anybody say differently, you hear?
And, while we’re on the subject, do you remember that double-digit inflation that reached as high as 13.5% before Reagan finally got it under control in ’82? And the fears that it might keep going until we had hyper-inflation like in Germany from ’22-’23? Remember that? Yes sir, those were the days.
Yeah, I know that the seeds for inflation were planted before you, so you can’t take credit for starting it, but you are certainly due the credit for not doing anything to stop it and, instead, letting it have it’s head — kind of like a runaway horse that just keeps on running until someone has guts enough to get in front of it and stop it. Boy, that was some ride.
I could go on, but that’s quite enough, don’t you think?
Now, Jimmy, you may think that you detected just the slightest bit of sarcasm in the above, and, as usual, you would be right. Never could put anything over on you. Of course, if I were a communist, then maybe, but, alas, I’m not. I don’t mean to imply that even a communist could fool you, Jimmy. No, not at all. It’s just that you always want so badly to believe every single thing they say.
I’m not as smart as you, Jimmy, and, were it not for you, all of the above memories might have mercifully faded completely away long ago, but it seems that you keep popping up every few months saying one thing or another, and bingo, they’rrrrre baaaaaaack.
Like the other day, when you said that all of the criticism against Obama was due to . . . how did you say it? Oh, yeah, that it was due to the belief of white people that “African Americans are not qualified to lead this great country.”
Some people might say that you are not sincere when you say things like that, but I am not one of them. To the contrary, I know that you are sincere when you say that white people believe that African Americans just aren’t good enough, because I know that you believe it yourself, with all of your heart, and you cannot, therefore, understand how anyone else can criticize a black man without doing it from the perspective that “he’s just not good enough”.
Like all of your elite arrogant liberal kind, you believe that those unfortunate ignorant black folks, bless their po’ little ol’ hearts, just aren’t qualified to lead their own lives without help, let alone lead the whole country and must, instead, be lead around by the noses by their present day massa’s, who know better than they about everything and want only to “he’p” them — people like, coincidentally, you.
And, since you haven’t been able to get beyond your own racist thoughts, you simply can’t understand how the rest of us just might have.
There’s an unwritten rule that past presidents should have the good grace and class to actually retire and leave the arena to the new guy. After all, he earned it, didn’t he? And his job will be tough enough without all of the old guys nipping at his heels all of the time, right? But that rule is just for those other past presidents and don’t apply to you, because you’re “The Jimmy!” Most actually have the humility to believe that the world just might be able to get along without them and their sage advice, but not you — you’re “The Jimmy!”
Like I said, you keep popping up and popping off, and the memories just keep coming back over and over and over and over. So how can I say this nicely, Jimmy? Okay, there is no way to say it nicely, so just let me say it like I feel it.
Jimmy, why don’t you . . . let’s see, now, what are the right words?
Jimmy, why don’t you, uh . . . oh, drat! Where are those x-genners when you need one? They always seem to have just the right words for these occasions. Learned ’em on MTV and, of course, in the public school system.
Oh, well, I guess I’ll just have to go it on my own. It won’t be nearly as good, but here goes:
Jimmy, just shut the heck up!
Jere F. Moore
Incidentally, here’s my favorite photo of brother Jimmy. It was taken by that great political photographer, Michael Ramirez, and I hope he doesn’t mind my borrowing it.
It so captures the “real” Jimmy, don’t you think?: