The irony in Carter’s attack on the Tea Party protesters is that his 1976 campaign was based in part on attacking the elites of Washington, the lobbyists, the bankers, the inside traders – precisely what has the Tea Party protesters up in arms today. Indeed, Carter wanted to reduce their power and influence and give Americans a government “as good” as they were.
If Carter were true to his revolutionary campaign of the bicentennial year, he’d be defending the Tea Party protesters, not smearing them. What’s got them upset is not racism, but elitism. Carter, in 1976, would have torn into tax cheats like Obama appointees Timmy Geithner and Kathleen Sebelius.
In his dotage, Carter should give his fellow citizens the benefit of the doubt, seeing they are lusting in their hearts not for racism or women, but for freedom and ethics in their government.
About the Author:Craig Shirley is president and CEO of Shirley & Banister Public Affairs in Alexandria, Virginia. He is the author of the forthcoming book "Rendezvous with Destiny" about Ronald Reagan’s 1980 presidential campaign.
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In this particular case, the issue was whether the Arkansas prison system could prohibit, for security reasons, a devout Muslim’s maintaining a beard of a certain length as a matter of religious practice.
Jimmy Carter, former Jim Crow man, has accused millions of his fellow Americans of engaging in the type of racial politics that marked his political career for years, even up to the eve of the 1980 presidential election, which he has never apologized for or acknowledged.