Jimmy, shut up! (with all due respect)
Ever notice how Republican ex-Presidents leave the White House, then quietly sail into the sunset? There is the obligatory book, public visits with our veterans and an occasional parachuting from a plane to celebrate a birthday milestone. They served their time, cleaned out their Oval Office desk and respectfully made way for the next President of the United States. This is class; it is how Republicans act.
On the other hand, Democratic ex-Presidents keep seeking our attention like a bad rash. Bill Clinton is seen and heard as much today as ever, ginning up Hillary’s base for her likely run for the White House, God help us. Clinton is viewed as the wise elder statesman whom journalists seek out for comment on current affairs (not just his affairs, but the world’s) and grasp onto his every syllable like the last gooey drop of molasses from an Aunt Jemima bottle. Clinton conjures fond memories of the 90’s; a strong economic period fueled by the emerging Internet industry. What a time and Clinton was in the thick of it!
During those years, the U.S. was enjoying a peace dividend resulting from the collapse of the Soviet Union precipitated when Ronald Reagan demanded Gorbachev tear down the wall dividing Germany. Other than the Bosnian engagement and an intern named Monica, those were heady days still fueling the present fascination with Bill Clinton. Now in his later years, the Teflon “feel your pain” ex-President looks thinner, older and gaunt, but can still be counted on to steal anyone’s limelight. There is no sailing into the sunset for the man from Arkansas.
On the other side of the Democratic ex-presidential coin is the disastrous one-term president, Jimmy Carter. You can still expect his head to spring out of the box and bobble wildly each time there is an opportunity to criticize Israel. He was President and architect of the 1979 Camp David Accords peace agreement signed between Egypt and Israel. For that achievement, Carter is recognized by some as the renowned expert on the Middle East.
But since leaving his ill-fated one-term presidency, he has spent years spewing overt prejudice against the State of Israel, including a deeply-biased book he authored suggesting the Jewish State’s occupation of Judea and Samaria (West Bank) “perpetrates worse instances of apartness, or apartheid than we witnessed even in South Africa”. What a fine slap in the face to the only country in the Middle East which recognizes and protects individual rights.
Days ago, Mr. Carter suggested the world recognize the terrorist organization Hamas as the legitimate representative of the Palestinians in Gaza. I thought the United States had a policy of not negotiating with terrorists? Is Carter’s hypocrisy so great that he would advise such?
So how does Israel negotiate with a death cult whose own charter calls for Israel’s annihilation and fanatically attempts to achieve that evil goal by launching thousands of missiles into the Jewish State? How does one make peace with Hamas, which built a network of underground tunnels designed to infiltrate and commit mass terror attacks?
Jimmy Carter’s record speaks for itself. He has long had an affinity for Islamic terrorists. He can be seen in pictures hugging Hamas representatives; a nauseating image if there ever were one. We might use his own quote suggesting he must “lust in his heart” for Arabs –perhaps because they are the biggest benefactor of his “humanitarian” Carter Center.
Because of his once prestigious position, there are those who believe he is an authority on the Arab-Israeli conflict. But his record of bias speaks for itself. He believes the conflict may only be solved with dangerous Israeli concessions. What about Arab recognition, cessation of hostilities and incitement toward the Jewish State?
While Carter stirs the pot, Clinton still swears he never inhaled it. They are both hanging to a bygone era; a ship that has sailed. Ex-Republican Presidents get it; Democrats do not or don’t want to. Leading up to the 2016 election, the man from Hope will have plenty to say. And there is little hope Jimmy Carter will do us all a favor by staying on his Georgia peanut farm, sipping sweet tea while viewing Al Jazeera and leaving this poor tumultuous world alone. No, there is no hope of that at all.
William Pollack is a broadcasting and movie theater entrepreneur with locations throughout the United States. He currently resides in Memphis, TN.