To effectively understand happy, we must also understand sad; to know hot, we must also know cold. And to to know good, we must first know bad. Otherwise, how would we distinguish the differences between them?
To be able to obtain any reasonable understanding of just about anything, we must know and understand the antithesis, of said subject. And politics is no exception.
Take Jimmy Carter, for instance. He has recently thrust himself back into the limelight of the political world just in time for the twilight of his life. And why he wants this for himself at this point, I do not understand. But it does make him fair game for criticism. So, this is just a measure of that criticism:
In spite of being squashed in his re-election bid by the most popular President in my lifetime and after redeeming himself by doing good work with Habitat For Humanity (and other charitable endeavors), Mr. Carter has decided that the nation needs grandfatherly advice from a former president.
But really, we don't. Thanks, but, no thanks.
We do, however, need to remember what it was like to live under double digit inflation, double digit interest rates, the lowest morale of any peacetime military in modern times, and nightly reports of the Iranians committing acts of terrorism at the state level, almost totally unchallenged. (There were some strongly worded statements and one failed rescue attempt. But otherwise there was nothing, except passive acceptance.)
We need to be reminded (or taught, if we are too young to remember) just how we were able to develop such a massive and collective low self-esteem; a self-esteem problem that came as a side effect, of having an indecisive President that struggled for answers, when the problems called for decisions (also known as, the Carter Malaise). We need to have an understanding of what got us to that point.
We need to know and understand that by his very far-left stances on foreign policy issues, he helped set in motion a leftist revolution in Nicaragua, that didn't solve one damned issue in the area of human rights (something he harped on continuously while he was President). The only thing that revolution demonstrated, was how to trade one form of tyranny for another.
Why do we need to know all of this?
Because, we cannot know success until we can know failure. And aside from his brokered peace deal between Israel and Egypt, his presidency was one miserable failure after another, if there ever was one.
So, how does that play out today?
For one thing and as I said earlier, Mr. Carter has found it necessary to offer unneeded and unsolicited advice. It's well within his rights mind you, no argument about that. But it leads us to ask ourselves, something.
What can we really gain from advice from someone that couldn't do a reasonably decent job, when it was his moment in the sun?
It's not enough he screwed it up then. Does he now have to encourage the loud and seditious left, to try and screw it up worse than they already have? Does he not see that America was not better off four years after he took office, as was evidenced by his landslide loss in the 1980 election? Does he want to contaminate another generation with his leftist influences that clearly were faulty, almost thirty years ago?
Now, maybe you have heard the saying: No one is ever completely worthless. At very least, they can serve as a bad example. Well I am here today, to tell one and all that Mr. Carter was that bad example. There may be no better person in the world as far as sincerity goes, but in terms of job performance, he was the worst and the facts speak loudly and clearly for themselves. His status as a human being has no bearing on this, whatsoever.
That's why every nation at some point in its history needs a Jimmy Carter, to put things into perspective and serve as that bad example. By providing that, the nation as a whole can come to the realization that they, can and should, expect better from their elected officials. They need to go to the bottom of the pit, so they can have a profound appreciation for being on the mountain top.
France has needed a Jimmy Carter for years. They have theirs now.
Jacques Chirac and Jimmy Carter were cut from the same leadership mold, if there ever was such a thing. (They even have the same intitials, J.C., how prophetic is that?) The "do nothing and wait until it goes away on its own" school of thought, still has a man in the tournament. He is alive and well, and he is running France into the ground, just like Carter did in the United States.
But, that's good news. That means that there could be a new day dawning, in the Republique. It means that there is potential for the French to recognize the pit they are in, develop the willingness to rise up from that pit, and set their sights on that mountain top.
If you see this like I see it, you can also see that failure is nothing more than positive feedback. You see the failure, you make the necessary adjustments, and you carry on. Then, you turn the negative into a positive, by using that bad example as your motivation to do better.
To all of those that subscribe to this philosophy, the sky is the limit. To everyone else, there's always the safety and security of the pit.
Cross posted at The Wide Awakes
Special thanks to Gindy for the link to the LA Times editorial.