Jump to content
Objectivism Online Forum

Jimmy Carter's malaise

Rate this topic


Recommended Posts

A quick search produced several sites with the speech, including this one: Carter's Malaise Speech

It was about the energy crisis, and you can imagine Carter's ridiculous ideas on how to "solve" it. Sounds like one of Joe Stalin's Five Year Plans. You might call it The Great Patriotic War on Excessive Energy Consumption. Here is an excerpt:

The energy crisis is real. It is worldwide. It is a clear and present danger to our Nation. These are facts and we simply must face them.

What I have to say to you now about energy is simple and vitally important.

Point one: I am tonight setting a clear goal for the energy policy of the United States. Beginning this moment, this Nation will never use more foreign oil than we did in 1977 -- never. From now on, every new addition to our demand for energy will be met from our own production and our own conservation. The generation-long growth in our dependence on foreign oil will be stopped dead in its tracks right now and then reversed as we move through the 1980's, for I am tonight setting the further goal of cutting our dependence on foreign oil by one-half by the end of the next decade -- a saving of over 4 1/2 million barrels of imported oil per day.

Point two: To ensure that we meet these targets, I will use my Presidential authority to set import quotas. I'm announcing tonight that for 1979 and 1980, I will forbid the entry into this country of one drop of foreign oil more than these goals allow. These quotas will ensure a reduction in imports even below the ambitious levels we set at the recent Tokyo summit.

Point three: To give us energy security, I am asking for the most massive peacetime commitment of funds and resources in our Nation's history to develop America's own alternative sources of fuel -- from coal, from oil shale, from plant products for gasohol, from unconventional gas, from the Sun.

I propose the creation of an energy security corporation to lead this effort to replace 2 1/2 million barrels of imported oil per day by 1990. The corporation will issue up to $5 billion in energy bonds, and I especially want them to be in small denominations so that average Americans can invest directly in America's energy security.

Just as a similar synthetic rubber corporation helped us win World War II, so will we mobilize American determination and ability to win the energy war. Moreover, I will soon submit legislation to Congress calling for the creation of this Nation's first solar bank, which will help us achieve the crucial goal of 20 percent of our energy coming from solar power by the year 2000.

These efforts will cost money, a lot of money, and that is why Congress must enact the windfall profits tax without delay. It will be money well spent. Unlike the billions of dollars that we ship to foreign countries to pay for foreign oil, these funds will be paid by Americans to Americans. These funds will go to fight, not to increase, inflation and unemployment.

Point four: I'm asking Congress to mandate, to require as a matter of law, that our Nation's utility companies cut their massive use of oil by 50 percent within the next decade and switch to other fuels, especially coal, our most abundant energy source.

Point five: To make absolutely certain that nothing stands in the way of achieving these goals, I will urge Congress to create an energy mobilization board which, like the War Production Board in World War II, will have the responsibility and authority to cut through the redtape, the delays, and the endless roadblocks to completing key energy projects.

We will protect our environment. But when this Nation critically needs a refinery or a pipeline, we will build it.

Point six: I'm proposing a bold conservation program to involve every State, county, and city and every average American in our energy battle. This effort will permit you to build conservation into your homes and your lives at a cost you can afford.

I ask Congress to give me authority for mandatory conservation and for standby gasoline rationing. To further conserve energy, I'm proposing tonight an extra $10 billion over the next decade to strengthen our public transportation systems. And I'm asking you for your good and for your Nation's security to take no unnecessary trips, to use carpools or public transportation whenever you can, to park your car one extra day per week, to obey the speed limit, and to set your thermostats to save fuel. Every act of energy conservation like this is more than just common sense -- I tell you it is an act of patriotism.

Our Nation must be fair to the poorest among us, so we will increase aid to needy Americans to cope with rising energy prices. We often think of conservation only in terms of sacrifice. In fact, it is the most painless and immediate way of rebuilding our Nation's strength. Every gallon of oil each one of us saves is a new form of production. It gives us more freedom, more confidence, that much more control over our own lives.

So, the solution of our energy crisis can also help us to conquer the crisis of the spirit in our country. It can rekindle our sense of unity, our confidence in the future, and give our Nation and all of us individually a new sense of purpose.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

a similar synthetic rubber corporation helped us win World War II
Manifest ignorance on my part ... what's this about a synthetic rubber corp? What are the details necessary to render moral judgment, and what are some interestingly horrifying details just because I'm morbidly fascinated?

an energy mobilization board which ... will have the responsibility and authority to cut through the redtape, the delays, and the endless roadblocks

... which government boards create.... (Cough, ImClone, Martha Stewart, cough ... sorry, the FDA has just banned all cold-relief medications.)

[i ... ]will permit you to build conservation into your homes and your lives at a cost you can afford

I will force you to stop eating; and I am going to force you to pay me for the privilege.

Every act of energy conservation like this is more than just common sense
-- It is a faith-based initiative. (Sorry, W, for taking over the term and turning it into an anticoncept whose meaning just became a lot clearer. I will probably vote for you anyway as the far least evil (poetic licence, right?), comparatively if and surely not absolutely.)

the solution of our energy crisis can also help us to conquer the crisis of the spirit in our country

Ayn Rand would have said the logical converse, implying the philosophical inverse, thusly:

The solution of the crisis of the spirit [altruism, collectivism, statism, you name it] in our country can also help us to conquer our energy crisis [egoism, individualism, can't remember the right word, you name it].

Carter's Malaise Speech

Carter's Malice Speech.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In 1980 the United States economy had 13 percent inflation, 22 percent interest rates, and was going through the worst recession since the Great Depression. All Jimmy Carter could do about this was talk about malaise, the weakness of the American people, gasoline rationing, and the Iranians holding the US to ransom with hostages. When Ronald Reagan came to office the stage was set for nearly two decades of economic growth and the US was the world's sole super power. Go figure. <_<

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My word! There was a malaise affecting America all right ... it was Jimmy Carter.

I wish I could personally thank every American who voted against him in '80.

He sure was a malaise in America.

Interest rates were at their highest levels during his presidency.

And then there was the hostage crisis, and how his administration reacted to it.

Jimmy Carter should relinquish the Nobel Prize. No one deserves it less than he does. :angry:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

How about terrorists, dictators, and thugs with Nobel prizes?

Alright, so he was, morally, a thug.

You mean, like Le Duc Tho and Yassir Arafat?

The Nobel committee can be proud of its sorry track record in this regard, that's for sure. :dough:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 11 months later...

Billy Carter's dumber brother is living proof that the presidency is NOT the place for on-the-job training.

His fatal flaw is that he has always refused to believe that people are capable of being evil; rather, they are just "misunderstood."

He was the closest the American people have ever come to picking the president's name from a phone book.

:) "Hi, mah name is Jimmah Cahtuh, and I'm runnin' fuh praysdunt."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's extremely popular nowadays to take pot-shots at and dump on Jimmy Carter. Even Ayn Rand did. But this is a guy who really believed in the goodness of the American people and who shocked everybody by promising never to lie to them. He mostly lived up to this impossible promise. His integrity and character were exceptionally high -- maybe the best ever for an American president. He's still a kind of moral giant among politicians.

His great problem was and is his philosophy. His leftist, amoralist, cultural relativist ideology is incorrect. His mostly-failed presidency is a classic example of what happens when you mix good people with bad/mistaken/evil ideas. He could have used a lot more personal corruption and political hypocrisy! But what an ironic way to condemn a man.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's extremely popular nowadays to take pot-shots at and dump on Jimmy Carter.  Even Ayn Rand did. But this is a guy who really believed in the goodness of the American people and who shocked everybody by promising never to lie to them. He mostly lived up to this impossible promise. His integrity and character were exceptionally high -- maybe the best ever for an American president. He's still a kind of moral giant among politicians.

His great problem was and is his philosophy. His leftist, amoralist, cultural relativist ideology is incorrect. His mostly-failed presidency is a classic example of what happens when you mix good people with bad/mistaken/evil ideas. He could have used a lot more personal corruption and political hypocrisy! But what an ironic way to condemn a man.

At best, you seem to be saying Carter was a simpleton. An honest person who is completely clueless. I fail to see how that is admirable. A simpleton shouldn't put himself forward as being able to hold the office of President.

He believed in the goodness of the American people? Why then did he feel it necessary to force them to reduce their energy consumption? In fact his opinion of the American people was that they didn't know what was good for them, and he needed to force them to do what they were too stupid to understand.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

His integrity and character were exceptionally high -- maybe the best ever for an American president. He's still a kind of moral giant among politicians.

His great problem was and is his philosophy. His leftist, amoralist, cultural relativist ideology is incorrect.

Integrity and character? This is the guy who campaigned and told America he was a nuclear physicist. The press investigated the claim and it turned out he once took a non-credit course in nuclear physics at Union College. :thumbsup:

He whined about how bad he had it during the "Depression," yet even Miss Lillian was driven to go on TV and tell us how full of it her son was, that they had actually done quite well.

How is a "leftist, amoralist, cultural relativist" a "moral giant"? I'd say anyone who possesses those qualities is evil. Carter is rotten to the core with militant altruism, and has campaigned against America's prosperity ever since the Gipper sent him back to the peanut farm.

Like other self-annointed elitists, he likes to appoint himself supreme advising altruist monitor when any international crisis arises. Every international situation he gets involved in rapidly deteriorates. I found him particularly despicable when he dispatched himself to Venezuela to come to Chavez's aid--surely no one thought he was there to help freedom-loving capitalists dump that tyrranical socialist pig.

Carter's Nobel prize? LOL That's like Moveon.org giving Michael Moron a lifetime achievement award. Nobel peace prize is like the Oscars--a bunch of left-wing elitists self-congratulating themselves and stroking each other's egos. :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

At best, you seem to be saying Carter was a simpleton.  An honest person who is completely clueless.  I fail to see how that is admirable.

Honesty, integrity, virtue and high character are all admirable. Men of Carter's quality are rare. You oppose his politics -- so you assume he's dirt by definition. This isn't logical.

  A simpleton shouldn't put himself forward as being able to hold the office of President..

The American people elected him -- you should take it up with them.

He believed in the goodness of the American people?  Why then did he feel it necessary to force them to reduce their energy consumption?

This sounds like a mean-spirited petty policy dispute. He was still a high quality person.

In fact his opinion of the American people was that they didn't know what was good for them, and he needed to force them to do what they were too stupid to understand.

All Republicans and Democrats think this, more or less. You seem to have missed the point. Let me repeat: Policies bad; person good. How hard is this to understand? Do you find his character/integrity lower than Bill Clinton? How about Stalin and Hitler?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Bailey, I say to you what I said to Kitty Hawk: his politics were low but his personal quality was high. You would want him as your friend, business partner, used car saleswoman, and buddy in a fox hole. Virtually every other politician of both major parties would be very inferior. How hard is this point to understand? :lol:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ariana (pretty name, by the way), but no, his "personal quality" is low because he's an altruist, and that's why his politics are horrendous. And he almost destroyed this nation in the '70's by following his horrible premises to their logical end. The country elected him at that time because most of the nation was filled with nihilists back then, and they got what they deserved.

Edited by Rational_One
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Honesty, integrity, virtue and high character are all admirable. Men of Carter's quality are rare. You oppose his politics -- so you assume he's dirt by definition. This isn't logical.

Let me repeat: Policies bad; person good. How hard is this to understand? Do you find his character/integrity lower than Bill Clinton? How about Stalin and Hitler?

So if a Nazi is honest and has integrity towards naziism, he's still a good person? Same for an honest communist?

I find all of the people you mentioned--Clinton, Stalin, Hitler, to be men of poor character. Carter happened to live in country where he couldn't get away with the things Hitler and Stalin got away with. All of them believed in the use of force against the citizens of their country. So do all current Republicans and Democrats, and I don't like any of them, either. Personally, or politically.

Someone who believes in initiating the use of force, who does not respect individual rights, is an evil person. That's Jimmy Carter.

And I believe the other poster dealt with Carter's selective honesty, which you failed to address.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Everybody seems to be missing the point. :santa: It is precisely Carter's noble dedication to false principles that made him such a poor and indecisive leader. This misused virtue of his made government seem ungovernable, made life seem hopeless, and led to general American anomie and malaise. Carter was a tragic Andrei Taganov type figure.

Daniel Patrick Monihan and Hillary Clinton may both be traditional Democrats -- but Monihan is FAR the better human being. Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter may both be moderate Democrats -- but Carter is FAR the better person. Both Monihan and Carter could be converted to capitalism and Objectivism if we tried. Not so the lowly Clintons.

Does anyone seriously argue tha Elie Wiesel is a bad person just because his politics and philosophy are wrong? He has great BEAUTY as a man and human being. I feel sorry for any Objectivist who is so dedicated to her belief system that she can't see that. :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Everybody seems to be missing the point.  :santa:  It is precisely Carter's noble dedication to false principles that made him such a poor and indecisive leader. This misused virtue of his made government seem ungovernable, made life seem hopeless, and led to general American anomie and malaise. Carter was a tragic Andrei Taganov type figure.

Ariana: You raise an interesting issue about how we should judge people. An issue far broader than Mr. Carter. Let me try to phrase the issue as a set of questions.

How would one describe the character of Andrei Taganov (of "We The Living")? Is "virtuous" an appropriate description?

How is Andrei different from Toohey (of "Fountainhead" ) or Lillian Rearden (of "Atlas Shrugged")? What makes Andrei a "better human being" than the other two?

To put such judgement in perspective, one needs to ask why we are judging them? Is there a purpose? If I had to vote for one of them, would I prefer the compromising Left-winger or the committed one?

Monihan and Carter could be converted to capitalism and Objectivism if we tried. Not so the lowly Clintons.
Are you saying that the difference is whether the person is making an honest attempt to do what is right, but is simply mistaken, as opposed to someone who really has no intention to do what is right?

I feel sorry for any Objectivist who is so dedicated to her belief system that she can't see that.  :)

"Belief system" rankles.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ariana-- There is no such thing as "a noble dedication to false priciples" nor is there anything moral or good about it nor does it speak good of Carter's character. Someone that consistently pushes evil ideas is evil. Just because they are consistent in their evil beliefs it does imply any type of virtue. Instead it implies a vice if he is consistent and thinking he is doing "the right thing" i.e., that he has refused to think properly his entire life. That is one of the greatest evils a man can do. Couple that with what he enacted when in office and it shows that Carter is an extremely evil man with no virtue to speak of. You should notice by now that your "argument" can fallow with almost no changes to men such as Lenin and Stalin. And maybe even worse because he tried to enact those policies in this country.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...