Sunday, September 20, 2009

Will Jimmy Carter please shut up?

It seems like former president Jimmy Carter has been in the news as much in the last week as he was in 1978.  First, he belittled opposition to Barack Obama as racist.  I didn't worry much about that, though, and chalked it up to the ramblings of a washed-up, liberal has-been who is enjoying a return to the limelight mostly because large numbers of Americans aren't old enough to remember what a horrible job he did as president.

But now Carter is criticizing his country, our country, abroad and in support of a South American dictator.  Talking about a coup staged against Venezuela's Hugo Chavez, Carter told a newspaper in Columbia that, "I think there is no doubt that in 2002, the United States had at the very least full knowledge about the coup, and could even have been directly involved."  (Link to story here.)

If Carter was merely a private citizen, that would be one thing.  Every American is entitled to his or her own opinion - even if it is baseless or outrageous or anti-American.  But Carter is not merely a private citizen.  As a former president, he is, like it or not, a representative of the nation everywhere forever.  And his words are giving aid and comfort to an enemy.  

It is time for Jimmy Carter to shut up and fade away.

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