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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 7/30/17

Jimmy Carter Warned of Trumpism in 1979

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Jimmy Carter
Jimmy Carter
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Last week brought more ill-informed, mean-spirited acts from our current President. Before reviewing some of those acts, pause with me for a moment to give thanks for Jimmy Carter.

Here is just the latest reason to be thankful for our 39th President.

President Carter delivered a speech from his White House Oval Office, July 15, 1979, which John Farmer, Jr. describes as "a prophetic 1979 warning of Trumpism."

Farmer, former attorney general of New Jersey, and now a professor at Rutgers school of law at the Eagleton Institute of Politics, wrote a guest column for the Newark, NJ, Star-Ledger, on January 16, which examines Carter's speech:

Farmer begins by quoting from the speech:

"We've always believed in something called progress. We've always had a faith that the days of our children would be better than our own. Our people are losing that faith..."

Farmer writes that President Carter's speech "offers an uncannily prescient perspective on the urgent question: how did we get here?"

Carter "warned of a spiritual crisis that he identified as toxic to American ideals. In describing that crisis, moreover, he might well have had the lifestyle and values of his 21st century successor in mind."

Farmer quotes Carter further:

"[T]oo many of us now tend to worship self-indulgence and consumption. Human identity is no longer defined by what one does, but by what one owns. But we've discovered that owning things and consuming things does not satisfy our longing for meaning. We've learned that piling up material goods cannot fill the emptiness of lives which have no confidence or purpose."

A full audio copy of Carter's speech may be accessed by clicking here.

In a Hollywood 2016 movie, 20th Century Women, starring Annette Bening, two minutes of Carter's speech was heard by Bening and her guests on the soundtrack. Familiar images flash by illustrating the "Crisis of Confidence" Carter describes.

In the clip below, Annette Bening is shown second from left.

In our current crisis, our newly-elected President Donald Trump began this past week exploiting and disrespecting The Boy Scouts' Oath and Law before a crowd of more than 35,000 Boy Scouts, their parents and leaders.

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James Wall served as a Contributing Editor of The Christian Century magazine, based in Chicago, Illinois, from 1999 through 2017. From 1972 through 1999, he was editor and publisher of the Christian Century magazine. Many sources have influenced (more...)
 

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