Skip to comments.The Case Against the ‘Malaise’ Speech
Posted on 07/07/2010 5:51:22 AM PDT by lbryce
My column on Monday made a disparaging reference to Jimmy Carters famous malaise speech (in which, yes, he never actually used the word malaise), citing it as an example of the pessimism bubble that inflated in late-1970s America.
Recently a narrative has sprung up, on the crunchy right as well as on the left, that argues that Carter was prescient rather than over-pessimistic, and that America would be better off today if wed heeded his indictment of consumerism and self-indulgence, rather than spurning him for the go-go optimism of Ronald Reagan.
This is not a crazy idea, since in many ways the speechs moral critique of American life was powerful, timely, and as applicable today as it was then. (Heres a snippet: In a nation that was proud of hard work, strong families, close-knit communities, and our faith in God, too 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.) You can debate whether its appropriate for a chief executive to play the prophet, but if Carter had stopped talking halfway through the address, confined himself to calling for moral renewal, and stayed away from economic policy, the malaise speech would look like a plausible indictment of the excesses of late-modern America excesses that are very much still with us today, and contributed in varying ways to our current economic dislocations.
(Excerpt) Read more at douthat.blogs.nytimes.com ...
So Jimmy Carter, I say to you, your presidency was not only merely a failure, your very electability was a political fluke as well.
As far as what the author has to say that the word "malaise" not being uttered by Carter during his infamous speech, the word "malaise" is, will forever be inextricably linked to him because it is the very distillation for, of what his presidency was all about.
Jimmy Carter will always be known as having lust in his heart, malaise within his spirit, soul
Carter’s victory in 1980?............1976.............
Even with Watergate and Ford’s inexperience and pathetic debate performance he still barely lost to Carter. heck his campaign narrowed something like a 30 point gap to under 2 i think.
Carter was an idiotic anomaly which in retrospect wound up doing the nation a favor by creating conditions for a Reagan win.
I think Obama is Carter part 2
Election of the 1976 democrat nominee, no matter who it was, was a certainty.
Although Reagan was the greatest president of the twentieth century I do not consider his election worth the damage Carter did to the country and the world.
The ripples of the Carter years continue to grow larger and deeper with each year (negative entropy; who would have believed it?).
In my lifetime, with the exception of JFK, no dem president was chosen by the electorate (re-election doesn’t count). Both Truman and Johnson were chosen by the Grim Reaper. Carter was chosen by Woodward and Bernstein. Clinton was chosen by Ross Perot. Obama was chosen by Lehman Bros.
Yes, indeed. Thank you for bringing it to my attention.
I apologize for my egregious lapse of historical accuracy.
Well, no. Else why would we be enduring Carter's second term?
You see, it’s not Obama’s fault there are no jobs now, it’s all Reagan’s fault who left office over 20 years ago.
For a laugh, click the link and read the comments.
There are NY Times readers who still think Jimmy Carter was right.
I’m not sure if they were not born yet, and did not live through the Carter years, or if they are simply too stupid to comprehend Carter’s total failure.
Too many of us now tend to self-indulge in vanity and envy. The left shouldn't concern themselves how much their neighbors choose to work and consume. We don't need to live as Cubans to appease the envious left. Their dream of destroying America will not bring them or anyone else any happiness.
I am sorry you made me remember that, since I admit I was sucked into the the Perot diversion.
I admit it. I stand before you all, revealed...an @sshole, sucker, and idiot, who will never fall for a third party again.
The fact that you’re humored by it is quite amusing in itself in a good way. Someone’s gotta to be buying the mindless gibberish dispensed in his books.
Yes, Obama is a Carter re-run. So now the NYT has to make Carter look great and prescient, rather than lame and weak. So that when Obama is compared to him, he’ll get some of the glow.
The author is correct!
Carter called it "The Community Reinvestment Act."
Carter’s narcissism led him to blame his fellow Americans for the failures of his administration. He has spent the last 30 years punishing the American people for turning him out of office.
1976 was first and last time I voted Libertarian.