January 19, 2006

John Derbyshire on Jimmy Carter

They say if you can't say anything nice about someone then you shouldn't say anything. So Derbyshire has plenty of nice things until...
As a foreign-born citizen, I have always felt a tad ashamed of my loathing for Jimmy Carter. He is, after all, a very American figure. No other nation but ours could have produced this particular combination of dogged industriousness, earnest religiosity, public spirit, and shameless self-promotion. In externals, there is even something admirable about the man. He served his country, in the military and in public life, very conscientiously. He practiced business with modest success...His rise to the highest levels of office was driven at least in part by an earnest desire to do right by his fellow citizens. He claims adherence to a studious and generous style of Christian belief. His private life has been spotless, his administration down at the low end of the corruption scale. Very American. Yet it often happens that the purest breed of dog, with all the “points” perfectly developed, is sickly and ill-tempered in personality. So with Carter.

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