racist n 1: One who believes that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capabilities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race. 2: Anyone who is winning an argument with a leftist.
I grew up with a more or less received perception of Jimmy Carter as a kindhearted and honest man who had been an utterly incompetent president.
For many years, including my own five- to seven-year flirtation with the politics of the Left that began in high school, my subsequent rejection of those politics, and the few years I passed in political apathy, I never encountered much to make me rethink my opinion of the man. I, and just about everyone I knew, could see clearly that here was a guy "too nice for his own good," a man who, by the time I came of age, was a grandfatherly, charitable figure who built houses for poor people and traveled the world on missions of peace to brutal foreign dictators. His soft-spoken Georgia accent and his gentle demeanor seemed to be proofs of his turn-the-other-cheek Christianity, if also of his Henry VI-like unsuitability for power.
This is hardly a flattering picture. But I'm beginning to think that it's the best of all possible pictures of himself that Carter has a right to expect. Because when you start to pay attention to his record and read up on him even a little bit, that picture starts to change dramatically. Carter's history turns out to be more one of unwanted diplomatic interference (through which he has generally misrepresented the aims and aspirations of tyrants the world over at the expense of his own country), of joining the chorus of left-wing hyenas mindlessly baying at Pres. Bush and the U.S. generally over the past eight years, of acceptance of the paradigms of open anti-Semites and insulting comments about those who oppose the totalitarian inclinations of the current president. To my way of thinking, all this merits a reexamination of Carter's past and his present. A good place to start is this piece in Commentary by Joshua Muravchik. That will take you a while, but when you're finished there, you can move on to this shorter editorial in National Review Online.
All this has been quite an education for me. I no longer believe that Jimmy Carter is a bumbling good Samaritan or a quixotic missionary for world peace or that he was a prototype anti-segregationist. He's just another grasping, narcissistic left-wing ideologue, trying to shame his opponents in the current policy debates into ceasing their scrutiny and their thoughts about the Left's proposals.