Now, I know Jimmy Carter is not going to be making the inaugural speech this year, but Linda Allen sent me this “suggestion” from Carter to the new president. It seems like a reporter asked Carter what he thought the next president should do in his first 100 days in office to restore America’s standing in the world. Carter responded that it would not take 100 days, but could be done in 10 minutes.
“I outlined the inaugural address that could be given this coming January,” Carter said, saying that the next president should declare: “While I am president there will never be another person tortured (in U.S. custody). The United States will regain its position as the preeminent champion of human rights. We will abandon our policy of preemptive war. We will never attack another nation again unless our security is threatened. That’s been our policy since George Washington – until seven years ago.
“America will be at the forefront of combating global warming, and will lead in meeting all challenges to the world’s environment. Our tax policy will be designed to help the poor and working families, and not the few richest Americans. We will restore our recent rejection of every nuclear-arms control agreement that as been negotiated since the time of Dwight Eisenhower. At this time, all those are in the waste can. And we will reduce our nuclear arsenal to zero. We will rebuild the Jeffersonian wall between church and state.”
Pointing to his upbringing in the rural, segregated South and his time as president when he pushed human rights to the forefront of his political agenda, Carter said that America still has a lot to do when it comes to human rights, but that the struggle has been set back both at home and abroad since 9/11.
“America didn’t invent human rights; human rights invented America,” he said.
I hope that the shunning of Jimmy Carter at the Democratic Convention was not a sign that the new leadership is going to retreat to politics as usual. Many of the world’s disadvantaged people, including Americans, are depending upon Obama’s being strong against the tide.
November 26, 2008