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Archive for the 'USH: Carter Administration' Category

Fresh Air Interview: How Ronald Reagan Used An ‘Invisible Bridge’ To Win Over Americans

Tuesday, May 12th, 2015

Between 1973 and 1976, Americans saw a president resign in disgrace, a calamitous end to the Vietnam War, gas lines at service stations, the financial collapse of New York City, two presidential assassination attempts, and the kidnapping of a publishing heiress by the Symbionese Liberation Army.

Perlstein says Reagan spoke to Americans’ anxieties with a simple message about America’s inherent greatness — and became the leader of a potent political movement.

“[Reagan’s] ability to preach this liturgy of absolution in the midst of moral chaos … was the soul of his political appeal,” Perlstein tells Fresh Air’s Dave Davies.

Inflation Rates in the 1970’s

Saturday, May 18th, 2013


The Oil Crisis

Saturday, May 18th, 2013


The Carter Doctrine

Saturday, May 18th, 2013

Background: In August 1968, the leaders of the USSR penned the “Brezhnev Doctrine,” which sought to justify Soviet domination over its neighbors. It stated:

“…when internal and external forces that are hostile to socialism seek to reverse the development of any socialist country in the direction of restoring the capitalist system, when a threat to the cause of socialism in that country appears, and a threat to the security of the socialist community as a whole, that is no longer only a problem for the people of that country, but also a common problem, a matter of concern for all socialist countries…

It goes without saying that such an action as military aid to a fraternal country to put an end to a threat to the socialist system is an extraordinary, an enforced step, which can be sparked off only by direct actions on the part of the enemies of socialism inside the country and beyond its frontiers –actions creating a threat to the common interests of the socialist camp.” 

In December 1979, the Red Army moved forward into Afghanistan in an effort to keep in power Communist forces beset by growing civil war there. The Brezhnev Doctrine was used to explain this aggression.

In January 1980, the US formally announced its response. President Carter enunciated the “Carter Doctrine,” which stated that:

“An attempt by any outside force to gain control of the Persian Gulf region will be regarded as an assault on the vital interests of the United States of America, and such an assault will be repelled by any means necessary, including military force”

The Carter Doctrine Goes Global [Persian Gulf oil policy by Michael T. Kiare from The Progressive magazine, December 2004

Protecting the Oil Supply: What if the Chinese were to apply the Carter Doctrine? from Slate. 2008


Jimmy Carter’s Full “Crisis of Confidence” Speech (July 15, 1979)

Saturday, May 18th, 2013

On July 15, 1979, Carter gave a nationally-televised address in which he identified what he believed to be a “crisis of confidence” among the American people. This came to be known as his “malaise” speech, although Carter himself never uses the word in the speech

I want to talk to you right now about a fundamental threat to American democracy. . . . I do not refer to the outward strength of America, a nation that is at peace tonight everywhere in the world, with unmatched economic power and military might. The threat is nearly invisible in ordinary ways. It is a crisis of confidence. It is a crisis that strikes at the very heart and soul and spirit of our national will. We can see this crisis in the growing doubt about the meaning of our own lives and in the loss of a unity of purpose for our nation. . . .

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. But we’ve discovered that owning things and consuming things does not satisfy our longing for meaning….

I’m asking you for your good and for your nation’s security to take no unnecessary trips, to use carpools or public transportation whenever you can, to park your car one extra day per week, to obey the speed limit, and to set your thermostats to save fuel…. I have seen the strength of America in the inexhaustible resources of our people. In the days to come, let us renew that strength in the struggle for an energy-secure nation.

Carter’s speech was written by Hendrik Hertzberg and Gordon Stewart. Though it is often said to have been ill-received,The New York Times ran the headline “Speech Lifts Carter Rating to 37%; Public Agrees on Confidence Crisis; Responsive Chord Struck” later that week

Here is the infamous speech and here is the transcript.

1976 and 1980 Electoral Maps

Saturday, May 18th, 2013




American Experience Documentary: Jimmy Carter

Saturday, May 18th, 2013

Jimmy Carter’s story is one of the greatest dramas in American politics. In 1980, he was overwhelmingly voted out of office in a humiliating defeat. Over the subsequent two decades, he became one of the most admired statesmen and humanitarians in America and the world. Jimmy Carter, part of AMERICAN EXPERIENCE’s award-winning Presidents series, traces his rapid ascent in politics, dramatic fall from grace and unexpected resurrection.

Part 2 is here.

Here is the PBS site, with the original film and ancillary resources