Just as US President Jimmy Carter was the antidote to “Tricky Dicky”, could Oprah Winfrey save the world from Trump?



This is the eleventh of my posts based on a recent tour of the eastern half of the USA. I visited a number of sites relevant to African American history. To mark Black History Month, I am relating some of the things I saw, in the order I saw them.

I had the great pleasure of visiting the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum in Atlanta, Georgia. It is set just outside the city centre, in very leafy and peaceful surroundings. The exhibition gave me a sense of a great man, shaped by his upbringing in Georgia, his experience as a farmer and businessman, and his service in the US Navy in nuclear submarines.

I was interested in Jimmy Carter’s upbringing. As you can see from my photo above, most of his boyhood friends in rural Georgia were black.

These friendships gave him an acute sense of the injustice of racial segregation. He was drawn into politics, originally, by a resultant passion to fight segregation. Wikipedia relates:

Racial tension was inflamed in Plains (Georgia) by the 1954 U.S. Supreme Court’s anti-segregation ruling in Brown v. Board of Education. Carter was in favour of racial tolerance and integration — at one point, the local White Citizens’ Council boycotted his peanut warehouse when he refused to join them — but he often kept those feelings to himself to avoid making enemies. By 1961 he was a prominent member of the community and the Baptist Church as well as chairman of the Sumter County school board, where he began to speak more loudly in favour of school integration.

Jimmy Carter won the presidency when people were still shocked by Nixon and Watergate. He emerged as a “whiter than white” candidate from the deep South, untainted by Washington DC, with a boyish smile. The perfect antidote to “Tricky Dicky” Nixon. Interestingly, if anyone manages to beat Trump in 2020 it may be someone like Jimmy Carter – someone completely out of the normal box. Someone like Oprah Winfrey.

* Paul Walter is a Liberal Democrat activist. He is a councillor and one of the Liberal Democrat Voice team. He blogs at Liberal Burblings.

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4 Comments

  • Paul,
    Maybe Oprah but the US system is fuelled by money and does that mean Mark Zuckerberg?!
    My 100/1 outsider would be Tulsi Gabbard. Lovely speaker, very clear and ex armed forces but I don’t suppose she could raise the dosh needed to unseat the current uber rich incumbent (but I would lend her a tenner if she could).

  • Lorenzo Cherin 11th Oct '17 - 2:25pm

    Wow, Paul, you went to such interesting places, it seems either it was a long trip or you love travelling from place to place and have some , huge energy!

    Were you flying to each, driving or taking the train ?

    Carter is one of the finest men to ever be president , far better in the role than many despite the failings , of which every one of them was rarely of his making.

    He was and is the most constructive ex president, literally , building houses for Habitat for Humanity ! His work with his Carter Centre, supported and joined by his terrific wife Rosylyn, is what actually won him the Nobel prize for peace .

    I agree with Ian, his journey to the White House was a long , consistent and strong record of stability and service, getting to the top job in middle age. Presidential candidates need to have some or more of that.

    Obama would have been better later, on, as would the stars of today, emerging , as palehorse says of the gorgeous possibility of a Tulsi Gabbard presidency ! Too soon, perhaps, too much charisma ,letting us think she is ready for such a task, when compared to political nouse. She is more than an attractive prospect, yet , I cannot help think , that peaking too early as not a good way to go about such things.But , her record of service is exemplary.

    As for Oprah Winfrey, she never even weighed in on political issues directly until Obama became a candidate. I am not sure she would have the political or electoral grasp , though so obvious a choice for any big role involving leadership, but perhaps not political power. After this presidency though , happily , either of these mentioned or anyone decent !

  • Little Jackie Paper 11th Oct '17 - 10:31pm

    From wikipedia on Donald Trump’s 2000 campaign – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donald_Trump_presidential_campaign,_2000

    ‘Trump focused his campaign on the issues of fair trade, eliminating the national debt, and achieving universal healthcare as outlined in the campaign companion piece The America We Deserve, released in January 2000. He named media proprietor Oprah Winfrey as his ideal running mate’

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