former president jimmy carter weighed in on the venomous opposition to barack obama by rabid conservatives in this country, most recently around the issue of health care reform. he spoke with news anchor brian williams, and made the connection which is obvious to most blacks, and to many whites who've given thought to the black experience in white america -- i.e., that there is a clear and disturbing element of racism among conservatives, which clouds what might be an otherwise legitimate expression of concern over health care. to illuminate the connection, consier this -- in the 2008 presidential election, in predominantly conservative states such as mississippi, louisiana and alabama, white voters chose obama by margins barely topping 10%, compared to the national white vote for obama of 43%.
jimmy carter was maligned during and just after his presidency (1977-1981), but he has earned the enduring respect of people from all political persuasions by living his beliefs -- by acting as a peace envoy to troubled nations around the world (earning him the nobel peace prize in 2002), by organizing and participating in habitat for humanity, and by voicing valid concerns over election reform, human rights, the death penalty, and a long list of other issues.
carter has never been afraid to call it as he sees it, in a manner calculated to encourage rational discussion rather than angry debate and name-calling (the hallmarks of recent conservative republican contributions to the public debate, illustrating the essential bankruptcy of their policies -- ad hominem attacks are the last resort in any civilized debate, when the speaker has nothing of substance to offer). thankfully, jimmy carter has always had ideas of substance to offer. click here to sample the interview he gave.