Four more years! The case for Jimmy Carter in 2020.

We’re just days before the 2018 midterms, but it’s time to fasten our safety belts for the major whiplash that’ll happen November 7th, when Washington quickly shifts into 2020 mode.

Things are a lot different for the Democratic Party in 2020. Although Bernie Sanders put up a surprisingly big showing for an underdog in 2016, Hillary Clinton was the party’s clear choice from the onset.

Don’t believe me, just ask Debbie Wasserman Schultz.


However, there’s no such clear-cut favorite in 2020. Sure, some Democrats are rooting for Senator Elizabeth Warren. But pragmatists fear she’s a bit too left-of-center to win a national election.

Kamala Harris, the first-term democratic senator from California, has shown herself to be an aggressive fighter for progressive values, but does she have enough experience in Washington to be president?

If former vice president/America’s drunk Uncle, Joe Biden, throws his hat into the ring it’ll be a “big fucking deal.” But, let’s not forget, the Scranton Scrapper already as two failed presidential bids.

With so many wishy-washy candidates, I propose a Democrat that poses the sharpest contrast to the presumed Republican nominee, Donald Trump. A man who has the moral courage to restore America’s image abroad while providing the steady leadership needed to quell domestic chaos.

I nominate Jimmy Carter.

via Department of Defense/Wikimedia Commons

Much like the heroes and villains you see in comic books and movies, politics thrives on candidates that contrast one another. For every David Dunn in "Unbrakeable," there is a fragile Mr. Glass. For every intense Batman, an unhinged Joker. For every warm and positive Beto O’Rourke, a cold and calculating Ted Cruz.

Jimmy Carter grabbed national attention back in the mid ‘70s, by representing a stark contrast to the cynical and scandal-ridden Nixon years. Carter called for an elimination of government secrecy and repeatedly told voters, “I’ll never tell a lie.”

Jimmy Carter is an honest-to-goodness man of the people. The former peanut farmer spoke plainly, wore the type of clothing you could pick up in the Sears men’s section, and to this day, still teaches Sunday school at the Marantha Church in Plains, Georgia.

Personality-wise, candidate Carter would provide a day-and-night contrast to the bloviating, ostentatious, pathological liar that is Trump. But, that’s just the tip of the iceberg. The contrast in their behavior is even more striking.

Through Habitat for Humanity, Jimmy Carter builds homes for the needy.

Donald Trump builds monuments to himself.

By Brad/Flickr

Jimmy Carter was the first president to put solar panels on the White House. Trump put a 30% tariff on imported solar panels to stop the growth of alternative energy.

The 39th president is a self-made man who lives modestly in a two-bedroom home that’s assessed about $167,000.

Our 45th president's (who inherited over $400 million from daddy) penthouse.

Carter and Trump also have divergent thoughts when it comes to women.

In the run up to the 1976 election, Carter confessed to Playboy magazine that he sometimes has impure thoughts about women. “I’ve looked on a lot of women with lust,” he said. “I’ve committed adultery in my heart many times.”

In the run up to the 2016, Trump infamously bragged about grabbing women “by the pussy,” and committing adultery IRL.

Donald Trump is a cartoonish display of American materialism who routinely brags about his wealth and is known to inflate his net-worth for the sake of ego.

Carter once berated the American people for being too materialistic in his infamous “malaise speech. In his speech, which addressed the oil crisis and unemployment, Carter asked Americans to do some soul searching.

While the speech was popular when delivered, his inability to capitalize it would be his demise.

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. We’ve learned that piling up material goods cannot fill the emptiness of lives which have no confidence or purpose...

We are at a turning point in our history. There are two paths to choose. One is a path I’ve warned about tonight, the path that leads to fragmentation and self-interest. Down that road lies a mistaken idea of freedom, the right to grasp for ourselves some advantage over others. That path would be one of constant conflict between narrow interests ending in chaos and immobility. It is a certain route to failure.

America has clearly taken the second path of "self interest" and "fragmentation." It looks like this ...

.. and this.

Did Carter's speech predict the historical inflection point where America lost its way?

Could it have occurred just two years later, when Ronald Reagan defeated Carter and Americans pledged their allegiance to self-interest over community?

What if we could turn back the clock and take the first path instead?

Jimmy Carter of Plains, Georgia is 94 years old. Although constitutionally-eligible to hold the office of president for another term, his age and recent health battles make his candidacy as likely as the return of Reagan.

via LBJ Library/Flickr

However, even though Jimmy Carter was a one-term president whose accomplishments in the oval office haven’t been lauded by historians, he has left a beautiful legacy as a human that shines even brighter in America’s current darkness.

So, when Democrats look for a candidate to run against Trump in 2020, they should know there is much more on the line this time than economic growth or international relationships.

America’s moral fiber is up for grabs and, for those looking to restore it before it's too late, there are few better examples of it than the life and values of Jimmy Carter.

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Disney has come under fire for problematic portrayals of non-white and non-western cultures in many of its older movies. They aren't the only one, of course, but since their movies are an iconic part of most American kids' childhoods, Disney's messaging holds a lot of power.

Fortunately, that power can be used for good, and Disney can serve as an example to other companies if they learn from their mistakes, account for their misdeeds, and do the right thing going forward. Without getting too many hopes up, it appears that the entertainment giant may have actually done just that with the new Frozen II film.

According to NOW Toronto, the producers of Frozen II have entered into a contract with the Sámi people—the Indigenous people of the Scandinavian regions—to ensure that they portray the culture with respect.

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Though there was not a direct portrayal of the Sámi in the first Frozen movie, the choral chant that opens the film was inspired by an ancient Sámi vocal tradition. In addition, the clothing worn by Kristoff closely resembled what a Sámi reindeer herder would wear. The inclusion of these elements of Sámi culture with no context or acknowledgement sparked conversations about cultural appropriation and erasure on social media.

Frozen II features Indigenous culture much more directly, and even addressed the issue of Indigenous erasure. Filmmakers Jennifer Lee and Chris Buck, along with producer Peter Del Vecho, consulted with experts on how to do that respectfully—the experts, of course, being the Sámi people themselves.

Sámi leaders met with Disney producer Peter Del Vecho in September 2019.Sámediggi Sametinget/Flickr

The Sámi parliaments of Norway, Sweden and Finland, and the non-governmental Saami Council reached out to the filmmakers when they found out their culture would be highlighted in the film. They formed a Sámi expert advisory group, called Verddet, to assist filmmakers in with how to accurately and respectfully portray Sámi culture, history, and society.

In a contract signed by Walt Disney Animation Studios and Sámi leaders, the Sámi stated their position that "their collective and individual culture, including aesthetic elements, music, language, stories, histories, and other traditional cultural expressions are property that belong to the Sámi," and "that to adequately respect the rights that the Sámi have to and in their culture, it is necessary to ensure sensitivity, allow for free, prior, and informed consent, and ensure that adequate benefit sharing is employed."

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Disney agreed to work with the advisory group, to produce a version of Frozen II in one Sámi language, as well as to "pursue cross-learning opportunities" and "arrange for contributions back to the Sámi society."

Anne Lájla Utsi, managing director at the International Sámi Film Institute, was part of the Verddet advisory group. She told NOW, "This is a good example of how a big, international company like Disney acknowledges the fact that we own our own culture and stories. It hasn't happened before."

"Disney's team really wanted to make it right," said Utsi. "They didn't want to make any mistakes or hurt anybody. We felt that they took it seriously. And the film shows that. We in Verddet are truly proud of this collaboration."

Sounds like you've done well this time, Disney. Let's hope such cultural sensitivity and collaboration continues, and that other filmmakers and production companies will follow suit.

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