People's History: Jimmy Carter (Chap 21)

Mercy Mercy Me, Marvin Gaye
Ball of Confusion, The Temptations

A quiet activism marked the seventies,
but Carter's public-pleasing effort to appease
the poor was, truthfully, a bow to industry
and foreign wars, like much of US history.

The activists prevailing in the seventies,
unlike the sixties radicals, were more at ease
with quiet efforts, aimed at the environment
and women's issues, housing, health care, war dissent.
The Carter term would aid the poor, purportedly.
In truth it helped the men of war and industry.
His greatest failure was a poor economy
that emanated from a wayward policy
of cutting taxes for the rich, and to sustain
his crucial Wall Street ties. In Jimmy Carter's reign
the multinationals gained power, taking wealth
from poorer nations, giving 'aid' adorned in stealth
and motive. Budgetwise, he promised to reduce
the military. Stopping civil rights abuse
in foreign lands was crucial to his master plan.
But Nicaragua, Indonesia, and Iran
were still oppressed; rebellions in El Salvador
and Philippines were thwarted by a secret war
by "School of the Americas," the training ground
for brutal military officers renowned
for torture. Carter, while refusing to rebuild
the bombed-out villages of Vietnam, instilled
an anti-US fervor in Iran with staunch
support of the abusive Shah, and this would launch
the hostage crisis -- this, and the economy,
would lead to Ronald Reagan's '80 victory.

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