Carter’s message honest and ‘needs to be followed

Daniel Osborn

Americans live in a world where governing officials speak in dull, vague and scripted sound bites intended not for expressing honesty to the general public, but rather for promoting their personal or partisan ambitions. Politicians have come to resemble little more than hollow shells, lacking the desire to voice genuine concerns without first plotting the strategic benefits of such an effort. Rarely does the public see an elected figure speak openly, fluently and without care of party repercussions. It seems that even politicians with the most potential, the ones placed on the highest pedestals, are paralyzed and unwilling to express sincere opinions for fear of being criticized.

Quinnipiac University was graced with the pleasure of having former President Jimmy Carter speak about the dangers of nuclear weapons. While no longer active in politics and unhindered by the limitations and restrictions placed in the political arena, Carter took it upon himself to speak with the utmost honesty on a topic that is too often narrowly perceived and taken out of context by other politicians. Carter’s candidness on the daunting subject matter was refreshing in the current climate of self-interest and partisanship that has reduced American politics to a state of paralysis. For a generation of young Americans, being exposed to a political world so tragically inclined to shy away from the openness seen in Mr. Carter’s lecture, this opportunity should not be quickly forgotten.

The lecture Carter delivered to the Quinnipiac community was bold and full of realities that were intelligent, brutal and frustrating, which are characteristics most people do not understand. When focusing on the authority held by nations with nuclear capabilities, Carter did not avoid placing blame on the United States in which nuclear proliferation has flourished. Instead of focusing his presentation only on countries of recent interest to America such as Iran, North Korea, India, Pakistan and Israel, Carter also explained to his audience the steps taken by the United States to avoid nuclear disarmament. In explaining America’s role in developing the problem which persists today, Carter took a step in the right direction toward alleviating the problem. He did not direct America’s future goals on simply persuading “rogue nations” to cease and desist in developing nuclear programs, but also directed attention on to our country and the fact that our policies have added to the confusion and stress already surrounding this subject matter. Without altering our destiny and returning to the image of a peaceful nation with intentions only to foster welfare among other nations, the United States will no longer be a country other nations use as a model to emulate. This was the simple message Carter was trying to get across, and the one that needs to be expressed in our current political climate.

Carter’s message needs to be followed if the United States is to change the way people across the globe perceive our actions. Our nation holds in its grasp the resources, technology, expertise and motivation to overcome the challenges of nuclear proliferation. If we are ever to play a more positive role in this battle to bring to an end the spread of this specific man-made tool, our politicians need to adopt a more proactive stance without being hindered by fear of party retribution. The damage that could result from the continuation of the spread and development of nuclear arms is much more tremendous than that which could occur if an elected official implements a plan unpopular among politicians unwilling to do what is right for mankind.