Everywhere I look everybody is pissed off.
Likely, you are not old enough to have been an adult during the Carter administration when we had a similar malaise about energy and American impotence. Allow me to draw the parallels for y’all.
Jimmy Carter, POTUS – 1977-81
Jimmy Carter was a one term President — thanks be to God, succeeded by Ronald Reagan — who succeeded Gerald Ford who presided over the departure of Richard Nixon from office — a traumatic event spawned by the Watergate scandal. I was just out of the Army during his presidency and thus I was intimately engaged in observing and living within his political stewardship of the country.
Jimmy — United States Naval Academy grad Class of 1946, #60/820 in his class — was an Admiral Rickover man meaning he became a Hyman G Rickover acolyte in the Navy’s nuclear sub program at the hull no. 1 stage. He famously was involved in the Canadian Chalk River nuke accident which impacted his views on nuclear power and ultimately led him to cancel the US neutron bomb program when President.
After leaving the Navy, Jimmy became a peanut farmer (family business in Plains, Georgia) and then was a Georgia State Senator followed by two terms as Governor.
President Carter was a very nice man, but as President he was perceived as a weak leader. In the midst of his presidency we were grappling with Mideast oil issues and he conducted a “fireside chat” in the style of Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s fire side chats during the Depression and World War II.
Jimmy Carter told us to turn down our thermostats, get some nice sweaters and to wear them, and to lower our expectations while he sat in front of a fire in a grandfatherly cardigan sweater. It was one of the worst Presidential performances in history.
The fireside chat is different than President Carter’s famous malaise speech that he gave in Year 3 of his presidency. Here is a text of that speech.
In response to the energy crisis, President Carter installed solar panels on the White House and formed the Department of Energy.
President Carter was POTUS when the Iranians kidnapped our diplomats in Teheran and held them for 444 days until Ronald Reagan was elected and the Iranians turned our diplomats free.
Carter tried to free our kidnapped citizens by launching Operation Eagle Claw — commanded on the ground by a man I knew — an aborted disaster resulting in eight dead Americans and the flaming destruction of two aircraft in a desert landing zone. The US Secretary of State Cyrus Vance resigned in protest as he had opposed the raid.
The last two years of the Carter admin was an economic disaster with double digit inflation and soaring interest rates — Prime Rate topped out at 20.5% on 19 December 1980. I recall it intimately as I was involved with building a high rise building in Austin By God Texas, One American Center, with a Prime Rate + 1% construction loan.
Why, Big Red Car, why Jimmy Carter?
Well, dear reader, Jimmy Carter presided over a country in a malaise and we have another weak President now who is also presiding over a country that is slipping into a similar malaise. The parallels are frighteningly similar:
1. Weak leader, professional politician
2. Energy issues — we had gasoline lines at the pumps during the Carter admin and they had a gas rationing program on the shelf ready to enact.
3. Failed military adventure — the parallels between the Afghanistan withdrawal and the failed raid to free our diplomats in Iran are uncannily similar.
4. Economy — economic upheaval leading to massive inflation, rising gas prices, and towering future interest rates. Supply chain problems, bare shelves, and fundamental flaws — not enough truck drivers? Really, truck drivers?
5. Total lack of confidence in the leadership of the United States
A malaise descended upon the land and we are in the same mood.
Why, Big Red Car, why is everybody pissed off?
In no particular order, I think the root causes are as follows:
1. We were energy independent and the first thing President Biden did was to throw that in the toilet resulting in an explosion of gasoline prices. Boom!
This is a tax on every person and every product. This was made all the worse by the glee with which he did it and the immediacy of the action — starting with cancelling the Keystone XL Pipeline.
Now, we are begging OPEC to increase production and some of those ships stacked up at our ports are oil tankers waiting to unload oil we used to transport via pipeline and rail when it was our oil.
Total bonehead move? You be the judge.
2. The bloody Pandemic is just a first rate mind fuck of gargantuan proportions during which we are being lied to, having the truth hidden, lost faith in the supposed experts, and were impacted at home, at work, in our families, and in the hospitals.
The vaccine mandate has touched off interstate and internecine warfare at the point of a needle. The government makes no attempt to “persuade” going directly to the whip hand to punish American business and workers with draconian fines.
[Rumor: similar program in the works for dental flossing. Just a rumor now, but it might happen, right?]
The POTUS, not the US Congress, has deputized businesses to do the jackbooted thug work of the government via mandate — not by a law passed by Congress.
3. We are incurring massive inflation — do not let anybody tell you this inflation is “transitory.” I was glad to see that one Federal Reserve Governor person finally said that “transitory” is a bloody curse word.
We will incur double digit inflation — producer price index is up more than any time in the last decade. You read it here first. Double. Bloody. Digit. Inflation.
The PPI is up 8.6% on an annualized basis YOY while the CPI is up 5.4% and wages are up 4.6% — that wage rate is a good lick, but it is being drowned by the loss of buying power due to inflation.
That moron Sec of Treasury Janet Yellen in recent Congressional testimony opined annual inflation would be 4% — “Hello, Janet, PPI is up 8.6% YOY! Inflation is not going to be 4%, honey.”
Inflation is a tax on everything and everyone. It is virtually impossible to roll back inflation in the short term particularly when it is policy driven and you’re not going to change the policies.
4. The Afghanistan withdrawal was a complete jug fuck (technical military term indicating something that did not going to plan) and our nation was made to look impotent and reduced to negotiating with terrorists when we should have been piling their heads into a pyramid.
I am opposed to Nation Building, but I am very keen on smoting terrorists, re-smoting when necessary, and piling the heads of dead terrorists into decorative pyramidal mounds to encourage the wailing and lamentations of their women and children. Purely defensive.
Thirteen American warriors dead. Not all of our citizens out — we abandoned our people and supporters in Vietnam style. How does anybody involved with that sleep at night?
5. Critical employees — doctors, nurses, pilots, truck drivers, grocery store shelf stockers — rose to the challenge to serve us before there was a vaccine and now are being forced to take the vaccine with the penalty of losing their critical jobs if they don’t.
Stay tuned, this is really going to be a mess — throwing healthcare workers out of their jobs in the midst of a Pandemic? Not very smart. Where’s the gratitude for their earlier courageous service? Come on, man.
6. Labor — availability and pricing — is skyrocketing and every business in America is screaming for workers.
We do not have a “job creation” problem; we have a “job filling” problem and we are making it infinitely more difficult with the Pandemic vaccine policies.
Labor is now starting to demand better wages and work conditions — bravo I say — and we are seeing Old School union strikes at venerable companies like John Deere.
7. Immigration — nobody can explain why we opened our borders and will now import more ILLEGAL immigrants than LEGAL immigrants into our country. This is a policy decision made in the White House. Joe Biden owns this turd.
Think about that for a second — the United States of America has two systems of immigration — one is immediate (illegal) and one takes a long time (legal).
Let’s stop saying we are a nation of laws. We are a nation that only enforces the laws the President likes.
Illegal immigrants are being admitted without COVID testing and being distributed to the several states with a promise to return for a hearing at some future date — often two years into the future. Haha. Sorry. The idea they are going to return two years in the future tickled my funny bone.
This really angers labor — a tsunami of low skilled, low wage expectation labor coming into the country at a dicey instant in the labor market.
8. Taxes — taxes are going up. We are already feeling the hidden taxes — inflation and interest rates — but soon we will feel the lash of the whip from the make believe Disney idea that increased corporate taxes are not passed along and paid for by every citizen after being incorporated in the “cost of goods sold.”
No nation has ever taxed itself into prosperity. The Feds cannot be trusted to spend the money wisely.
9. Social upheaval in the schools — the teachers’ unions and school boards control the educational environment in the United States.
Parents are deemed “terrorists” or “extremists” for inquiring as to what the schools are teaching their children while contentious subjects — talking to you Critical Race Theory — are being jammed into the heads of children.
The Attorney General of the United States has directed the Federal Bureau of Investigation to clamp down on parents who they deem to be terrorists for inquiring into and objecting to school board actions — an essential element of democracy.
The really big thing here is that the Feds and the FBI are totally coopting jurisdiction disregarding states, counties, municipalities, and independent school districts whilst criminalizing normal behavior to protect the elites.
10. Trump — Donald Trump is not the President, even he acknowledges that. Joe Biden won the election, but everything continues to be Trump’s fault.
We are within days of a full year since the 2020 election; you own this government, Joe. Stop with all the whining and excuses. You’re in charge, dude. Stop blaming everything on the former guy.
And, maybe, give him a shout out for the vaccine.
11. The failure of all the experts — every expert has proven to have been a boob. This is true of the Pandemic, the military, the economy.
Who believes the experts any more? Why would you?
Allow me also to slip in the issue of the media being so intellectually dishonest and so partisan as to be a political subdivision of one of the political parties and for the entire industry of making up “news” and never, ever, ever admitting that they made a “mistake” like the Dossier.
12. China — we are asleep at the switch while China is slowly pushing America to the curb and we have no confidence in our leaders to see, measure, and counter the challenge. We have essentially conceded Taiwan to Chinese conquest while throwing a head fake at Taiwan and the world that we have the cojones or might to defend Taiwan.
To be clear, your Big Red Car is not interested in World War III starting over Taiwan. Sorry.
China unleashes a deadly virus on the world and tells us to pound sand when it comes time to identify the source.
13. Biden — there was much hope for a President who was not addicted to Twitter, but the “no mean Tweets” trade is looking a little suspect.
Joe is an elderly, feeble, never very bright, corrupt, career politician who has completely underwhelmed even our lowest expectations. He will not answer questions and when he does he compounds the prior observations.
He has surrounded himself with an inferior Cabinet composed of a Noah’s Ark — one of each — of underwhelming, inferior talent, social activists who have delivered no results.
Sports crowds are chanting derisive and disrespectful things at our leader. That pisses me off.
At 78, this aviator-sunglassed crook belongs on the beach in Florida living out his last few years in God’s Waiting Room while Hunter sends the Big Guy his 10%.
The massive corruption related to Hunter Biden — wow, turns out the contents of the laptop in the FBI’s possession was not a classic Russian disinformation campaign after all — is open, obvious, and apparent — look, your kid isn’t going to sell her finger paintings for $500,000 even if she studies at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, but Hunter is. Already sold five of those stinkers for $75,000 each.
I will limit myself to a baker’s dozen of laments, but there are many more.
Now, allow me a moment of indulgent explanation — I am not saying I agree with a single thing I have noted above; I am saying this is why people are pissed off and that that anger translates into a Jimmy Carter style malaise.
Bottom line it, Big Red Car
The first step in eradicating any mood, any destructive mood, is to recognize its existence at the granular level.
Then, it is critical to explore why we feel that way.
Only then can we alter our mood by doing something about it.
What have I missed?
But, hey, what the Hell do I really know anyway? I’m just a Big Red Car and like everybody else I am pissed off, but I understand why and I am ready to get better. Smile.