Music: Jimmy Carter's
My high school had this program called Project Month. For a month in March, each senior spent a month interning somewhere and/or doing a project. For my Project Month, I went to Los Angeles to work for Rock The Vote and stayed with Nick, an alum who was running the organization. It was a mind-altering and life-changing experience.
Among the things that I did with Nick was go with him to a newsstand one morning. He took all the political magazines and arranged them from left to right and said: "Read all of these and you will have an idea of what is really going on." Since then, I have always tried to keep an open mind about politics, am always willing to listen to what people have to say politically, and like to think that my politics are always evolving.
In that vein, I have been reading a lot of books lately from the left end of the spectrum: "The Corporation," "A People's History Of The United States," "Affluenza," "Culture Jam," and I'm currently reading "Crashing The Party," Ralph Nader's account of his 2000 Presidential run. In doing so, I have realized that I have a lot more in common with this side of the spectrum than I had previously believed.
In one of these books, Jimmy Carter's "Crisis Of Confidence" speech (better known as the "Malaise" speech) is mentioned. In this speech, Carter identifies the need for America to rid itself not only of materialism, but to stop our dependence on foreign oil. After reading/listening to the speech, I was stunned. For years, Carter has been mocked as a failed President. This speech has been cited, along with many other "failures," as factors that led to his loss to Reagan in the 1980 Presidential election. Looking back on it as a historical document, it is fascinating to see it as the road not taken. What if Carter's initiatives had actually been implemented?