After weeks of listening to the talking heads brainstorm how to combat ISIS (The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria), it became plainly obvious that no one had a clue. As they always do, the neo-cons beat the war drum, demanding “boots on the ground” to begin another Iraq War. President Obama laid out a plan to arm so-called “moderate” Syrian rebels; the same rebels fighting the Assad regime alongside ISIS. Seeing these extremes, I wondered what a sensible solution would entail. A cursory search online did not uncover anything substantive. The Libertarian Party’s official press release left much to be desired. Then, yesterday, a workable solution came to me out of the blue, after seeing an interview with an unlikely source: West Virginia’s Democratic Senator Joe Manchin.
Having left office 32 years ago, former President Jimmy Carter recently surpassed Herbert Hoover for the longest post-presidency. Like Hoover, a fellow victim of circumstance, Carter’s presidency was cut short by events largely beyond his control. This ushered in the Reagan era, in which Carter’s problems seemingly disappeared, partly a result of policy, but largely a result of luck. Since then, the Right’s canonization of Reagan’s Peace Through Strength strategy served as foil to Carter’s pie-in-the-sky idealism. But today, as Carter celebrates his 89th birthday, the Right may see its new found embracement of civil libertarianism and peace, as more closely aligned with Carter separated from the false perception, than the reality of Reagan.