As reported by John Sugg of Creative Loafing, Carter recounts this recent exchange from one of his celebrated Sunday School classes:
"I was teaching a Sunday school class two weeks ago," he recalls. "A girl, she was about 16 years old from Panama City [Fla.], asked me about the differences between Democrats and Republicans.
"I asked her, 'Are you for peace, or do you want more war?' Then I asked her, 'Do you favor government helping the rich, or should it seek to help the poorest members of society? Do you want to preserve the environment, or do you want to destroy it? Do you believe this nation should engage in torture, or should we condemn it? Do you think each child today should start life responsible for $28,000 in [federal government] debt, or do you think we should be fiscally responsible?'
"I told her that if she answered all of those questions, that she believed in peace, aiding the poor and weak, saving the environment, opposing torture ... then I told her, 'You should be a Democrat.'"
Partisan as we are politically, smug as we are personally, sarcastic as we are rhetorically, SWNID cannot imagine seriously saying to a teenager that one political party holds all the moral high ground on every issue, much less saying it in the context of what is supposed to be biblical instruction. We say without irony or reservation that this may be the most outrageous thing Carter has ever said.
When the party of Jackson, FDR, Truman and JFK has two living ex-Presidents, one the epitome of the moralistic prig and the other the epitome of the amoral hedonist, both self-absorbed to the greatest degree imaginable, one should fear for the health of the body politic.