In his 1977 album, America: Why I Love Her, John Wayne summed up his beliefs well:
“If we want to keep these freedoms, we may have to fight again. God forbid, but if we do, let’s always fight to win…Face the flag, son…and thank God it’s still there.” – John Wayne
I take the opportunity presented by this day, the 101st anniversary of the late actor’s birth, to highlight the dichotomy that exists between words of praise handed out by Jimmy Carter nearly three decades ago and values the former president seems to hold today. Carter appeared to have been cut from the same cloth as Marion Michael Morrison — the Oscar-winning actor better known to Americans as John Wayne (a.k.a., “The Duke”) — when he spoke the following words May 26, 1979:
“For nearly half a century, the Duke has symbolized the American ideals of integrity, courage, patriotism, and strength and has represented to the world many of the deepest values that this nation respects.” – President Jimmy Carter, May 26, 1979
During a recent visit to the U.K., however, the 40th president of the United States showed where his true values lie. According to Israel Today, Carter disclosed to an audience at the Hay-on-Wye literary festival in Wales the number of nuclear weapons possessed by Israel. In doing so, he appears to have compromised closely-guarded state secrets of one of this nation’s closest allies. While the content of the secret disclosed by Carter should not drastically change the landscape on the battlefield that is world politics today, I fear the attention-seeking former president with too much time on his hands might divulge other secrets that will. If, God forbid, Carter reveals other, more-damaging secrets, I hope that whoever is president at the time will employ someone like Rooster Cogburn, one of the characters played by John Wayne and pictured above, to dispense justice to the former peanut farmer from Plains, Ga. That would make this pilgrim smile.
The moral of the story: If you want to keep something secret, don’t tell Jimmy Carter.