Like many of you, I’m feeling nostalgic for certain parts of America’s political past: checks and balances, leaders who could spell, and President Jimmy Carter.
Don’t @me with all of your “But Jimmy Carter wasn’t a good president” defenses. I took AP U.S. History too, and I don’t care about long gas lines. Jimmy Carter is a kind soul with a superior intellect who cared deeply about America’s humanitarian leadership in the world. Fact!
Plus, he had an impeccable cardigan collection — one the puts our current leadership to shame.
I’m gay, but there’s something about a man in a cardigan that puts me immediately at ease. A pastel cardigan is the opposite of toxic masculinity. And while I’m sure there are plenty of men who wear cardigans and commit terrible crimes, President Jimmy Carter is not one of them.
Carter became known for his cardigan couture soon after he became president. Just two weeks into his term, Carter delivered a fireside chat to the nation while rocking an unbuttoned beige cardigan. I’m talking earth mom, tote bag neutral, folks.
The choice was purposeful: Carter wanted to show the country that they could conserve energy by turning down the heat and putting on a layer or two.
This is liberal porn.
As Time said at the time, “[This] may prove to be the most memorable symbol of an Administration that promises to make steady use of symbolism.” Or as I like say, “Ka-yoot!”
Right now, we’ve got a president with a coke-snorting Wolf of Wall Street aesthetic and three-year-old-tying-his-shoes-for-the-first-time execution. He is the opposite of a pastel cardigan. He is a sweat-saturated, yellowing Hanes undershirt made human.
Tell me these Jimmy Carter cardigan lewks don’t make you melt.
Don’t tell me that Jimmy Carter was just a product of his time. Here’s what our current president was wearing in the ’70s.
I will say one thing. Carter seems to have picked up his aesthetic from Mr. Rogers and never gave him credit. Public television cultural appropriation is totally a thing, and I just wish Jimmy Carter could have acknowledged the role Mr. Rogers played in his sartorial development.
No matter what, I’m just grateful for Jimmy Carter and the entirety of his wardrobe. He could rock double denim like the softest butchest lesbian on the block. Sometimes the man even tucked his t-shirts in.
That’s the kind of person I trust to be leader of the free world.