Jimmy Carter
Carter’s ‘Crisis of Confidence’ or ‘Malaise’ Speech

President Jimmy Carter addresses the public in January of 1979 during his “Crisis of Confidence” speech, also known as the “Malaise” speech. This video is a clip of his speech in which Carter diagnoses a “crisis of confidence” among Americans. He states how the U.S. people are more worried about what the government is doing to solve things and not worried enough about how the U.S. people can help themselves. He goes on to say that the issues with energy shortages and inflation can be fixed if the nation could simply unite as a whole. Carter describes the responses he got from American citizens when asked about what the pressing issues in U.S. politics are: One citizen, claiming that there is a lack of leadership within the presidency, stated: “If you lead, Mr. President, we will follow.” This speech, though well-received at first, later lead to fervent backlash as people believed Carter was accusing the nation of the widespread energy crisis instead of taking full command of his executive position and resolving it.

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Submitted by: Sarah Dejak
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