Journal / The New Malaysia: How Deep is its Commitments to Human Rights?



In an address to the Convention of the Democrat Party in 1984 the former President of the United States Jimmy Carter’s opening words were ‘Here I go again. And I am talking about the same things [including] human rights, … having a fair play’. President Carter’s use of the phrase ‘Here I go again’ in his address to the 1984 Democrat Party Convention was an ironic reference to the telling, mocking even contemptuous phrase used by a former actor, Ronald Reagan, in his debate with Carter some years previously. The one and only debate of the 1980 US Presidential elections occurred in October 1980 – just a week before the 4 November 1980 general election that swept Reagan to power. In that debate Reagan, with all his actor-like phoniness, ‘charm’ and slight smirk on his face used the phrase ‘There you go again’ a few times. Less than four years later Carter was gracious in indirectly and apparently acknowledging that Reagan’s ‘clever’ use of the phrase might have contributed to the general impression that in their only debate Reagan ‘won’. Three and a half years after his defeat to Reagan Carter said to his Democrat colleagues: ‘Here I go again’.

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