President Jimmy Carter's Moral Equivalent of War Speech was a speech in which United States President Jimmy Carter addressed the United States on April 17, 1977.
This speech was notable because he wore a sweater, instead of a suit, and called it a fireside chat . . .
Carter called for a 10 point plan. He asked people to cut oil imports to half by 1985, but oil imports doubled in the next 20 years instead. He said people who insist on driving large cars should be forced to pay more. He said people should turn down their thermostat to 65 degrees, except at night when it should be 55 degrees.
The phrase "moral equivalent of war" may have come from the classic essay "The Moral Equivalent of War" derived from the last speech given by American psychologist and philosopher William James, delivered at Stanford University in 1906, in which "James considered one of the classic problems of politics: how to sustain political unity and civic virtue in the absence of war or a credible threat..." and "...sounds a rallying cry for service in the interests of the individual and the nation," ideas mirrored in much of Carter's philosophy.
Cutting oil imports! Paying more for large cars!!
Photo: Bag & Postcard Purchased at the Jimmy Carter Museum—Atlanta, 2010