Jimmy Carter: The U.S. Is an ‘Oligarchy With Unlimited Political Bribery’
The Merriam-Webster online dictionary defines an “oligarchy” as: “A government in which a small group exercises control especially for corrupt and selfish purposes.”
Former President Jimmy Carter had some choice words for our form of government, post-Citizen’s United, on my radio program last week. When I asked him his thoughts on the state of American politics since five right-wing justices on the U.S. Supreme Court opened the doors to “unlimited money” in our political discourse via Citizens United, Carter was blunt and to the point.
President Jimmy Carter: The United States is an Oligarchy… http://t.co/IyJAjJa15z
— Thom Hartmann (@Thom_Hartmann) July 29, 2015
“It violates the essence of what made America a great country in its political system. Now it’s just an oligarchy, with unlimited political bribery being the essence of getting the nominations for president or to elect the president. And the same thing applies to governors and U.S. senators and congress members.
“So now we’ve just seen a complete subversion of our political system as a payoff to major contributors, who want and expect and sometimes get favors for themselves after the election’s over.”
I asked him then what might change things and he said it would take a “horrible, disgraceful” corruption scandal (think Nixon) that would “turn the public against it [Citizens United] and maybe even the Congress and the Supreme Court.”
Carter added, “The incumbents, Democrats and Republicans, look upon this unlimited money as a great benefit to themselves. Somebody who’s already in Congress has a lot more to sell to an avid contributor than somebody who’s just a challenger, so it benefits both parties.”