Jimmy Carter: The U.S. Isn’t A Democracy, It’s An Oligarchy

The former U.S. president asserts that money controls politics in the U.S. and that both parties greatly benefit from the system.

In case you missed it, former U.S. president Jimmy Carter appeared on the Thom Hartmann Program in 2015 and, during the interview, stated that the political scheme in the United States is far from what it seems. Carter stated that America is now an “oligarchy” in which “unlimited political bribery” has resulted in a total subversion of the political system “as a payoff to major contributors.”

It doesn’t matter which party you support, he says. After all, both Democrats and Republicans “look upon this unlimited money as a great benefit to themselves,” he asserts. His claim is supported by a study conducted by Princeton University, which you can read more about here. 

A portion of the transcript follows:

HARTMANN: Our Supreme Court has now said, “unlimited money in politics.” It seems like a violation of principles of democracy. … Your thoughts on that?

CARTER: 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. … The incumbents, Democrats and Republicans, look upon this unlimited money as a great benefit to themselves. Somebody’s who’s already in Congress has a lot more to sell to an avid contributor than somebody who’s just a challenger.

Watch a clip from the interview below:

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