We are, in my opinion, so fortunate to have a man like Jimmy Carter to speak the truth and call it like he sees it. That’s one of the things I admire most about this great man and former President of the United States.
Once again the 39th President is speaking out on what he sees happening in America, especially as it relates to how money controls the political process.
Speaking on the nationally syndicated radio show the Thom Hartmann Program, President Carter was asked specifically about the Supreme Court saying in the Citizens United ruling that corporations have a First Amendment right of speech which allows them to donate obscene amounts of money to campaigns. Carter did not mince his words on the issue:
“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.”
Yes, he said exactly what so many have been saying for years now: the United States is now nothing more than an oligarchy, where a small group of people have control of the country. The Koch brothers, with their untold billions, have a much louder voice when it comes to what laws are passed in Washington than you or I do.
But President Carter didn’t stop there. He went on to say:
“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.”
You’ve heard the expression, The best Congress money can buy? That’s exactly what we have today in the United States. It has to end, because if it doesn’t, no one will ever again believe in the political process, apathy will grow, and we will all wind up as nothing more than the cogs in a machine controlled by a few filthy rich men and women.
President Carter is trying to warn us. We would be wise to heed his warning.
This article was originally published by the same author at LiberalAmerica.org.