Despite being one of the most hated presidents in American history─right behind Nixon and Bush Jr.─former United States President Jimmy Carter has been known to be a little outspoken from time to time. He publicly criticized the NSA’s citizen spying programs and even announced that he would not be using his email, convinced that the NSA was spying on him. In an interview with NBC in 2014, Carter stated:
“… I have felt that my own communications are probably monitored. And when I want to communicate with a foreign leader privately, I type or write the letter myself, put it in the post office, and mail it.”
President Carter has even gone on record saying that if given the position, he would consider pardoning Edward Snowden, a former NSA contractor wanted for the distribution of classified data. Now, once again, he’s gone loud with his political positions.
President Carter appeared as a guest on The Thom Hartmann Program, a nationally broadcasted radio show, and dropped a serious bomb on modern policy. When asked about the supreme court’s ruling to allow unlimited corporate spending in politics, Carter had this to say:
“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 who’s already in Congress has a lot more to sell to an avid contributor than somebody who’s just a challenger.”
For those of you unfamiliar with the term “oligarchy”, it simply means that our country is run by a very small group of very rich people. And while it’s nice to hear somebody other than activists and conspiracy theorists talk about the United States oligarchy, of course, it had to come from one of the most detested politicians in America.
While this statement may seem drastic in the face of blanket media coverage which says America is a free democracy, a major study from Princeton has come to the same conclusion.
President Carter doesn’t stand alone as a politician admitting that money controls politics. Even Vice President Joe Biden ironically admitted that money fuels politics.
“You have to go where the money is. Now where the money is, there’s almost always implicitly some string attached […] It’s awful hard to take a whole lot of money from a group you know has a particular position then you conclude they’re wrong [and] vote no.”
The 29-term congressman John Dingell had some heavy words before his retirement on spending in politics as well:
“Allowing people and corporate interest groups and others to spend an unlimited amount of unidentified money has enabled certain individuals to swing any and all elections, whether they are congressional, federal, local, state […] rarely are these people having goals which are in line with those of the general public. History well shows that there is a very selfish game that’s going on and that our government has largely been put up for sale.”
It is sad, yes, that our political system has simply become a business model with fatal expenses, but does it actually come as a surprise? When one considers how closely media and politics are linked today and the fact that a total of 6 companies control 90% of the media outlets in America, does it actually come as a surprise? When the same people that bring you fiction on HBO bring you “reality” on CNN (Time Warner) does it actually come as a surprise?
People can look at Jimmy Carter as one of the worst presidents in history all they want. In this case, he’s right. Our politics are not fueled by morals, values, or the good of the American people, but rather the weight of our politicians’ wallets. The sooner we come to grips with this, the sooner we can stop just pointing fingers at Obama as if he’s the sole master orchestrator of America’s shit-show of a political system. Want to start getting good and honest politicians in office? Kicking corporate influence out of the system would be a fantastic start.