Former President Jimmy Carter has some strong words about the politics of getting the party nomination and winning the presidency.
During an interview with Thom Hartmann last week, Carter said that the United States is now an “oligarchy” in which “unlimited political bribery” is the essence of winning the nomination for president and going on to win the presidency.
Carter was responding to a question regarding recent U.S. Supreme Court rulings regarding campaign finances such as the controversial Citizens United decision. Carter went on to explain that such rulings have created a “complete subversion of our political system as a payoff to major contributors,” adding that this not only applies to presidential elections, but to “governors and U.S. Senators and Congress members.”
HARTMANN: Our Supreme Court has now said unlimited money in politics. It seems a violation of the principles of democracy and the minute or so we have left – 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.
HARTMANN: It’s a sad commentary on things.
CARTER: It is.
HARTMANN: What. It’s going to take a political movement to change this isn’t it?
CARTER: Well, I think it’s going to take either a horrible disgraceful series of acts in our country that turns the public against it and eventually maybe even the Congress and the Supreme Court. That would be the main thing, but at the present 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.