During an interview with radio host Thom Hartmann in 2015, former President Jimmy Carter lamented the state of current U.S. politics, saying America has turned into an oligarchy, with the rich brazenly purchasing the votes of lawmakers.
According to the Intercept, Carter was asked by Hartmann where the country is heading years after the Supreme Court ruled it was unconstitutional for the government to restrict “independent” political spending by corporations and unions.
“Our Supreme Court has now said, ‘unlimited money in politics.’ It seems like a violation of the principles of democracy. What are our thoughts on that?” Hartmann asked.
“It violates the essence of what made America a great country in its political system,” the oldest living Democratic ex-president replied. “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,” he lectured. “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,” Carter warned.
You can listen to part of the interview below: