More and more public figures are beginning to speak out against the unparalleled role of dark money in modern American politics, and people are beginning to recognize that the democracy that our nation was founded on is withering away under the corrupting influence of capitalist excess.
Former President Jimmy Carter spoke with Thom Hartmann on his radio show recently and had some very sharp criticisms of the present status quo in American politics:
HARTMANN: Our Supreme Court has now said “unlimited money in politics” it seems a violation of principles of democracy.
PRES. CARTER: It violates the essence of what made America a great country and its political system. Now its an oligarchy with unlimited political bribery being the essence of getting the nomination for president or elected president, same thing applies to governors U.S. Senators and Congressmembers. Now we’ve seen a complete subversion of our political system as a payoff to major contributors who want and expect and get favors for them after the election is over.
HARTMANN: It’s a sad commentary on things. It’s gonna take a political movement to change things, isnt it?
PRES. CARTER: It’s gonna take a set of horrible, disgraceful series of acts in our country that turns the public against it, maybe even Congress and the Supreme Court, that would be the main thing, but at the present time, the incumbents, Democrats and Republicans alike, look at this money as a great benefit to themselves, because somebody in Congress has a lot more to sell to an avid contributor.
He’s absolutely right, and it’s time everybody finally accepted what was determined to be true by a Princeton University study. America is no longer a representative democracy, but an oligarchy, defined by Merriam-Webster as follows:
Our proud republic has fallen into the grasping clutches of David and Charles Koch, Sheldon Adelson, Norman Braman, Harold Simmons, Bob Perry, Joe Ricketts, Peter Thiel, Jerrold Perrenchio, Robert Mercer, Paul Singer, and all the other billionaires throwing their money around, buying themselves candidates and Congressmen. Electing a Bernie Sanders or another progressive candidate would be a step in the right direction, but it will take much more to unravel the Wall Street-Washington power structure that has been entrenched over the past fifty years.
You can listen to his remarks here:
Colin Taylor is the editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.