Former President Jimmy Carter Says America Has Become an Oligarchy

July 31, 2015   |   Josh Mur

Josh Mur
July 31, 2015

(ANTIMEDIA) 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 outspoken from time to time. He publicly criticized the NSA’s spying programs and even announced  he would not be using his email as he was 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 also gone on record saying that if given the opportunity, 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 unfamiliar with the term “oligarchy,” it simply means that our country is run by a very small group of very rich people. While it’s refreshing to hear someone other than activists and conspiracy theorists talk about the United States oligarchy, ironically, it came from one of the most detested politicians in America.

While this statement may seem drastic in the face of blanket media coverage that says America is a democracy, a major study from Princeton came 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 also had some heavy words on spending in politics before his retirement:

“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.”

Yes, it is sad 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) is this anything but predictable?

People can view 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—or Bush before him—as if they are the master orchestrators 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.

This article (Former President Jimmy Carter Says America Has Become an Oligarchy) is free and open source. You have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Josh Mur and Anti-Media Radio airs weeknights at 11pm Eastern/8pm Pacific. If you spot a typo, email

Author: Josh Mur

Josh Mur joined Anti-Media as an independent journalist in January of 2015. His topics of interest include culture, alternative medicine, and government corruption. He currently resides in Sacramento, California, where he was born and raised.

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  1. Well said former president of the USA. Jimmy Carter you are an intelligent man and well versed in what is happening to this country today! It's too bad he's not president now!!!

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  2. I am nobody and I know the answer to this.
    I think he is late to the gate on that one……..When was America not an oligarchy? It was begun by rich white men for rich white men. They owned slave killed aboriginal peoples and used women for domestic servants and chattel. It says so in all of their many books of old rich white guy hegemonic masculinity, ubiquitous, religious, economic and political imperialism and Jimmy Carter is just catching up? 7000 years 2000 years how many thousands of years oligarchs have continued to devalue much of humanity and all of nature for profit through war, religion and "law making" better known as political manipulation, brainwashing, propaganda.
    PUUUULEEEZE Jimmy I have always been a fan but REALLY?

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  3. I doubt seriously this kind man was the most hated president. He is an honorable gentleman.

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  4. President Carter is a man who, however one may disagree with his public policy decisions in the 70s, has always remained true to his ideals and fellow man. No one is better qualified to lable the Unites States as an oligarchy than he.

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  5. You look back on some of the values that Carter possessed and he is to be respected. Look what we voted in instead–Reagan. While Reagan is one of the highest rated presidents, he did a lot to erode our rights and personal freedoms. Civil forfeitures, manditory minimums, freedom from unreasonable searches and other consequences of his renewal of the war on drugs have done more to create the situation we are in now. The erosion of trust and strained relationships of the police and the public would not have escalated as it has today. We wanted Reagan bc he would be "tough on the Soviets" and we got him. But I remember ppl stating that, "even though I don't think the escalation on the war on drugs is right, he'd make sure our military was strong." We sold our liberties for "security." We all know what Ben Franklin said about that. Carter was fairly progressive and more common sense in his attitude towards drugs in society. Look how long and what a terrible cost we have incurred from the likes of harry anslinger, Nixon and Reagan. And now, we just can't seem to stop it bc "there's no going back" in many ppl's minds.

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  6. "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."

    Hasn't it pretty much always been that way?

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  7. Kevin Fleming Absolutely, it is a matter of degree. And the degree of control exerted by the oligarcs has increased enormously since Regan was elected. US society had been although unevenly, slowly and steadily improving for the general population and starting around the time of Regan, the wealthy began waging a, to date, highly successful war to stop the progress and reverse the gains for the general good.

    There has always been a push-pull in the United States between the wealthy (who believe themselves to be just a bit better than…, smarter than… and thus entitled to rule) and the rest of the population. The positive gains that were and have been made over time are and always will be at risk. And in the past few decades they have suffered the best battering that money can buy. Much ground gained has been lost. We all need to face up to the fact that currently wealth rules much, and poorly.

    Finally, Mary, you are not "nobody". You do realize that, don't you? It is terribly frustrating to know what you know, to know how much has been lost recently, how much the world is at risk. I just encourage you to trust that the future is not already written. That we humans do sometimes "get it right", at least for a while. And even if you or I don't live to see the changes we know will make this a better place where all can live and love, we can sometimes enjoy planting seeds for the future.

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  8. I'm making $86 an hour working from home. I was shocked when my neighbour told me she was averaging $95 but I see how it works now. I feel so much freedom now that I'm my own boss. This is what I do,


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  9. Start working at home with Google! It's by-far the best job I've had. Last Wednesday I got a brand new BMW since getting a check for $6474this – 4 weeks past. I began this 8-months ago and immediately was bringing home at least $77 per hour. I work through this link, go to tech tab for work detail..

    Pleas Ignore ONLY.>

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  10. BS, Carter. Once again, a wrong target. Congress (aka The American voting public) needs to limit its visits to the trough by making enforceable TERM LIMITS stick upon themselves, the Presidency and even the Supreme Court. One or two short terms and you're out – that's the way to limit the influence. That… and a CAP on donation spending, regardless if it's a corporation or a private taxpayer. And make the media,during a specified time, offer up FREE air time to qualified candidates (Qualified by voting of the general public, American Idol & Voice style, which narrows the field down.)
    Point is this: there are options outside of the box with which we can make America great again, and a democratic republic again.

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  11. Money runs the world. No matter what you do to the hacks in congress they will still be owned. You mistakely assume that enough people give shit to actually vote for these knights in shinging armor you propose to put in office.

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  12. The founding Fathers were slave owners who held the right to vote for white males over 21 and who owned property.

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  13. Michael H. Dawson Truth is, I did not assume anything, Michael. The message, to be more succinct, is this: think solutions and think outside the box for them. The dialogue that we can have in America is what runs America — always has, always will. What's your solution?

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  14. My first boss was the vice consul of tourism for India. He said "Carter is a saint!" That was in 1981. Carter told people not to be materialistic and they followed his advice and it caused a major "economic downturn" – he was ahead of his time – if you want people to reduce spending (which is good) you need a new economic system (the current one punishes this – and burns out the planet – and creates an economy where 75% of jobs produce nothing – which by definition simply inflicts harm.

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  15. Carter is the best president in my life time. One of the top six of all time. He did not send enough money to the owners of the war industry that is why is he hated by the media who are also owned by the same people.

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  17. That's why Bernie Sanders is tearing it up in the polls. Over 100,000 people came out to hear him speak in the last week alone. Feel the Bern! Berning It Up! Berning Down the House. Has collected over 150 million donations of 35 dollar amounts alone!! More individual donations than any other running! Breaking records in attendance… all without Fox or any media support, only social media. Today they announced he leads the polls over Hillary by 7%!! The people are speaking and Bernie is not for sale! Bernie Sanders 2016!

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  18. This is utter rubbish!! Jimmy Carter is not the most hated president. He doesnt come close to the crazy crookery of Nixon. Every president has his haters. Carter was not your typical politician. He was honest.

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  19. He wasn't detested or hated, he was seen as week and inept; the result of a successful smear campaign by his opponents. Jimmy Carter almost achieved peace in the middle east and worked hard on noble causes. He was and still is an honorable and hardworking statesman and gentleman.

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  20. Look into October Surprise ,the reason for Carter being voted out was a deliberate CIA op to discredit him and make him look weak.
    Carter was one of the best presidents we have had. He had solar panels on the White House. he made daylight savings time stay all year around.
    He's elderly with health issues and yet he's still building houses for habitat for Humanity. A beautiful example of a human being, he is LOVED not just respected.
    His Clinton Foundation which monitors elections around the world should be invited to oversee America's right now!!!

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