“You know how much I raised to run against Gerald Ford? Zero. You know how much I raised to run against Ronald Reagan? Zero. You know how much will be raised this year by all presidential, Senate and House campaigns? $6 billion. That’s 6,000 millions.”
Those were the words of former president Jimmy Carter in Atlanta last Tuesday during a speech at one of his usual notable events, Conversations at the Carter Center. He had harsh words for the Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizen’s United ruling, which granted unlimited finance to political campaigns by the special-interest groups and super PACs that represent the interests of lobbyists and corporations. This is a new way of injecting money into the perpetually corrupt U.S. politics — money paying for power.
There is no point in taking these donations in secrecy. Hundreds of thousands, even millions of dollars, can simply be dispensed by wealthy individuals through an investment that guarantees them the favor of those who control the functions of government.
Carter has issued a warning saying that this is a threat to democracy and, as he phrased it, has expressed his hope that “the Supreme Court will reverse that stupid ruling.”
As someone who entered his country's political sphere with a degree of honesty and personal beliefs, the former president’s conclusion must have been tremendously overwhelming for him. He said, “We have one of the worst election processes in the world right in the United States of America, and it’s almost entirely because of the excessive influx of money.”
It was the news agency the Associated Press that first reported on his declarations. The 39th U.S. president also added that such a measure exacerbates the gap between wealthy Americans and the rest of the electorate. Of course, that gap and excessive power are rooted in the same source: the United States’ electoral hypocrisy that they define as democracy. They have just taken off the fig leaf and are now standing completely naked: Both parties, Democrat and Republican, are the parties of monopolies, big business and the single truly sinister empire.
These days, 87-year-old Carter has told more than one truth. He seems to be determined to wash off all the dirt on his country that he can see, in order to prevent it from falling to the same fate as Rome. He said that the United States has lost its influence in the Middle East; that the civil war in Syria will deteriorate due to the flow of weapons from countries throughout the region; that the influence of Cuba’s “opposing leaders” on the presidential election is great and exaggerated in the state of Florida even though the majority of Cuban-North Americans want to open the borders and put an end to the embargo against this Caribbean island.
The AP also recounted the words of Jimmy Carter at the 16th Annual Conference for the Development Bank of Latin America, which took place on Sept. 6. He said he hopes that the next U.S. president takes strong action to improve relations with Cuba, regardless of which candidate wins. As logic would have it, however, he prefers the re-election of Obama, the candidate of his own party.
He then added more in respect to Cuba. He said he is in favor of removing it from the State Department’s (despicable, as I say) list of countries that they accuse of sponsoring terrorism.
It is a shame that all these recommendations that are so appropriate for an interior and exterior assessment of the empire are falling on deaf ears, as did happen following the warning given by another president, Dwight Eisenhower, over what he then called the military-industrial complex.
The United States continues to be the country of war, the terrorist of the state and the epitome of corruption and greed.