Former President Jimmy Carter believes the United States’ campaign finance system is so broken that the country is no longer a functional democracy. Appearing on the Thom Hartmann show this week, Carter said that “unlimited political bribery” is “the essence of getting the nominations for president or to elect the president.” He said the same problems are present in elections for “U.S. senators and congress members.”
Carter’s comments mirror the conclusions of a Princeton University study released last year. Author Martin Gilens found that “ordinary citizens have virtually no influence over what their government does in the United States.” Meanwhile, “economic elites and interest groups, especially those representing business, have a substantial degree of influence.”
Giles study, which he conducted with Northwestern’s Benjamin I. Page, found the United States was more of a system of “Economic Elite Domination” than a majoritarian democracy.