For Once, Jimmy Carter is Right

About time:

Former president Jimmy Carter condemned the effect U.S. intelligence programs had on U.S. moral authority in the wake of NSA revelations brought to light by leaker Edward Snowden, Der Spiegel reports.

“America has no functioning democracy,” Carter said  at a meeting of The Atlantic Bridge in Atlanta, Georgia on Tuesday.

I’ve never been a fan of this man, from the time he was inaugurated (when I was actually working for a defence contractor) forward.  Neither were some of my co-workers; one put a plastic peanut with grinning teeth in his cubicle, but was forced to take it down.  Many evangelicals were thrilled when he, a Southern Baptist, was elected, but unlike Chris Mathews the thrill up the leg quickly dissipated as they realised what he was about.

Since he left office, he’s promoted Habitat for Humanity (a good thing, although it usually builds single family dwellings instead of the 50 square metre apartments leftists long for) and made many stupid statements.  But this time he’s right, we don’t have a functioning democracy.  We have an élite driven system where those at the top of the system spend billions in candidate donations, PAC’s, lobbying efforts and what not to insure that the rest of us have no substantive voice, but we think that, just because we have an occasional election, we have popular rule and can be pompously moralistic to everyone else whose system doesn’t meet our fancy.

But even Carter knows this is a lie, and the Snowden affair has made this obvious both here and elsewhere.

Like any other problem, the first step to a solution is to admit the problem exists in the first place.  (Like the sin problem…) The oldest former president has done so; hopefully those who have come after him, along with the rest of us, will do likewise.

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