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“America has no functioning democracy”

Wow. I never thought I’d agree with Jimmy Carter about much of anything, let alone agree with him twice in one week. But if he actually said, “America has no functioning democracy at this moment” (referring to revelations of omni-snooping), then we are totally on the same radical track.

The U.S. media didn’t cover the event where he made reportedly made the remark. But Der Spiegel, a decently reliable source, did.

Think on it. A respected* former president of the U.S., a man of the party now in power, observes that his country is no longer of, by, and for the people. That’s a stunner.


* Incompetent as prez, of course. But seemingly one of the few actually decent human beings ever to hold the office.


  1. Woody
    Woody July 19, 2013 7:05 am

    “America has no functioning democracy at this moment”

    Hmmmm, do you suppose that got him a spot on BO’s kill list? That sounds like terrorist talk to me!

  2. Betsey
    Betsey July 19, 2013 7:35 am

    America never did have a democracy–we have a Republic. That being said, I think it’s our check and balance system that has gone awry. I was taught by an austute civics teacher in 9th grade (50 years ago!) that we as a people need to fear the 4th level of goverrnment–the bureaucracy. I have watched his dire warning come true, and this is where our constitutional check and balance system fails. Who has control over this 4th level? Hell, Congress has authorized most of this craziness. The president has bypassed our laws and has done exactly has he has pleased. The Supreme Court? Please.
    Do we know what these czars are up to now? Are we aware of regulations that the EPA, for instance, have instituted? Do I respect the Supreme Court and trust their ideological not constitutional decisions? Do I approve of the legislative process again based on ideologies not the people’s will? Do I like the idea of our congressmen and women being bought off by companies like Monsanto? Do I approve of the White House policies depriving us of our liberties and deciding which laws to execute or to ignore?
    Once apon a time, I said the Pledge of Allegiance with respect and a bit of fervor. Now? I remember Mr. Keck and his wisdom and his prophesies. I still say it, but my heart isn’t in it. I love my country deeply, but I don’t like our pseudo government.

  3. Matt, another
    Matt, another July 19, 2013 7:36 am

    Jimmy Carter has his issues, being a decent and caring human being was not one of them. Carter was chosen to run for president and won because of that basic decency, even the doemocrat political machine coulnd’t hide it.

    In this situation I believe that Jimmy Carter is absolutely correct. I believe he won’t be getting medals from the white house anytime soon.

  4. Betsey
    Betsey July 19, 2013 7:39 am

    Oops! Line 8 should read …has done exactly as he has pleased… Typo!

  5. Matt, another
    Matt, another July 19, 2013 7:52 am

    In some ways I do not bleieve our checks and balances system has gone awry. It simply is being ignored by the various branches of the government. Instead of keeping a positive tension and maintaining balance, they are working together to keep the general population oppressed so they can maintain their privledges. They are all answering to someone, it just is not the American people.

    As long as voters keep participating in a corrupt and broken system and voting for the same people over and over nothing will improve. the only way the “democracy” will be restored is if millions of people very obviously and openly opt to “shrug.”

  6. rustynail
    rustynail July 19, 2013 9:53 am

    I agree whole heartedly with Betsey! Her civics teacher was exactly correct, the bureaucracy is a real problem. The bureaucracy is insulated from the ebb and flow of politics and tends to continue on a path long after we may decide it is wrong, for example, global warming, climate change, carbon emissions, etc. I would like to find an answer … maybe just a vigorous pruning of government bureaus and bureaucrats. It does seem overwhelming.

    As far as Jimmy Carter is concerned, he evidently is right now, but I believe a blind pig finds an acorn from time to time. Don’t forget Carter’s extreme anti-semitism.

  7. Claire
    Claire July 19, 2013 12:16 pm

    “America never did have a democracy–we have a Republic.”

    I know it’s become fashionable for people on the left to misuse the term “democracy” to describe our (former) form of government and it’s equally fashionable, and mostly correct, for rightists and libertarians to point out what you just did.

    But in fact we did have a democratic form of government, as Tocqueville (no dummy and no sloppy user of words) observed in his famous book title. It was a republic in its form. It was a democracy in the fact that power allegedly arose from the people rather than descending from kings, nobles, or other such parasites.

  8. Jim Klein
    Jim Klein July 19, 2013 3:52 pm

    “It was a democracy in the fact that power allegedly arose from the people rather than descending from kings, nobles, or other such parasites.”

    Sure, but that was represented to be very little power. That’s why the document that founded the country, the Articles, had to be snookered out…that was effectively no power at all to the federal government. Even when the Founding Lawyers (h/t Boston T Party) made their move, they worded it so the dupes (that’s us and those before us) would believe the federal government still had very little power…theoretically only the particular powers enumerated in the Constitution. Hell, they threw in the 9th and 10th Amendments to make it sound even sweeter. Like if I promise to give you 10 million dollars tomorrow, that’s somehow better than if I promise to give you 1 million, when I’m broke either way.

    Anyway, it was a whole 9 months before the whiskey tax was passed, and almost five years until “who’s boss” was finally decided.

    From there, it’s only taken 219 years for a significant number of Americans to even consider the possibility that it might be a bad boss. Problem is, it’s more like “boss” in the chain-gang sense, than in the business sense. It ain’t so easy to switch that kind out.

  9. Mark Call
    Mark Call July 20, 2013 7:00 am

    Agreed, America was never supposed to have a “functioning democracy”. And Claire’s point is well-taken.

    To me, however, the major point is this:
    It’s illustrative that such a discussion could take place HERE, but almost certainly NOT on MSNBC, in the halls of Congress, the “poly-sci” departments of practically any major US ‘university’ – and CERTAINLY not in the classrooms of its Publik Skool Indoctranashun centers!

  10. Mark Call
    Mark Call July 20, 2013 7:01 am

    (And, sadly, Jimmy Carter wouldn’t know what we’re talking about.)

  11. Gus S. Calabrese (@99guspuppet) troll
    Gus S. Calabrese (@99guspuppet) troll July 20, 2013 7:39 am

    You say Jimmy Carter was not a competent president …. wow … what does a competent POTUS look like ???? Was Lincoln ??? ( my answer is yes ) Was FDR ???? ( My answer is yes )
    Being competent as POTUS means presiding over a mega-killing machine, that steals the life force of 100s of millions of people.
    I don’t need or want a stinkin’ competent POTUS

  12. Pat
    Pat July 20, 2013 8:47 am

    And no doubt it won’t be long before we’ll start to hear hints of Jimmy Carter’s racism. After all, Obama IS black, and Carter IS from Georgia – ergo, there must be some reason for his attitude, and that’s the only way they can undermine (and drown out) any influence his statements might have.

    That is an excellent article by Raimondo of what we are dealing with – and, by extension, what we can expect in the future.

  13. PrePressVeteran
    PrePressVeteran July 20, 2013 2:28 pm


  14. Shel
    Shel July 20, 2013 6:42 pm

    I, too, liked Raimondo’s article. He is correct in that Great Britain is further along in its decay. In the past year an English footballer was a defendant in a criminal trial for what he had said to an opposing player during a game; the question was whether the words were a racial insult, for which he could have been incarcerated.

    We truly have become a laughing stock. Even Iran has chipped in about our dysfunction, which our fearless leader does his absolute best to magnify.

  15. Paul Bonneau
    Paul Bonneau July 20, 2013 7:18 pm

    I wonder why people get wound up about this republic/democracy business. I suspect it is more “divide and rule” tactics from the ruling class. Anything to get the peons arguing among themselves.

    Does it never occur to people that America is (at least theoretically) both a democracy (people vote) and a republic (it’s not a monarchy)? You could add also “representative” and “constitutional” and still not be in error. Theoretically, it’s all those things at the same time.

    Of course in reality, this is all a dream. What we really have is an oligarchy dressed up as a representative, constitutional, democratic republic. The constitution is ignored, representation is pure bullshit (pray tell, how does a “representative” represent two people with opposite opinions?) democracy is two wolves and a sheep voting on dinner plans, and it’s starting to look more and more like a monarchy too (how many Roosevelts, Bushes and Kennedys have been members of the ruling class?).

    Boston T. Party was right. The world’s most successful coup d’etat occurred back in 1787.

  16. Kent McManigal
    Kent McManigal July 21, 2013 8:02 am

    America never did have a democracy–we have a Republic.

    America once had a republic, but not anymore. Now there are no limits on what can be “voted” into “law” or policy. The limits of a republic no longer apply (and haven’t in a long time. That makes it a democracy in the worse sense.

    And “we” have nothing. You are not governed on my behalf.

  17. Laird
    Laird July 21, 2013 9:26 am

    I’m with rustynail on this. Carter is right this time, but only in the same sense that a stopped clock is correct twice a day. I have absolutely no use for the man. There was a time (many years ago) when I thought that he was the best former president we had had in recent memory. I no longer believe that. He is as useless today as when he was in office.

  18. IndividualAudienceMember
    IndividualAudienceMember July 21, 2013 10:19 pm

    I have a dream, same as any other MLK type dream:. Former el presidente becomes a libertarian and people listen to what he says.

    The guys in the NSA and the CIA get an epiphany while doing shots of tequila and decide to oust the whole she-bang.

    The guys in the military overseas decide they’ve had enough of being taken advantage of and see that the promises of a retirement fund are lies, so they take a hike and come home to ride motorcycles to forget their mistakes.

    The cops all quit their jobs and open private security firms and the people who fund their paychecks can be glad they came to work each day, or fire them if they want to.

    …If only I lived in a free country.

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