Trend Watch

Oligarchy

Jimmy Carter comments on the influence of money in politics ...


When:

Lookups spiked on August 4, 2015.

Why:

On July 28th, former president Jimmy Carter was a guest on the Thom Hartmann Program and responded to a question about campaign financing and "unlimited money in politics" by saying, "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...." His statement set off a week of debates, and sent many people to the dictionary.

"Oligarchy" as Carter used it means "a government in which a small group exercises control especially for corrupt and selfish purposes." It dates back to the early 1600s, and comes from the Greek words that mean "few" and "to rule." Carter contrasts "oligarchy" with "democracy," which is a government ruled by the people.



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