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JIMMY CARTER ‘America is no longer a democracy’

Many Americans would agree with former President Jimmy Carter’s statement that America is no longer a democracy. He made the statement in the wake of the National Security Agency (NSA) scandal. He criticized the U.S. political system. He went on to say “America has no functioning democracy.” He made the comments to Germany’s largest newspaper, Spiegel.

The one-term president noted that the nation’s moral authority has sharply declined due to restrictions of civil rights. Mr. Carter’s assessment of America is shared by other U.S. government officials.

Former Supreme Court Justice David Souter told University of New Hampshire School of Law that the “pervasive civic ignorance” in the U.S. could bring dictatorship:

“I don’t worry about our losing a republican government in the United States because I’m afraid of a foreign invasion. I don’t worry about it because of a coup by the military, as has happened in some other places. What I worry about is that when problems are not addressed people will not know who is responsible, and when the problems get bad enough — as they might do for example with another serious terrorist attack, as they might do with another financial meltdown — some one person will come forward and say: ‘Give me total power and I will solve this problem.’

Bottom line: Americans are no longer looking at solving complex problems with complex and often times painful solutions.

Justice Souter is not alone in his thinking that the U.S. is susceptible to a dictatorial solution to our national problems.

Former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor warned of a dictatorial America. “We must be ever-vigilant against those who would strong-arm the judiciary.”

Before anyone jumps to the assumption that this president is the focus of Mr. Carter’s hypothesis, he is not. In fact, Former prominent Republican Rep. Bob Barr stated that “the U.S. is close to becoming a totalitarian society and that the Bush administration is using fear to try to ensure that this happens.”

There are those who do fear the trend exhibited by this president. Current U.S. Congressman Ron Paul stated, the government “is determined to have martial law,” and that the government is hoping to get the people “fearful enough that they will accept the man on the white horse.”

In light of all the scandals hounding this administration — Internal Revenue targeting of nonprofits, NSA listening in on citizens and news organizations, an attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Fast and Furious gun running to drug cartels, forced buy-in to Affordable Care Act — Americans must be vigilant in protecting our democratic republic. There is no quick fix to our nation’s monumental problems. It’s going to take sacrifice and determination to avoid Mr. Carter’s assessment of the nation from becoming a reality.

Keith Hansen

Denton (Denny) Newman Jr.
I've worked at the Brainerd Dispatch with various duties since Dec. 7, 1983. Starting off as an Ad Designer and currently Director of Audience Development. The Dispatch has been an interesting and challenging place to work. I'm fortunate to have made many friends, both co-workers and customers.
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