Hillary Clinton’s National Service Reserve plan, a volunteer program aimed at recruiting 18 to 30-year-olds for national and local projects, is her latest attempt to connect with millennials—because we all know how much millennials love unpaid internships.
The plan, which may offer college credit and modest stipends to those who qualify and hopes to build off of Americorps—Bill Clinton’s “wasteful flop”—appears to be more self-serving to the Clinton legacy than actually helping millennials.
The hacked conversation is from a February 2016 fundraiser in Virginia hosted by Beatrice Welters—former U.S. Ambassador to Trinidad and Tobago who was appointed after donating thousands of dollars to President Obama—and her husband, Anthony Welters, Executive Vice President of United Health Group.
The recording was first released by the Washington Free Beacon earlier this week. Politico also reported the leak on September 30, later softening their original headline, “Clinton mocked Sanders supporters,” to “Clinton gives her take on Sanders supporters in leaked fundraising recording.” The Wikileaks release of DNC e-mails showed Politico’s Ken Vogel allowing the DNC to proofread an article before sending it to his editor. This latest headline change appears to be yet another attempt to protect Hillary Clinton from negative publicity.
In the recording, Clinton denigrates Sanders supporters and reveals what she thinks of progressives. “There’s just a deep desire to believe that we can have free college, free healthcare, that what we’ve done hasn’t gone far enough, and that we just need to, you know, go as far as, you know, Scandinavia, whatever that means, and half the people don’t know what that means, but it’s something that they deeply feel,” Clinton said to a room of wealthy elites. “So as a friend of mine said the other day, I am occupying from the center-left to the center-right. And I don’t have much company there. Because it is difficult when you’re running to be president, and you understand how hard the job is—I don’t want to over promise. I don’t want to tell people things that I know we cannot do.”
She then went on to explain how Sanders supporters are oblivious. “Some are new to politics completely. They’re children of the Great Recession. And they are living in their parents’ basement.”
Clinton has condescended millennials and Sanders supporters throughout the Democratic primaries. Following her recent loss of a comfortable lead in polls against Donald Trump, pro-Clinton pundits were quick to blame millennials—not because they support Trump, but because many of them are supporting third party candidates the election. So far, Clinton’s millennial outreach has been to tout Bernie Sanders saying not to make a protest vote while continuing to list off all the establishment Republican endorsements she regularly receives.
During a Democratic presidential forum on CNN in January 2016, Clinton refuted a question from a millennial that there wasn’t the same enthusiasm from young people for her as there was for Bernie Sanders, patronizing the questioner and citing that there are some young people who do support her.
Instead of coming to terms with being out of touch, Clinton has reverted to generalizing 18 to 34-year-olds, the most diverse and progressive generation, as naive and idealistic.
Pushing forward progressive issues will be impossible under a Clinton Presidency because they overtly contradict the interests of her wealthy billionaire and millionaire donors. Clinton is the top recipient of donations from the pharmaceutical industry and health insurance industry and she has aggressively pushed back against Sanders’ proposal for a single payer healthcare system. She is the top recipient of donations from the investment and financial industry, and her Wall Street reform plan doesn’t include re-enacting a modern day version of Glass-Steagall among other watered-down aspects. Bill and Hillary Clinton are both in favor of a repatriation initiative, or a tax holiday, allowing corporations to bring back profits earned overseas at much lower tax rates.
In 2015, Sen. Elizabeth Warren refuted the false assumption that corporate taxes are too high. “The average American household pays a federal tax rate of 17.6 percent. The average effective tax rate for an American corporation with fewer than 500 employees, is 17.5 percent. Shoot, even Mitt Romney paid 14 percent. But the biggest American companies are paying far, far less, in many cases, nothing at all. So they enjoy all of the benefits of being an American company but they leave it to families and small businesses to pick up the bill.”
It is hypocritical and alarming that at a time of such immense income and wealth inequality, establishment Democrats like Hillary Clinton are primarily concerned with further assisting wealthy donors, yet will pander when necessary that they have the best interests of working and middle class Americans at heart. Bernie Sanders’ campaign became so popular because he stood for making the wealthy, corporations, and Wall Street pay their fair share. Hillary Clinton’s favorability has continued to decline, in large part due to pretending to be more progressive while running against Bernie Sanders, while in reality courting the wealthiest one percent of Americans.