Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has a problem with young voters. In the Democratic primaries, voters of all races and genders under the age of 35 overwhelmingly voted for Senator Bernie Sanders. But even after Clinton prevailed in the primaries, young voters don’t seem to have much interest in helping her take power.
The reason is that young voters, often referred to as Millennials, have the same issue with Hillary Clinton that everyone else in the country does: they don’t trust her.
In a recent Quinnipiac poll, 77% of likely voters between the ages of 18 and 34 said they believe Clinton is dishonest. 64% of likely voters between 35 and 49 said the same.
To respond to these abysmal numbers, the Clinton campaign is making a new effort to connect to Millennial voters, including publishing an op-ed in Mic News, an outlet geared towards Millennials. The piece, titled “Here’s What Millennials Have Taught Me,” offers the typical two-dimensional pandering.
In true neoliberal fashion, Clinton praises Millennials for being “entrepreneurial” and for never giving up. Clinton claims she finds Millennials “inspiring.” Yes, it’s an exceedingly trite piece.
But it is when Clinton starts referencing her own biography that things really go off the rails. Clinton says she sympathizes with Millennials because she was an activist for the poor and disenfranchised when she was young, citing her time with the Children’s Defense Fund as a bona fides for that claim.
Unfortunately, it was the very founder of the Children’s Defense Fund, Marian Wright Edelman, that condemned Hillary Clinton when Hillary went out shilling for the Clinton Administration’s ruthless welfare reform law. Edelman claimed Hillary betrayed the exact same children Edelman setup the Children’s Defense Fund to protect.
And Edelman was right to do so. As many predicted, the welfare reform law the Clintons championed screwed poor people, especially poor children. Since the passing of the law, extreme poverty has more than doubled. Childhood poverty and homelessness are at historic highs.
So, Millennials, Hillary Clinton may have done some resume-padding working as a young activist for poor children, but when it came to helping them when she had any actual power, she sold out quicker than the iPhone.
While Hillary’s betrayal of CDF values disadvantaged poor children, she plans to keep them poor into adulthood through nonsense proposals on student debt. In the op-ed Clinton writes “If you already have loans, we’ll let you refinance them, defer them to start a business or forgive them if you spend 10 years in public service.”
One of the many reasons Clinton suffered in the primaries with young voters was her opposition to Senator Sanders’ universal college plan. Clinton wanted an overly complicated and unworkable means-tested plan. Such a plan, of course, would simply undermine the entire purpose of what Sanders proposed, which is to make college, like a K-12 education, appreciated as a universal prerequisite.
Now, she is proposing that people with student debt be forced to do ten years of public service because they dared to go to college?
Deferring loan payments to start a new business is an even dumber idea. Only about half of new businesses make it past the first five years, and only a third make it past the first ten [PDF], nor are people likely to even try starting a business when they know that debt is out there waiting for them. Clinton’s policies are lost in a maze of assumptions based on Big Business propaganda. They won’t work in the real world.
The Clinton campaign continues to believe the problem between Hillary and Millennials is that she is not getting her message to them. The actual problem is the message itself.