The more I hear Bill Clinton talk, the more I’m glad I’m Bernie or Bust now.
Again, for the record, the driving force behind my Bernie or Bust status is that I live in California, and so spare me the “You’re going to help Donald Trump become president,” hand-wringing bullshit. But seriously, every time Bill Clinton opens his mouth up to defend his wife these days, I get hit with a blast wave of ignorance and naked, transparent political codswallop, and it makes me feel bad for the guy.
Just a couple weeks after his truly embarrassing moment with Black Lives Matter protesters wherein he whitesplained how it was okay that his ’94 crime bill helped lead to mass incarceration problems that have plagued the black community for years, Bill was at it again this week. However this time he took aim at younger, millennial voters, blaming them for 2010’s rise of the Tea Party.
As reported by The Huffington Post, former President Clinton had some interesting theories about younger and millennial voters.
“If all the young people who claim to be disillusioned now had voted in 2010, we wouldn’t have lost the Congress, and we’d probably have our incomes back,” he said. (source)
Umm. Excuse me, Bill? Are you out of your fucking mind? You’re going to blame millennial voters for the Tea Party’s rise to power? Even for a political campaign, this is a new low in stupid rhetoric, for a whole host of reasons.
Firstly, Democrats have notoriously bad turnout in off-cycle election years. We all know it. This has been the case for as long as I have been alive. So to try and concoct some new scenario out of 2010 is patently absurd. Democrats have had a problem inspiring people to vote in non-presidential years for a long time, and you’d think someone as savvy as Bill Clinton would also remember that almost no state does its best to make voting easier. Election Day is always on a work day, and as Arizona and New York’s primaries have shown us, thanks to so many people in this country thinking our government should have no money at all, we don’t have the resources in a lot of places to handle it if turnout is higher than usual anyway.
And besides all that, Clinton has a major fucking math problem here.
If you are 18 or 19 years old, you couldn’t vote in 2014. If you are 18-23, you couldn’t vote in 2010. I seem to remember a very famous speech that Bill gave at the 2012 Democratic National Convention where he chastised trickle down economics for its fantastical approach to “arithmetic,” a word he repeated often. Well, Billy, you should do your own arithmetic and realize that for a lot of young people, this is the first election they are eligible to vote in.
Also, hey, maybe don’t be such a douche in general about this subject. Every year we bemoan the fact that more kids aren’t involved in politics, and so of course it makes sense that when a political movement starts that includes an absolute pant load of young people, we’d chastise them for not voting sooner, right? That’ll make them feel welcome in the process, condescending and talking shit?
Maybe you don’t think the Democratic Party should worry about how the Clinton campaign’s tone could drive away younger voters, but you should. A party needs fresh blood, with fresh ideas, to survive. Don’t believe me? Just turn your head to the right 90 degrees and look the GOP. For over 20 years they catered and pandered to a subset of people within a certain generational framework. And now? They are dying in part because they didn’t extend their tent stakes out past where they felt comfortable.
I can’t help but wonder if Bill — who was a young member of the counter-culture movement of the 1960’s — would bash younger and millennial voters if his wife was winning with them. Then again, why the fuck he’s bashing them now when his wife is going to have to try and win at least some of them over is a different, but entirely vital question too, isn’t it? Ultimately, it’s this rank condescension that has driven me away from the DNC, and away from the Clintons entirely. I won’t spout right-wing nonsense about Vince Foster and secret communism and shit, but I will gleefully and righteously point to the places where they have sold out their principles and given in to their cynical political natures.
Who else remembers Bill and Hillary dancing to Fleetwood Mac’s “Don’t Stop (Thinking About Tomorrow)” while the band played that song at Bill’s 1993 inaugural ball? That song is about the future. And the Clintons chose it because it was their generation’s moment. They were at one time the youth vote, and in 1993 they were triumphant. How sad it is that same man, who clearly got how important youthful exuberance and hope is, has decided to trade all that in for a cheap shot at people who just so happen to think his wife might not be the best option for the job he once held.
Shame on you, Bill. You know better than this, but elections bring out the utter goddamned worst in your family. So thank God there are only about 200 days left in this abysmal shit show of an election year, huh?