“The growth and fairness economy.” This latest interview—one of the few granted to the press—strikes an all-too-familiar note: the people are suffering out there and it’s time for someone to start addressing that.
This tired, musty sentiment somehow seems even more trite with Clinton’s stilted performance. The emotion she conveys is ennui, as if she’s giving this speech because that’s what presidential candidates do. (Watching some past speeches of hers, you can’t rate her as much of a speaker but at least her smug condescension could be mistaken for passion.) The nameless Americans whose life stories perfectly encapsulate her talking points are quickly followed by breezy anecdotes about her own origin story, demonstrating that she’s just like you. Over the years, I’ve heard or read dozens of these same stump speeches from candidates of all persuasions.
The litany of giveaways would make almost any politician blush. It’s almost as if they ran 100 programs through a series of focus groups and decided to leave nothing to chance by taking the top 50. (I actually counted 56 but there are very few specifics provided.) There is literally something for everyone in that speech, and it is utterly repugnant (and unrepentant) in its demagoguery.
As usual, behind all of this is the forgotten man: the businessman. Hillary Clinton and her ilk chide him while holding out their hands for campaign funds and picking their pocket to pay for programs. As she praises the social contract of the middle class—”if you work hard and do your part, you should be able to get ahead”—she omits the party for whom they are doing their “part.”
Further, the businessman she hails isn’t the businessman that “built the greatest economy.” Small businesses may create 60 percent of today’s jobs, but America rose into greatness through the efforts of the mightiest corporations. The “strongest middle class” got their paychecks from companies with thousands of employees. Those companies were not barber shops, pool cleaning services, or cake shops.
Those companies once signed 99-year leases, funded laboratories, and moved mountains. They grew because they built a better product, provided a valuable service, or offered something never before conceived. Today they are pale shadows of their glory days, expert in compliance and maintaining the status quo.
Why are small businesses the engines of our measly growth nowadays? And why do they start to lose their focus on the future after they add their fiftieth employee?
How do Hillary Clinton and her kind expect to keep their show horse on a tight rein, with a hay wagon full of people attached, and still gallop at its unbridled pace?