Hillary Clinton came out swinging at her first official campaign event on Tuesday and wasted no time taking aim at the billionaire oligarchs who have come to dominate American politics. While speaking at a round-table event at Kirkwood Community College in Monticello, Iowa the former Secretary of State blasted the current system that puts the nation’s wealthiest earners before the struggling middle class and students who are crippling their futures by going deeply into debt just trying to get an education.
“There’s something wrong when CEOs make 300 times more than the typical worker. There’s something wrong when American workers keep getting more productive, as they have, and as I just saw a few minutes ago is very possible because of education and skills training, but that productivity is not matched in their paychecks.
And there’s something wrong when hedge fund managers pay lower tax rates than nurses or the truckers that I saw on I-80 as I was driving here over the last two days,” she added. “And there’s something wrong when students and their families have to go deeply into debt to be able to get the education and skills they need in order to make the best of their own lives.” [Source]
Clinton has said that her main focus will be strengthening the middle class. She is a great candidate to continue to build on President Obama’s successes and move our country forward. Her focus on income inequality is important especially since Republican polices have ensured that wages stay stagnant in the country. As fast-food workers go on strike around the nation in hopes of securing better pay, the importance of the progressive agenda becomes even clearer.
She told the high school and college students who participated in the round-table discussion that she wants to be the “champion” of average Americans and she will focus on four main areas if she is elected:
We need to build the economy of tomorrow, not yesterday. We need to strengthen families and communities, because that’s where it all starts. We need to fix our dysfunctional political system and get unaccountable money out of it once and for all, even if that takes a constitutional amendment. And we need to protect our country from the threats that we see, and the ones that are on the horizon.
Her ideas should quell fears and bring a slightly divided Democratic Party closer together. Some members of the party have are concerned that Clinton is too centrist and they would rather see a populist like Senator Elizabeth Warren run, but Clinton was channeling her spirit today. It would appear her entire campaign will be focused on the middle class, something Warren herself has said she thinks should be the main topic of discussion of all of the candidates in both parties. It is very reassuring that the probable nominee of the Democratic Party has the plight of the middle class and working Americans at the heart of her message, and it sets her far apart from a field of Republicans who work tirelessly to make the rich even richer.
Colin Taylor is the editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.