04 October 2016

Hillary Clinton: Millennials Are "Basement Dwellers"

Hillary and Bernie
The phrase "basement dweller" trended overnight and exploded all over in social media last 1 October after hacked audio appeared online of Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaking to donors about Bernie Sanders' supporters.

The notion that Clinton would dismiss the idealism of her former rival's fans and millennial voters as lazy, misinformed youngsters who haven’t moved out of their parents’ homes conformed with many perceptions of the Democratic candidate as an out-of-touch elitist. The words "basement dweller," which she implied actually, started to trend alongside "basket of deplorables," which she really meant to denigrate the large group of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s supporters.

An audio from the donors meeting has been leaked following an email hack.

"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 during a Q&A with potential donors in McLean in Virginia, in February, when she was still in a close primary race with Sanders.

According to the Washington Free Beacon, which posted the audio of Clinton’s remarks, the recording was attached to an email sent out by a campaign staffer, which has been hacked. It is unclear if the leak is the work of the same hackers who got hold of a trove of Democratic National Committee (DNC) emails in July.

In the session, Clinton called for an "understanding" of the motives of Sanders' younger backers, while describing them in terms that fluctuate between patronizing and unflattering.

"Some are new to politics completely. They're children of the Great Recession. And they are living in their parents' basement. They feel they got their education and the jobs that are available to them are not at all what they envisioned for themselves. And they don’t see much of a future," said Clinton, who obtained the support of about 2,800 delegates, compared to approximately 1,900 for Sanders, when the results were tallied in July.

"If you're feeling like you're consigned to, you know, being a barista, or you know, some other job that doesn’t pay a lot, and doesn't have some other ladder of opportunity attached to it, then the idea that maybe, just maybe, you could be part of a political revolution is pretty appealing."

Following the leak, the Clinton campaign has not apologized for the audio, insisting that it shows that the nominee and is "listening to the concerns" of "the most diverse, open-minded generation in history."