02:57 GMT23 October 2020
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    Former President Bill Clinton turns 70 on Friday, as his wife Hillary campaigns to serve in the Oval Office. Radio Sputnik’s Loud & Clear spoke with Seattle activist Jane Cutter, and Kevin Aiken from the Peace and Freedom Party, about Bill’s presidency and the legacy of poverty, mass incarceration and war it left behind.

    Looking back on Bill Clinton’s two terms as president, Aiken recalls, "My first and overwhelming impression is that Bill Clinton managed to take the Democratic Party far enough to the right that they put many of the right-wing Republican programs into practice, both in greatly increasing the size of the prisons, and the number of people sent to them, as well as  [targeting] some of the programs, like chopping welfare and reducing support for people without jobs."

    ​Loud & Clear Host Brian Becker noted that when Republican Ronald Reagan attempted to cut welfare there was mass protest, but not when Bill Clinton did the same thing.

    "It was simply the Democrats wanting power," Aiken said, talking about the Democrats' rightward shift. "The Democrats believed that in order to obtain power they needed to move to the right, and the right wing moves of the new Democratic president were accepted by Democrats because they believed it was going to help their party retain power. And the morals of it, that was another matter entirely."

    Cutter suggested that, instead of representing the concerns of the socially, politically, and economically downtrodden of American society, the Democrats opted to curry favor with the wealthy. 

    "You have to look at who the Democratic Party, and politicians like Bill Clinton, really represent." said Cutter. "They don’t actually represent the vast majority of the people who consider themselves Democrats. Just like the Republican Party, they represent the class interests of the capitalist class in this country, and they were tired of supporting those [social service] programs, tired of not having as much control as they would like, so to appease them and in order for the Democratic Party to get that control, they have to appease the ruling class, so that’s what Bill Clinton did in his presidency."

    She remarked that this was done "under the cover of being a Democrat, under the cover of being some kind of a liberal, in people’s minds, anyways, so they were able to kind of sneak it in and put a tiny bit of sugar around a bitter pill, hoping people would swallow it."

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    Hillary Clinton, Democrat, Democratic Party, Bill Clinton, United States
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