Commentary

Flashback: Kamala Says 'Stupid' Youth Need More Government Programs

California Senator Kamala Harris, a 2020 presidential hopeful, might have scored massive points in the first Democratic primary debate, but she still has a long road to go to grab the party’s nomination.

That’s especially true because we’re at a point in time where Democratic candidates haven’t really initiated the feeding frenzy yet, which often involves fierce, sometimes political ambition-killing dirty laundry and past scandals that conveniently surface at strategic points throughout the race.

While Harris hasn’t really faced that dirty side of campaign politics yet, she should probably prepare, as her recent climb in the polls painted a shiny, bright political target on her back.

But it’s the little things that can sneak up on a popular candidate. According to Vice, in 2015, as Harris delivered a keynote address at a symposium hosted by the Ford Foundation, she called young adults between the ages of 18-24 “stupid.”

The insult came as the then-California attorney general explained her vision to reduce crime in Los Angeles which, in part, called for government intervention (tax dollars) to provide social programs for nonviolent felony offenders in that age range.

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“What’s the other thing we know about this population? And it’s a specific phase of life. And remember, age is more than a chronological fact. What else do we know about this population, 18 through 24? They are stupid,” Harris told the audience (around the 17:36 mark in the video below).

To be fair, a spokesperson for Harris said that the comment was a joke. And that’s fine. But as a presidential candidate, she’d be wise to not slam such a massively important voter demographic, even in a joking manner, especially as Democrats work to once again fire up younger voters in an effort to get them to the polls.

But what’s worse is that Harris proved with her proposed social program plan at the time that the Democrats’ answer to virtually every problem, including crime among young adults, is to throw money at it.

And that would be our hard-earned, taxpayer money. Do you want your tax dollars to fund social programs for convicted felony offenders just because they’re young? I certainly don’t.

Instead of pushing for tighter family units, expanding faith-based initiatives and figuring out a method to instill traditional values that many communities are sorely lacking, Harris’ program proposed that young, convicted criminals have the option of enjoying a long list of social programs and, in some cases, as a substitution for serving prison time.

The proposed program for Los Angeles was similar to San Francisco’s “Back on Track” program, according to Vice.

Harris argued that 18-24-year-old offenders are still developmentally young and essentially said that instead of doing the time for their crimes, they should be given a chance to be molded and shaped into productive adults — all using your tax dollars to provide that training.

These types of social programs might sound great on paper to some and they might even show some initial successes.

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But to force hard-working Americans to reward felons with benefits only serves to drain state coffers and inflate government debt more than it already is.

It’s scary to ponder the possibility of another Democratic president, especially as many in the party travel further to the left — on the brink of socialism even.

Promising free stuff is going to get the party extra votes, unfortunately. But it’s up to us to remind voters, especially young ones, that money isn’t just freely available.

Throwing taxpayer dollars at every problem usually isn’t the solution.

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Ryan Ledendecker is a freelance journalist and writer. He began reporting news and writing commentary during the 2014 Ferguson riots. Prior to that, he worked as a web editor and columnist for an award-winning local newspaper.
Ryan Ledendecker plunged headfirst into news reporting and political commentary while on the ground during the unrest in Ferguson, Missouri. He later wrote extensively on Donald Trump's presidential campaign and election.

When he's not writing, Ryan spends time improving his barbecue skills. He has his own brand of BBQ rub and is a trophy winner in the world of competitive BBQ.
Birthplace
Illinois
Nationality
American
Location
St. Louis, Missouri
Languages Spoken
English
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Science & Technology




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