Somehow the Bernie Sanders narrative feels like it has morphed from “there are some rich people doing bad things” to “rich people are bad”. Hillary Clinton and her husband have made over $100 million in the past eight years. They’ve paid over 30% in taxes and given away about 12% to charity.
Since taking a break from politics in 2013, Hillary has been paid well for her speeches – to the tune of over $250,000 a piece. Today, she’s being excoriated for it. Sanders supporters refer to this as $250,000 for one hour of work, but I believe that is disingenuous. Beyonce can also get paid several hundred thousand dollars for a one night appearance. She is able to command that not really for an hour, but for the lifetime of practice, experience, marketing and talent development that she’s put in. She has built a brand called “Beyonce” that folks thinks is worth several hundred thousand dollars an hour and so she happily accepts that as pay.
Mrs Clinton started as an attorney, then became first lady of a state and then a country, a Senator, Secretary of State, and she has always been an advocate and philanthropist. Companies that could afford it offered to pay for the “Hillary Clinton” brand, which she has meticulously and painstakingly built. She accepted their money, paid her taxes accordingly and gave to charity like a good Democrat.
Persecuting her about accepting lots of money when there is no evidence of it affecting her position on the companies paying it seems like an attack on achievement. It feels like we’re condemning people for benefiting from their hard work and success. I’ve heard that sentiment often from Republicans – that Democrats hate achievement – and sadly it seems that Sanders supporters are proving them right.
Even if you think Beyonce’s talent is worth more than Secretary Clinton’s curriculum vitae, in terms of using her platform for good, Secretary Clinton wins hands down. It’s a shame really. Seems we’re being prompted to hate a good player who has spent her life trying to play a pretty fair game.
Calibe Thompson is a television producer and personality, public speaker and author. Watch her Mon at 10:00PM and Tues, Thurs and Sat at 9:00PM on South Florida’s BECON-TV (Ch 63 / Comcast 19), and follow www.facebook.com/misscalibe.