A leaked memo from current Clinton campaign chair John Podesta to a handful of liberal billionaires in late 2007 lays out the longterm progressive strategy to dominate American politics by creating an “echo chamber” to control public discourse and changing American demographics to make them more “advantageous.”
The memo, found in one of thousands of Podesta emails published by WikiLeaks, underscores just how involved “big money” is in the inner workings of the political left.
Equally important, it lays bare what has been a largely successful effort by progressives to control public discourse, change American demographics and divide the electorate by categories such as race, gender and age.
The memo went out to several major Clinton donors, including George Soros, Peter Lewis, Steve Bing and Herb and Marion Sandler, giving them a preview of an upcoming September 27, 2007 meeting between the donors and Podesta, who was president of the Soros-funded Center for American Progress at that time.
“Our meeting in New York brings together the most generous funders of progressive causes and progressive infrastructure in the country,” the memo notes.
“We sit in September 2007, in a much different position than August 2003, when the same group literally jump-started an independent effort to change course in this country.”
The memo lists a number of “strategic goals” for progressive elites in 2008 and the years following.
Creating a ‘strong echo chamber’
One such goal is to “Control the political discourse.”
“So much effort over the past few years has been focused on better coordinating, strengthening, and developing progressive institutions and leaders,” the memo explains to the donors.
“Now that this enhanced infrastructure is in place—grassroots organizing; multi-issue advocacy groups; think tanks; youth outreach; faith communities; micro-targeting outfits; the netroots and blogosphere—we need to better utilize these networks to drive the content of politics through a strong ‘echo chamber’ and message delivery system,” it continues.
The memo’s reference to creating an “echo chamber” bears semblance to the language used by Obama adviser Ben Rhodes who bragged about how the Obama administration used the media to create an “echo chamber” around the Iran nuclear deal. The liberal nonprofit involved in creating that “echo chamber” asked Soros to fund their efforts.
Voter registration efforts: a ploy to get progressive voters to the polls
The memo also suggests that voter registration efforts by nonprofit organizations are really just a ploy to get progressive voters out to the polls.
“Non-partisan voter registration can be highly effective in delivering progressive voters to the polls,” the memo states.
“The Sandler family and OSI are already deeply involved in funding organizations to do this work in communities of color and with respect to unmarried women.”
Securing ‘advantageous’ demographics
Another goal of progressive elites, according to the memo, is to “Ensure that demographics is destiny.”
“An ’emerging progressive majority’ is a realistic possibility in terms of demographic and voting patterns. But it is incomplete in terms of organizing and political work. Women, communities of color, and highly educated professionals are core parts of the progressive coalition. Nationally, and in key battleground states, their influence is growing,” the memo explains.
“Latinos and young voters are quickly solidifying in this coalition as well.”
A section titled “The theory of the case” notes that Democrats should be “focused on securing advantageous demographic and geographical trends, making the best use of existing strengths, and continuing to encourage innovation in organizing, campaigning, and media.”
Another step progressives should take, according to the memo, is to “Solidify groups that are trending Democratic” like Latinos and millennials.
Speaking of Latinos, the memo says, “This is an election that could really solidify a cross-section of this community and this work should be considered a top priority.”
The memo also notes that “The rapid increase in demographic importance of Latinos will continue for decades. Hispanics have surpassed blacks as the nation’s largest minority group, and Census projections indicate that by about mid-century Hispanics will be one-quarter of the U.S. population (at which point or shortly thereafter, the United States will become a majority-minority nation).”
The memo makes clear that progressives should make concerted efforts to lock down both millennials and women as reliable progressive voters
While the memo does stress the electoral importance of African-Americans, it also describes them as the “most reliable bloc in the Democratic camp.”
Andy Stern and Anne Berger, then the president and secretary-treasurer of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) are listed as co-authors on the memo, alongside Podesta.
On October 2, 2007 — after the meeting would have taken place — Podesta’s executive assistant emailed the memo to Stan Greenberg, head of Democratic polling firm Democracy Corps.
The memo does include a couple legal caveats. It notes that Podesta, Stern and Berger are writing the memo as “private citizens.”
It also claims that the memo “is intended as background for our meeting on September 27th, 2007, and not as a concrete set of recommendations about what to do in the upcoming year.
Soros’s son Alexander, who has become increasingly active in financing liberal causes, was also copied on the memo.