Few could believe that a bartender from The Bronx could upset the 3rd most powerful Democrat in Congress. But Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez did just that. She’s now a member of the United States Congress: a loud member, and is an example of the “new breed” taking over Washington. And she’s taken leadership from Senator Bernie Sanders and is not the “Purveyor-in-Chief” of Socialism in America.
“AOC” (as she’s called) began her endorsement of Socialism and her anti-Capitalist campaign in the run-up to the 2018 midterm elections. Her following is bountiful, comprised mostly of Millennials who love the idea of the government paying for EVERYTHING. She’s picked up that mantle and is racing down a path toward Socialism with NO hesitation.
In doing so, AOC’s shiny exterior is beginning to show some wear — the in-your-face facts of true Socialism are currently playing out on the world stage in a not-so-pretty fashion.
The reality is, she is — like so many people crying out for socialism today — responding to a form of trendy political “hipsterism.” The need to signal herself as a radical, a leader of counter-culture, ahead of her time, rebelliously new-age icon is powerful, and adopting a once-scorned label and trying to make it cool is a great way to do that.
She doesn’t have to actually understand socialism at all, she can just makeup whatever she wants and call it socialism. She can position herself as mainstream and her opposition as extremist by suggesting that any and all government action, tax collection or spending is an example of socialism. “What, do you hate road, highways and schools, you dinosaur?”
I understand why Ms. Ocasio-Cortez’s philosophy can be mistaken for actual socialism. They both have in common their glorification of big, powerful government. They both have a slavish devotion to the state. They both require restrictions on personal freedom. They both worship at the altar of humanitarianism. There’s no doubt, they do share a lot in common, and I don’t think there is any question that Ocasio-Cortez’s actual philosophy paves the road for her stated philosophy.
But it is important to say without question that actual socialism is, in fact, worse than the agenda of the typical American liberal, and I think we need to start making that plainly clear so that we don’t ever open the door to socialism — real socialism — being implemented in this country.
One of the reasons that socialism has been such a miserable failure — worldwide — over the course of the last hundred years, is because it inevitably takes a very strong, centralized government command economy that restricts civil, political and economic freedom to force society to behave in the way that socialism demands. This isn’t FDR or Barack Obama’s big government, we are talking about. This is Venezuela’s big government.
There actually aren’t very many countries left that practice true socialism. Those that do, (like just-mentioned Venezuela) are riddled with political corruption — which unfortunately flows from a powerful central authority — as well as economic instability, stagnant growth, and virtually non-existent personal freedom.
But to socialists, Venezuela, Cuba, the Soviet Union and every other failed state that practices socialism is not “real” socialism. No, they are fake socialism. They were just doing it wrong.
Fake socialists and real socialists alike will tell you that today there are in fact socialist success stories, like the Scandinavian countries, which are constantly held up as shining “see, I told you so!” examples of socialism in action.
This, predictably, is not true.
Countries like Sweden, Norway, and Denmark are not socialistic. As the Foundation for Economic Education pointed out two years ago, in Scandinavia (like virtually all wealthy, economically developed western countries) the means of production is mostly owned by private individuals. It is not owned by the government or the local community.
More importantly, resources are not allocated by central government planning, but rather by various capitalistic markets. Scandinavians operate under a privately owned, market economy.
People think that the Scandinavians — and the rest of Europe, while we’re at it — are socialist because they have a very extensive social safety net, and heavy government spending. Conservatives have historically reinforced this perception, using the term “socialist” to describe them because they associate high taxes, spending, and big government with socialism.
But once again, government programs and the welfare state — whatever your opinion on their wisdom — are not examples of socialism. The Nordic model so frequently cited as a success is really just the European concept of “social democracy,” which ultimately boils down to public welfare mixed with a capitalistic economy.
The Scandinavians themselves reject the socialist label. Speaking in a lecture at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government during the last presidential election, Prime Minister of Denmark Lars Løkke Rasmussen didn’t mince words.
“I know that some people in the US associate the Nordic model with some sort of socialism. Therefore I would like to make one thing clear. Denmark is far from a socialist planned economy. Denmark is a market economy,” Rasmussen said. “The Nordic model is an expanded welfare state which provides a high level of security for its citizens, but it is also a successful market economy with much freedom to pursue your dreams and live your life as you wish,” he added.
No doubt, comparing the Ocasio-Cortez socialism model with that of Scandinavia and Europe does not fly with reality. But still, AOC and her followers think that, call it that, and will go to the mat screaming THAT socialism model is the one the U.S. must have.
The “Green New Deal”
Who doesn’t think the U.S. and every other country must get their environmental goals and objectives cleaned up? Who doesn’t want clean air, clean water, and less reliance on fossil fuels? Who doesn’t want more green energy?
But who thinks we should find ways to get to those objectives with realistic and attainable steps? Who REALLY thinks we can achieve the Green New Deal plans for NO fossil fuel cars, NO fossil fuel air travel, retro-fitted buildings — ALL buildings — to be totally fuel efficient, solar and air power at full speed in just 10 years?
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez does. How? We don’t know. Her “deal” that has taken Washington by storm is actually NOT legislation at all — though she claims it is. It is actually an 18-page draft document — “draft” being the operative word. Several draft versions of the Green New Deal have come and gone from the Congresswoman’s website, specifically the one that included the problem in getting cows to stop farting.
Meanwhile, Back in the Big Apple….
Then there were her victory laps for taking leadership in killing the Amazon deal to bring their 2nd headquarters to Long Island — just next to HER district — along with 25,000-40,000 jobs in the tech sector. New York Mayor de Blasio stated the Amazon deal would have given New York $27 billion in new revenue. Those would be NEW jobs. Her reasoning? It would be stupid for New York to cut a $3 billion check to Amazon. New York should instead take that $3 billion and invest it in infrastructure, education, and paying off college student educational debt.
Ocasio-Cortez does not seem to understand that by helping to drive Amazon away, she did not save New York $3 billion; she cost New York $27 billion. There is a difference between having bad ideas and not grasping basic facts. Reasonable people can disagree about whether New York should have offered Amazon $3 billion in tax incentives — or anything at all — to build its headquarters in the city. But that is different from not understanding that New York is not writing a $3 billion check to Amazon.
Millions have watched as Ocasio-Cortez has whipped her followers into a frenzy after frenzy, breathlessly dominating prime time news minutes. Many of those millions have been wondering why leaders in the Democrat Party have not stepped into to muzzle this rookie who is just barely even in Congress. But so far every announced Democrat candidate for the 2020 presidency has loudly proclaimed their support for that Green New Deal. They are doing so not even knowing what is in it — BECAUSE IT HASN’T BEEN WRITTEN YET! But endorsing her deal is the “hip” thing to do right now — forget about the $7 trillion estimated price tag. We all know that in “D.C. Speak,” $7 trillion really means “$20-30 trillion — maybe that…maybe more.”
But while we’re waiting for Pelosi and Schumer to rein in their starlet from the Bronx, consider this: maybe, just maybe, they don’t want to rein her in. Maybe they are confident her blazing exuberance will burn out before they have to step in and shut her up. So far, she’s doing a pretty good job working on that. Chuck and Nancy maybe just “giving her enough rope to hang herself.”
Even if Ocasio-Cortez loses her steam and her bully pulpit, the scary thing remains that talks about socialism and its merits are today, have been for several years, and likely will continue and probably even increase, with AOC and her followers aggressively pushing it to other Millenials as exactly where the U.S. must go to survive.
How will they handle that?
Don’t think for one moment that what she is selling is new to them. An entire generation of American youngsters has for more than a decade worshipped at the altar of socialism being propagated by teachers and professors across the nation. Highschools and universities are full of 1960’s hippy and free love loyalists who were taught Big Brother was evil. That generation has grown up and is now teaching our kids and their kids the glories of Big Brother and government doing for and providing citizens everything necessary to be happy.
Baby Boomers can’t fathom that. But our kids can…and do.
Chuck and Nancy are holding on to the hope that Ocasio-Cortez’s star will burn out and she’ll melt back into the landscape of Washington, quietly taking her rightful place as a rookie lawmaker. But I’m not confident AOC will be comfortable with that.
She’s confrontational, she’s loud, she’s opinionated, and she’s a woman on a quest. She was outspent in her 2018 election campaign 18 times over by her establishment opponent, and she still won. She’s a fighter. She’s not “quietly going into the night.”
But as we all watch exactly what longterm impact she will have on her party and the U.S. Congress, she will certainly give Americans a few laughs. Her tenure in office so far has been replete with the opportunities for giggles and chuckles. Try YouTube and enter her name for a search. You’ll get more than just a few good laughs. Like this:
”Jack walked into a sports bar around 9:58 pm. He sat down next to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) at the bar and stared up at the TV as the 10:00 o’clock news came on. The news crew was covering a story of a man perched on a ledge of a large building preparing to jump.
Alexandria looked at Jack and said, “Do you think he’ll jump?”
Jack says, “You know what, I bet he will.”
Alexandria replied, “Well, I bet he won’t.”
Jack placed a couple of twenties on the bar and said, “You’re on!”
Just as she placed her money on the bar, the guy did a swan dive off of the building, falling to his death.
Alexandria was very upset, but she handed Jack her $40, saying, “Fair’s fair, here’s your money.”
Jack replied, “I can’t take your money, I saw this earlier on the 5 o’clock news and knew he would jump.”
Alexandria replies, “I did too; I just didn’t think he’d do it again.”
No matter how successful the young Congresswoman is in D.C., we’ll all get plenty of laughs at her expense.
Don’t go postal on me: every politician is fair game when it comes to being fuel for jokes! Even Obama chuckled at some of the jokes at his expense.
And so does the “orange-hair” guy in the White House!