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writing for godot

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez – A Straight Shooter

Written by David Starr   
Tuesday, 17 July 2018 02:15

In her upset of 10-term, Democratic Caucus Chair Joseph Crowley, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez directly laid out who she was and what she stood for. No bullshit here.

Ocasio-Cortez says she is a Democratic Socialist. Now, the word socialist has been demonized by the U.S. corporate-controlled media for decades, and also by right-wing think tanks in particular. Thus, most people in the U.S. reflexively cringe when they hear the word. But there are variants of socialism, the worst being the deformed, Stalinist version of "socialism." Socialism has the potential for people to live in dignity, to be free from poverty, to prioritize equal rights. Democratic Socialism is another variant, with emphasis on the word, democratic.

Ocasio-Cortez sees it this way: supporting tuition-free college and public education; the need to combat climate change; seeing healthcare as a right, supporting a single-payer system; supporting a living wage; seeking the abolishment of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), calling it fascist in one of her debates with Crowley; and seeking the impeachment of Donald Trump. (Although Mike Pence would be next in line, which could be just as, if not more, dangerous.)

Ocasio-Cortez has also committed the "ultimate sin" that most Democrats would dare not do. Criticize Israel, or more specifically, the Israeli Defense Forces for the killing of 60 Palestinian protesters. "This is a massacre," said Ocasio-Cortez. "I hope my peers have the moral courage to call it such."

The responses from the Democratic establishment on Ocasio-Cortez' victory were somewhat mixed. DNC Chair Tom Perez seem to welcome Ocasio-Cortez, complimenting her on her victory. Nancy Pelosi brushed it aside as an anomaly, and that voters from the Bronx were different from voters, in say, the Midwest. Tammy Duckworth had a similar response, and was also concerned that the party would move too far to the Left.

But the Democratic base is to the left of the Democratic establishment. The base supports the policies that Ocasio-Cortez proposes. Members of the establishment like Pelosi claim to be progressive, yet their words contradict their actions. Pelosi is a fund-raising machine at the bidding of her corporate donors. Perez, while saying that healthcare is a right, can't get himself to say he supports Medicare-for-all. Duckworth's concern that the party is going too far left is a distortion. Since 1992, the Democratic Party has moved rightward, emphasizing a "Third Way." With some exceptions, the party is center-right. Or I could say the current leadership is center-right.

Meanwhile in another development, Joe Crowley–who strummed his guitar to the tune of "Born to Run" and dedicated it to Ocasio-Cortez–may run as a third party candidate against her. Democrat Joe Crowley. With the establishment complaining about a lack of unity, the hypocrisy is evident. There is the danger of splitting the Democratic vote, unless Ocasio-Cortez has so much popularity to carry her to victory in the general elections. Is Crowley trying to sabotage Ocasio-Cortez' chances? If so, Crowley is disgusting.

Ocasio-Cortez will face Republican Anthony Pappas–and maybe Crowley–in the general election. Pappas is an economics professor who has an uphill climb. The 14th District is heavily Democratic. This may ensure a victory for Ocasio-Cortez, unless Crowley fucks it up.

But even if she doesn't win, Ocasio-Cortez has shaken up the establishment. Her upset victory over Crowley is an inspiration to other candidates running on a Left/Progressive platform. your social media marketing partner
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