She’s young, energetic, and readily available for interviews. In a Democratic primary held in June 2018, she sent a shockwave throughout the nation by handily defeating a 10-term veteran in the Democratic primary. Many were considering Representative Joe Crowley, the Democrat she beat, as the logical successor to ageing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Elected to Congress in November with no viable opponent, 29-year-old Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is already being considered the future of the Democrat Party, even the nation itself. What she has promised for her New York City constituents, and what will surely be the agenda for others eagerly lining up to follow her lead, spells big trouble for America. If fully adopted, her socialism will accomplish for the United States the suffering in Venezuela and other nations where socialism has replaced even a small amount of freedom. Demagogues regularly insist that their program is the route to progress, even calling themselves “progressives.” What they seek, however, is a proven path toward oblivion.
A member of the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), Ocasio-Cortez probably doesn't even know that implementing the DSA’s platform makes one a follower of Karl Marx. Most of the 70-plus DSA members in Congress likely don’t know that either. However, all DSA adherents believe in the Marxian rhetoric, the Marxian program, and the Marxian pie-in-the-sky promises. They need to be made aware of the results of Marx’s program as it existed for recent decades in Russia and the many nations Moscow swallowed up. Or they could look at nearby Cuba as it continues to suffer after six decades of Marxism imposed on the people by the Castro regime.
An ally and supporter of socialist Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Ocasio-Cortez has attacked capitalism, supported socialized medicine, called for government-provided housing, proposed doing away with tuition for college, advocated cancelation of student debt, and urged draconian taxation on America’s well-to-do (the people whose inventiveness and financial backing creates jobs for others). All of this fits with what Marx advocated more a century and a half ago.
The new darling of left-wing America won a degree in economics at Boston University several years ago. Of course, if her understanding of economics reflects what Boston University's economics department is teaching, then anyone interested in truly understanding economic principles should stay as far away from that department as possible.
Shortly after her primary victory over Crowley (who always supported left-wing initiatives more quietly), she was asked to defend her agenda’s cost of $40 trillion over the next decade and the measly $2 trillion her changes would bring to government. She had no answer for the financial shortfall she was touting.
Beyond her many economic goals, the newest star of the Democratic Party wants to abolish private ownership of weapons and do away with the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency. She obviously dismisses the historical fact that a country with no borders is soon swallowed up by immigrants. She accepts unproved claims that human beings are causing catastrophic climate change, wants to abolish the use of fossil fuels that heat homes and fuel industry, and insists that our country must turn to government for solutions to whatever real or imagined problems she claims aren’t being effectively addressed.
Our nation can survive even with Ocasio-Cortez in Congress. It has already survived the damaging effects of many like-minded DSA stalwarts over recent years. But the worrisome aspect of the current political scene is that America’s voting public is showing the predictable result of a deficient educational system that has ignored awareness about government not being the answer to every real or imagined problem. In most cases, as history shows, government has caused or worsened problems.
America became prosperous and the envy of mankind, not because of what government accomplished but because of what our national Constitution prevented in the face of a wanna-be meddlesome government from impeding freedom. What Ocasio-Cortez and Democratic Socialists either don’t know, or possibly do know and are still partisans for the DSA agenda, can be summed up in two words: Socialism destroys. Its opposite leaves the door open for progress. If the schools, the media, and the nation’s parents would resume teaching these simple concepts to the young (and even to older Americans), hope will replace fear, a bright future will continue to be attainable, and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez can go back to being a bartender, the profession Boston University obviously prepared her for.
John F. McManus is president emeritus of The John Birch Society.