Do you, like, like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and Robert Francis O’Rourke? If so, join the crowd. The former, branded as “AOC,” and the latter, billing himself as “Beto,” are all the rage among Democrats, even as they rage against billionaires, the weather, the justice system, life, the Universe, and everything.
As for AOC, she’s far from A-OK, warning that if we don’t address climate change, the world will end in 12 years — though we shouldn’t allow billionaires to indulge their wealth as the end approaches. Irish Bob (O’Rourke), a former congressman from Texas, just went On the Road and showed us he’s Jack Kerouac meets Holden Caulfield and way too cool for school. What does all this mean?
They want your votes.
Cortez lamented Climate Change™ on Monday at a Martin Luther King forum in New York City. As the Daily Caller reported, she told interviewer Ta-Nehisi Coates, “I think that the part of it that is generational is that millennials and people, in Gen Z, and all these folks that come after us are looking up and we’re like, the world is gonna end in 12 years if we don’t address climate change. And your biggest issue is, your biggest issue is how are we going to pay for it? — and like this is the war, this is our World War II.”
And she’s, like, Patton saying, you don’t win climate wars by spending all your money for the country.
You win climate wars by getting the other guy to spend all his money for the country.
Cortez, the faux Bronx girl raised in tony Yorktown Heights, New York, also complained about “3,000 people” dying in our “cruel and unjust criminal justice system” and a “dystopian” America where citizens (and non-citizens?) are “sleeping in their cars so they can work a second job without healthcare.”
Cortez has advocated a “Green New Deal” that would require the United States to cease using fossil fuels completely within 10 years; of course, this would collapse the economy and wouldn’t change the world’s CO2-release trajectory because China and India burn coal without compunction.
More significantly, however, the man-caused global-warming thesis is based on a lot of hot air. Consider:
• Climate data appear very unreliable, and many scientists say that the temperature ceased rising approximately 20 years ago. Moreover, insofar as the climate is changing — and it always does — there’s no proof man’s activities are the cause.
• The claim that “97 percent of scientists affirm” man-caused global warming was always false. There’s much disagreement on the matter, and, besides, “consensus” isn’t a term of science, but politics.
• CO2 is not a pollutant, but plant food, which is why botanists pump it into greenhouses and why crop yields are greater when levels are higher; it’s why the age of the dinosaurs, when CO2 levels were five to 10 times today’s, was characterized by lush foliage everywhere. Also, calling CO2 “carbon” is like calling H2O “hydrogen” — it’s a propaganda term.
• In fact, astrobiologist Jack O’Malley-James warned in 2013 that life on Earth will end because of too little CO2 (in approximately one billion years). Plants can’t photosynthesize when levels are too low.
• Danish statistician Bjørn Lomborg, the head of the Copenhagen Consensus Center, calculated in 2017 that reducing the global temperature three-tenths of one degree by the century’s end — meaning, postponing so-called “global warming” less than four years — would cost $100 trillion (no, that’s not a typo).
• Climate models have been consistently wrong, yet alarmists still want them to shape policy. Is this logical? Would you take a “hot stock tip” from a broker who’d been consistently wrong for more than a generation?
• Climatic doomsday predictions have been no better. Professor Paul Ehrlich, Population Bomb author, predicted in 1968 that a famine would cause “hundreds of millions of people … to starve to death” in the United States in the 1970s and that by 1999, our population would have declined to 22.6 million. This is the norm for climatic prophets of doom. Do you really think greenhorn, two-brain-cell-wonder Cortez, with her 12-years warning, knows better?
Avowed socialist Cortez also said in her Monday interview that it was “immoral” to allow billionaires to exist. This is a dangerous attitude.
Lest I be misunderstood, I’ll surprise you: I’m actually quite suspicious of the filthy rich. More or less, I agree with G.K. Chesterton’s observation, “Among the rich you will never find a really generous man even by accident. They may give their money away, but they will never give themselves away; they are egotistic, secretive, dry as old bones. To be smart enough to get all that money you must be dull enough to want it.”
Put differently, just as you don’t become one of the best golfers without being obsessed with golf, you don’t become one of the richest people without being obsessed with money. Having said this, I don’t begrudge them their wealth.
While it’s said that richest one percent of Americans now have more wealth than the bottom 90 percent, wealth will always be controlled by a precious few. The question is: Who will this be? Those who made the money?
Or the few in government who can steal it?
What Winston Churchill said about democracy can also be applied to the market: It’s absolutely the world’s worst system — except for all the rest. This because the market actually is democracy applied to economics: Via their purchasing decisions, the people essentially “vote” daily on what products and services will prevail and, corresponding to this, on how much money given businessmen will make. It was these “votes” that made Bill Gates a billionaire.
Cortez and other socialists would replace this democratic system with a more autocratic oligarchy of economic overlords, a small group of people who’d supersede the market and hand down economic decision from the top. Of course, these people wouldn’t operate on economic self-interest.
They’d operate on political self-interest.
As late famed economist Milton Friedman rhetorically asked, why should we consider this more noble? Have big politicians shown that they’re more altruistic — more overflowing with the milk of human kindness — than big businessmen?
Speaking of businessmen, Irish Bob was one, and he is different from Cortez.
Unfortunately, though, and as a testimonial to personality cults’ power, both Cortez and Irish Bob “are hotter than establishment Democrats on social platforms and among staffer wannabes, the press, donors and activists,” writes Axios.
In fact, the site reports that a “new Axios/SurveyMonkey poll finds that 74% of Democrats (and people who lean Dem) would consider voting for Ocasio-Cortez if she were old enough to run for president.” Irish Bob, who is old enough (chronologically, anyway), is the top contender for the 2020 Democrat presidential nomination along with Senator Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), according to certain odds-makers.
Neera Tanden, former Obama aide and now president of the progressive Center for American Progress, attributes the pair’s appeal to “authenticity.” Axios quotes her as stating, “They both say what they believe — unvarnished — and connect directly with the public.”
Perhaps Tanden is inauthentic herself, but combined with this is likely a good dose of naiveté. Late comedian Lenny Bruce once said, “We’re all as honest as we can afford to be.” Anyone who thinks Cortez and Irish Bob defy this truth is kidding himself. They’re political animals who package themselves for public consumption. This doesn’t mean they don’t have passions — just that they also have filters.
Returning to political vs. economic self-interest, another truth is that, sadly, people acquiring great amounts of money and those acquiring great amounts of power generally have something in common: They’re often not those best suited to handle the money or power. For those lusting after money usually put money before people — and those lusting after power usually put power before people.
The difference, though, is that you can always buy a different product. But big, all-encompassing government forces you to be its “customer” — at the end of a gun.
Photos: AP Images