The demagoguery of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
Now that Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has rocketed into the national spotlight as result of her stunning primary victory over incumbent Democrat Joe Crowley in New York’s 14th Congressional District, what’s the message for national politics?
How did this young woman, who has never held or run for political office, beat a 10-term incumbent by 15 points, whose funds were, by some estimates, 15 times greater than hers?
Even more so when she is a declared socialist, wants government health care for all, tuition-free colleges, is an outspoken advocate for the LGBTQ agenda, and an aggressive critic of Israel.
According to Ocasio-Cortez, “There are a lot of districts in this country that are like New York 14, that have changed a lot in the last 20 years, but their representation has not.”
But this district is very unique and not at all representative of most congressional districts around the country.
According to the Census Bureau, it breaks down demographically as 22 percent white, 50 percent Hispanic, 9 percent black and 16 percent Asian.
In addition, 45.8 percent in this district are foreign-born and 67.8 percent report that they speak a language other than English at home.
To connect the dots, Ocasio-Cortez is telling us and wants us to believe that a district that is so-called majority minority, with almost half of the population foreign-born and the majority of whom don’t speak English at home, should have a socialist representing them in Congress.
The problem with Joe Crowley, according to Ocasio-Cortez, was that although he is a liberal, he’s not far enough left. He’s not a socialist, and therefore out of touch with the Hispanics, blacks and Asians in this district.
Sorry, it’s not my idea of good representation to tell constituents that their lives will be improved if the United States becomes more like the failed, problematic places that many of them, and their forebears, left to come here.
Consider Puerto Rico, where Ocasio-Cortez traces her roots, which is an economic basket case, as result of the same kind of big government ideas that Ocasio-Cortez is telling the constituents of New York 14 they need for a better life.
According to recent congressional testimony of Desmond Lachman of the America Enterprise Institute, “Over the past decade, the Puerto Rican economy has shrunk 10 percent while more than 10 percent of its population has migrated to the mainland. At the same time its unemployment rate remains over 12 percent and barely 40 percent of the its population participates in the labor market.
“Puerto Rico’s public finances have become seriously compromised in large measure due to years of economic mismanagement. This has led to a large public deficit, an excessive public debt to GNP ratio, and a very large amount of unfunded pension liabilities.”
While Ocasio-Cortez has gained voters by promising everyone a free lunch paid for by the U.S. government, the Congressional Budget Office is issuing warnings of the same problems in our nation — huge deficits and crushing national debt — that has crippled Puerto Rico.
Although New York 14 is very different from the average American congressional district, the demographic changes of our nation are headed in that direction.
Per the Census Bureau, over 50 percent of Americans today age 5 and below are not white.
We need to be running candidates in every district around America who understand and are committed to the principles of freedom and limited government that created the great nation to which so many want to come.
This is what our minorities and youth need to be hearing.
Unfortunately, too often they are being abandoned to the distortions of left-wing demagogues like Ocasio-Cortez.
We need candidates that are as clear and passionate about the truth of freedom as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is about the lies of socialism.
Star Parker is an author and president of CURE,
Center for Urban Renewal and Education.