By: Terresa Monroe-Hamilton
I have written on New York’s elected Democratic Socialist of America member Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez several times. It always amazes me that people comment on my social media that she is a one-off and nothing to worry about. Nothing could be further from the truth and the left is hoping you keep believing that nonsense. She is the snake in the progressive garden and the DNC has taken a big ole bite of the rotten apple. Not only did she defeat a longtime incumbent, Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-NY), who was set to take over for Pelosi, the 28 year-old millennial is now an overnight sensation in the Big Apple and across the country. Dems are lining up to congratulate her and to garner approval from Ocasio-Cortez. It’s embarrassing to watch. She also won the Reform Party nomination in New York’s 15th congressional district as a write-in candidate even though she didn’t run.
The young Latina is going to shake the DNC to its very core. She’s literally painting the party red as others follow her lead. Gubernatorial candidate, Cynthia Nixon, is now saying she’s a member of DSA. Julia Salazar is another DSAer looking to unseat Queens state Sen. Martin Dilan. But if you thought this was just wacky New York and California where this is a threat, you would be sadly and tragically mistaken. This is not hyperbole or fear mongering. This is a clear a present danger to our freedoms here in the U.S. Ocasio-Cortez’s victory may have been a shock, but it shouldn’t have been. DSA has been aggressively pushing candidates this year.
“The entire spectrum of House Democrats, party leadership, [campaign] leadership, is trying to assess what she wants to do and how ready she is to play ball,” said one Democratic source. They don’t get it… she’s not going to play ball. She’s going to reshape the party entirely. Dems are wondering “how does her coming to Washington change my plan, or even help my plan?” It lurches the party drastically to the left… permanently. Ocasio-Cortez is young, fresh and telegenic. She is the charismatic leader the left has waited for and many in the party are falling into line behind her. As Cynthia Nixon said, Nancy Pelosi has it dead wrong, socialism is ascendant in the Democratic Party.
Ocasio-Cortez may ruffle some socialist feathers as she arrives on the scene, but it’s all just nattering. The left by and far embraces communism and this is the next step for them. She plans to hit the campaign trail for at least three other Democratic candidates in primary races this year who are backed by Justice Democrats, a PAC that supports progressives. That includes Missouri congressional candidate Cori Bush, a former teacher, registered nurse and pastor who is vying to unseat longtime Democratic Rep. Lacy Clay. Ironic, since Clay is an old school Marxist.
It's time for a New York that works for all of us.
On June 26th, we can make it happen – but only if we have the #CourageToChange.
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@Ocasio2018) May 30, 2018
“We’re trying to take back the House, but it seems like they’re just trying to go after Democrats. It makes no sense,” said Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-NY), who vigorously defended Clay’s work on the Financial Services Committee. “I would hope that the new member coming in would … keep the eye on the prize.” She is, just not the prize Meeks is eyeing. Ocasio-Cortez just threw out the conventional Democratic playbook. She sees no point in it because it will just produce the same results they’ve had for the last decade. Time to get radical.
Rep. Peter Welch (D-VT) said Democrats should take a lesson from Crowley, who accepted his defeat by serenading Ocasio-Cortez with a version of “Born to Run.” Give me a freaking break. “If we’re smart we’ll welcome her with open arms,” said Welch. Not all Democrats will slip so easily into the new red, velvety fold of the DNC. Grudges will be held and quashed. Ocasio-Cortez was an acolyte of Bernie Sanders and his minions are now ascendant in the party. I don’t think there is any stopping them at this point.
“She’s going to be a rock star and a huge progressive force the first day she arrives,” said Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA), a Bay Area liberal who endorsed both Ocasio-Cortez and Crowley in the primary. Ocasio-Cortez will have enormous political firepower when she gets to Congress. She has nearly 700,000 Twitter followers. And most importantly, in the truest communist way, she is adept at propaganda. That is what won her race despite being outspent eighteen times over. After her victory, her team said it was dealing with 1,000 media requests and she quickly made the rounds not only on the news shows, but in interviews on “The Late Show” with Stephen Colbert. The leftist media is smitten with her.
Lawmakers, who are very aware of the clout she may yield, have already begun reaching out to ask which caucuses she wants to join, whether she has leadership ambitions and what some of her broad ideas and goals might be. Ocasio-Cortez has no shortage of politicos who want to work with the rising red star as she contemplates her path in Congress. “I’ve already had many of my colleagues asking to reach out to her,” Khanna said. “Members of Congress aren’t fighting over her, but they’re very, very excited about the prospect of her joining a caucus and want the opportunity to work with her.” Who is he kidding? They are tripping over themselves as if she’s a goddess.
Shockingly – and I’m told this is not a joke – we have ALSO won a primary in the neighboring 15th Congressional District via write-in campaign on the Reform line!
While I am honored that so many Bronxites are excited about our campaign, I will remain the Dem nominee for NY-14. https://t.co/edidvU5sOr
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@Ocasio2018) July 11, 2018
If you want proof of the left’s crush on Ocasio-Cortez, look no further than the Washington Post:
Running on bold progressive policies, including Medicare for all, Ocasio-Cortez and Jealous, former president of the NAACP, both soundly defeated opponents backed by the party establishment. Ocasio-Cortez’s victory was particularly stunning. Most insiders didn’t view the 28-year-old democratic socialist — who had worked as a bartender prior to her campaign — as a serious threat to Rep. Joseph Crowley, a 10-term incumbent who outspent her 18-to-1. Nonetheless, Ocasio-Cortez spent months knocking on doors in Queens and the Bronx with a platform that includes tuition-free college, a federal jobs guarantee, a green New Deal, abolishing Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and an unapologetic rejection of the military-industrial complex. She won by 15 percentage points.
Ocasio-Cortez’s emergence is a huge story — one the Trump-obsessed media establishment largely missed. Outside of outlets on the progressive left such as the Intercept and the Nation, most mainstream news coverage ignored or dismissed Ocasio-Cortez until voters in her district forced them to pay attention.
Yet many media outlets still refuse to learn from their mistakes: Since the election, many pundits have misinterpreted her unlikely victory, chalking it up to local demographics, or sensationalizing her embrace of socialism without seriously considering her policy views. A cold-eyed look at the race shows clearly that Ocasio-Cortez didn’t simply ride demographic trends to victory. Rather, she connected with voters across racial and gender lines by running a grass-roots campaign that revolved around the challenges working people face. As Ocasio-Cortez put it, “We beat a machine with a movement.”
Critically, that movement was built on ideas, not just identity. Despite the persistent debate over the value of “identity politics,” Ocasio-Cortez understands that economic and racial justice are fundamentally intertwined. “I can’t name a single issue with roots in race that doesn’t have economic implications, and I cannot think of a single economic issue that doesn’t have racial implications,” she recently told the Nation. “The idea that we have to separate them out and choose one is a con.”
It’s a seductive siren call to the deadly politics of communism and Ocasio-Cortez is the new communist face of millennials out there. While some establishment Democrats may balk at the sharp turn left by the DNC, most are thrilled by the truthiness of it all. If we don’t contain illegal immigrants and illegal voting, Ocasio-Cortez and the agenda of the DSA stand a good chance of sweeping through the nation like a horrific firestorm. This is why electing conservatives and keeping President Trump in office is so very important. The Cult of Personality is rising on the left. As Ocasio-Cortez put it, “strong, clear advocacy for working-class Americans isn’t just for the Bronx.”
WaPo also stated, “That’s the kind of advocacy that progressive insurgents are taking to voters nationwide. Along with Jealous, gubernatorial candidates Stacey Abrams and Cynthia Nixon are shaking up races in Georgia and New York. Congressional candidates such as Ilhan Omar in Minnesota, Ayanna Pressley in Massachusetts and Cori Bush in Missouri are among those hoping to join Ocasio-Cortez and Kara Eastman, who defeated a conservative Democrat in Nebraska. Added to this is an exciting crop of state-level candidates that includes Julia Salazar (New York) and Emily Sirota (Colorado). Bolstered by grass-roots groups, these candidates are finding new and creative ways to spread their progressive message.” And there are many more out there.
Ocasio-Cortez speaks of “economic dignity” while stating clearly that “no person in America should be too poor to live.” It is the clarion call of the DSA and communists rising up in America. Ocasio-Cortez said, “There’s nothing radical about moral clarity in 2018.” But she has a different definition for ‘morality’ than most Americans do. One that we dare not ignore. Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez quickly aligned himself with the former political outsider, saying on a radio show that “she represents the future of our party.” And there it is… the truth, albeit fleeting, from the Democrats.