The Republicans, of course, will not calm down about “socialism.” They will see it as the end of life itself, an evil so devious and pestilent that they dare not be alone in a room with it. Since her surprise, upset victory in the New York Democratic primaries, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who herself seemed shocked at the election result, has been making the rounds of TV and other interviews. Journalists, real and cable phonies, have been trying to figure out what she believes and, at least on the Republican side of the ledger, trying to make her look bad.
Ocasio-Cortez has indeed made some gaffes in a few interviews mistaking the total military budget figure for the increase in military funding. Judging by the reaction on the right, you would think she was the first political figure to do this and that the mistakes were likely to disturb Earth’s orbit with their gravity.
There is a pattern in these attacks. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/08/24/us/politics/women-harassment-elections.html And Ocasio-Cortez is not the only target. https://nyti.ms/2MPLz26 There appears to be a deep-seated and widespread fear among some men that women are, once again, stepping out of line by engaging in actions these bozos believe should be an entitlement reserved for men. This is partly a failure among men to understand biology and evolution. The rest is probably cultural. In any case, candidates like Ocasio-Cortez are not intimidated and may even be stimulated to more aggressive role seeking as a result of the attacks. https://bit.ly/2wMzoZZ
Whatever the root causes for such antediluvian attitudes, they will almost certainly fail to restore the male sense of entitled dominance. If manly status depends on subordination of females rather than earned merit, it is bound to lose the competition in the long run.
The hysteria about Ocasio-Cortez also reflects a basic failure to understand how Washington works. It is easy to adopt cute words and phrases like “drain the swamp” and to use “bureaucrat” with negative connotation. And, of course, Ocasio-Cortez is a “socialist!” OMG, a socialist in our midst. Run for your lives.
No doubt, Ocasio-Cortez’ agenda contains some “radical” ideas. But, so what? She’s not advocating the violent overthrow of the government. And, this being my main point, no one in the Washington power structure can be effective with any agenda without the active collaboration/cooperation/acceptance of many others. That lesson is one that Donald Trump has an impossible time learning and it explains in part why he has failed to achieve almost all of his “agenda.”
Ocasio-Cortez most likely already understands the challenges of promoting legislation at the “edge” of accepted practice. In addition to being female and non-white, both among the reasons for the backlash, she is intelligent and articulate. Harboring illusions about the ease of promoting edgy ideas like health care for everyone seems at odds with her when viewed as a complete person.
Finally, if her ideas are so crazy, disruptive, unthinkably insane, unworkable, why are so many people afraid they will gain traction? Glenn Beck, who, amazingly, seems to still have credibility with some people, called Ocasio-Cortez’s political ideas “diet Communism.” https://bit.ly/2LLiZiC If so, she is doing nothing to conceal them, so the fear of the “enemy within” is more than a little exaggerated. If people like Beck really do, as they claim, believe in democracy, they should be willing to abide the presence of “socialism” in the marketplace of ideas and let the people decide how much of it they want.
A couple of thoughtful articles that are worth reading about socialism in 2018 are “The New Socialist” by Corey Robin, professor of political science at Brooklyn College and the City University of New York Graduate Center, https://nyti.ms/2o9KnIK; “The Millennial Socialists Are Coming,” by Michelle Goldberg, https://nyti.ms/2tU4ey7; and “It’s not just New Deal liberalism,” by Meagan Day, https://bit.ly/2LLiZiC
Rather than closing our minds in fear of “socialism,” we should be open to new ideas about the role of government, the role of the people and the ways our system of government might be improved for all the people rather than just the entitled few at the top of the social/economic tower.