Last year, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was a 29-year-old bartender. Today she’s a political phenom in Congress and one of the leading voices of the socialist wing of today’s embattled national Democrat Party. Republicans have surprisingly done well at leveraging ‘AOC’ with her almost daily rants on social media and in the press to showcase the far-left takeover of the party of Kennedy and Clinton.
Conservatives and Republicans react to Cortez’s opinions about policy with a giddiness that is rare among an often measured and defensive GOP.
There is a political opportunity here to be sure, but there is also a trap for Republicans. Too much focus on AOC could turn her into little more than a smokescreen for a Democrat Party that is far more in line with her views than they may want to admit.
For Republicans, the opportunity isn’t about AOC. The congresswoman is quickly becoming something along the lines of a cartoon character. Prominent establishment Democrats such as Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Illinois Senator Dick Durbin have publicly distanced themselves from her policy positions. The Green New Deal, 70 percent tax rates and discussion of the world coming to an end in the next decade have all won her headlines but are decreasing her credibility.
Ocasio-Cortez’s recent alleged ‘victory’ in killing billions in investment and thousands of jobs in New York from Amazon is also causing Democrats heartburn. At this rate, arguably, a scenario could play out that sees her go from phenomenon to pariah within a few months.
Make no mistake, her colleagues would be happy to sacrifice her public credibility for the sake of advancing the ruse that moderates are actually in control of the Democrat establishment.
What Republicans should be doing is redefining the Democrat Party as a whole as the party of socialism – a governing philosophy that is not compatible with American life. And they should do this by more broadly attaching that moniker to more Democrats than just AOC, Bernie Sanders and Senator Elizabeth Warren.
The command and control that is central to socialism have become more mainstream within the Democrat Party since the Obama years.
Now is the time to look at the policy statements of numerous establishment Democrats, tying them to a system of government that aspires to infringe on even the most basic freedoms upon which this nation was built.
Today, the party is embracing the secular, socialist fringe that is dismissive of immigration laws, openly hostile to religion and religious freedom, and embracing late-term abortion and suicide rights,
With one-third of millennials self-identifying as socialists and the far left holding the megaphone in the 2020 primary fight, the socialist movement is gaining steam. Republicans shouldn’t be afraid to call out this extremism at every turn. The president has started this process, but it must be a consistent, sustained and unified effort among all Republicans.
One need only read the news to see how extreme the Democrat establishment has become. After years of running away from more taxation and bigger government, many senators, governors, mayors, members of Congress, and state legislators are now seeing these as essential components of our collective future.
The Democrat Party in America favored tax cuts during the Kennedy and Reagan years. The 1986 tax cuts were passed in the House by a voice vote, meaning virtually every member of the Democrat majority favored them. During the Clinton years, Democrats cheered when a president of their own party declared that the “era of big government was over.”
Today, the party is embracing the secular, socialist fringe that is dismissive of immigration laws, openly hostile to religion and religious freedom, embracing late-term abortion and suicide rights, and willing to ignore the impacts of drugs on minority communities as they blindly advocate commercialization.
They want gun registries, reparations for slavery, an end to private health insurance and environmental regulations that would blunt a growing economy. They have embraced a culture that drives racial division, supports income redistribution and encourages a victim culture. They sit on their hands when the president talks about wage growth, the free market, historically-low minority unemployment, and not surprisingly, how this country will fight against socialism.
With their friends in the liberal press helping them at virtually every turn, Democrats have long been successful at defining Republicans as paradoxically either redneck, Bible-thumping, xenophobic morons or the guy from Monopoly.
Now it’s time for Republicans and conservatives to recast the Democrat Party for who and what it has become – but it will require more than just lambasting AOC on Twitter.