By Spencer Kellogg | @Spencer_Kellogg
She’s not rich. That’s the worst they have on her. She’s a free woman who doesn’t think as they do. That’s what scares them the most. She was born of a distinctively new world. She is fierce, full of fire and appears never to lie. She is not Nancy Pelosi or Chuck Schumer. She isn’t living deep in the rotting corpse of hypocrisy. She is a believer. Of all the members of Congress, she seems most likely to end the wars.
She hopes to save the planet too. In her short membership in Congress, she has shown the backbone to stand up for her kooky brand of progressivism by writing legislation that echoes the sentiments of the voters who put her in office instead of the lobbyists pulling at her borrowed coat. We could use a lot more of that. In these ways, she is my kind of Democrat.
Cortez has become the unbearable itch in the side of conservatives and libertarians alike. She has captured the media spotlight and the debate over her membership in our legislative house will surely continue in earnest. They poke fun at her with memes that laugh at her wacky disposition and question her economic literacy. The National Review went as far as to label her the ‘progressive Sarah Palin.‘ She hasn’t been in office for more than a month and already a large portion of the American media and the American public have deemed her unsavory for political office. Luckily, it is the voters of a precinct who decide their representation, not the prescriptive highway of social media and digital press.
Candace Owens, the face of errant black republicanism, has been the most recent know-nothing pundit to slam Cortez for her struggle to maintain two homes in two of America’s most expensive cities. Owen’s potshots are not based on merit but in an eagerness to move the spotlight, however faintly, into her direction. Here’s a newsflash for all those eager to criticize Cortez for being an average, run of the mill, lower middle class American: most of us are in the same boat.
I moved to Washington D.C. this past fall for an internship with the Cato Institute. I learned first hand just how difficult it is to find a suitable rental at a price that wasn’t wallet gouging. As a millennial, the idea of maintaining an apartment in DC and another city seems totally unfeasible and nearly impossible. On top of student loan payments and stagnating wages, it’s become a necessity to be rich if you want to represent your district in Washington. That’s not right. When I heard that Cortez was having trouble affording a place in DC, I couldn’t help but think that was a good thing.
The disconnect between average Americans and the plutocrats who govern them is wider than ever. Personally, I’m happy to hear about the struggles of a young Congresswoman to find housing in DC because it mirrors my own struggles. While most politicians are bar hopping U Street with lobbyists in tow, Cortez faces the same type of economic situation as me and many of my peers. Oh, and by the way, Cortez has signed onto legislation that would make DC a state.
She has made glaring mistakes that expose her youth and lack of intellect. She incorrectly suggested that the Defense Budget rose $700 billion (when it actually rose only $30 billion) and also mixed up the three branches of government in an embarrassing video chat last month. Even with these humiliating oversights and even if she sits firmly to the left of my ideological interests, I still consider her my ally.
On Marijuana, for instance, Cortez has been more than willing to work with Republican counterparts to push forward legislation to legalize the recreational substance. In other ways, we couldn’t be further apart. Recently, she proposed a “Green New Deal” that would be financed by a 70% tax rate for those making more than $10 million a year. I find this plan as egregious and dangerous as many of the uninformed rebuttals it has spurred.
Representative government shouldn’t be about making monsters out of average people. Cortez is not a monster. She dances and she struggles with rent and she wants to see a better world for those that sit outside the comforting walls of white patriarchy. Given the rapidly changing demographics of the United States, these are commendable traits.
Though it may be true that Cortez represents ideas that have failed across the developed world, we also must recognize the reason why she has galvanized a voter base; there is a very real disconnect between those who govern and those who struggle. The people of America and the great western societies are rejecting their moderate representatives for more biased and engaging figures who are willing to propose solutions to the problems we all face. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is the inevitable backlash from years of whitewashed politicians placating their own beltway interests.
For now, and with reservation, she is my kind of Democrat.
71 Republic is the Third Voice in media. We pride ourselves on distinctively independent journalism and editorials. Every dollar you give helps us grow our mission of providing reliable coverage. Please consider donating to our Patreon, which you can find here. Thank you very much for your support!