If you read only one thing today, let it be Grace Marie Turner's brilliant take on Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez as the all-American socialist.
Ocasio-Cortez has gone from bartender to international political star overnight. She is ill-informed about government (she thought, as Turner recalls, she would come to Washington to be "inaugurated" and then begin signing bills), and her policy proposals would impoverish us.
Yet AOC, her nickname, is almost as famous right now as JFK. She is admired and millions agree with her radical ideas. Only in America, as Cindy Adams might say. "Land of opportunity, indeed," says Turner.
And yet, despite her meteoric rise, Ocasio Cortez has little respect for the system that made her possible:
The tragedy is that Ms. Ocasio-Cortez has little regard for the system that made it possible for her to be elected to Congress, gain extraordinary influence, have access to millions of dollars to pay staff (at a “living wage” of at least $52,000 a year, so generous is she with taxpayer money), and now with a standard of living far above what her old job could have provided.
She leads a generation of young people to take pride in their ignorance—of the laws of nature, of history, of the Constitution, of the eternal battle for freedom—and still succeed.
Perhaps her role in killing 25,000 Amazon jobs in New York will wake people up, or maybe it’ll be the hubris of her recent tweet: “If you don’t like the #GreenNewDeal, then come up with your own ambitious, on-scale proposal to address the global climate crisis. Until then, we’re in charge—and you’re just shouting from the cheap seats.”
Ah, democracy! Ms. Ocasio-Cortez has soared because of the freedom and prosperity her policies would destroy. Our attention to her fuels her celebrity and therefore her ideas. Time to get over our fascination and move on.
Turner doesn't mention one Ocasio-Cortez conundrum: the flip, 29-year-old sage has suggested that having children might not be such a good idea:
“Our planet is going to face disaster if we don’t turn this ship around,” she said, as she chopped sweet potatoes. “And so it’s basically like, there is a scientific consensus that the lives of children are going to be very difficult and it does lead, I think young people, to have a legitimate question. Ya know, should—is it okay to still have children?”
If millions of young people take their cue from Ocasio-Cortez and do not have children, who is going to pay for her programs?
Politicians are always saying that we're saddling our "children and grandchildren" with debt.
What if there aren't enough of these children and grandchildren?
Who's gonna pay?
It's worth asking.