Democrats Need to Support Alexandra Ocasio-Ortiz or Be Quiet While She Leads the Way

Article by Guest Editor Alexandra Shiels

Alexandria_Ocasio-Cortez_during_an_interview_with_Julia_Cumming_at_an__Anger_Can_Be_Power__Event_(cropped)

[IMAGE: Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez during interview, looking leftward to camera and determined.

“Her policies are so far from the mainstream, her election in November would make it harder for Congress to stop fighting and start fixing problems.”

“Meteors fizz out.”

“If we as a Democratic Party are going to move from a minority at every level that is dedicated to resistance, to a majority that is capable of governing, we have got to move from grievance to optimism…and we’ve got to abandon a politics of anxiety that is characterized by wild-eyed proposals and instead deliver ideas and practical solutions.”

 

These cutting remarks aimed at Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez (quoted from Joe Liberman, Alcee Hastings, and Chris Coons, respectively) aren’t being slung from Republicans, but from her fellow Democrats.

Ocasio-Cortez historic win, combined with her youth and outspokenness should galvanize the Democratic party or at the very least, not be met with this kind of insider sniping.  Ocasio’s bio is the stuff of American dreams. She was born in the Bronx and still lives there in a modest one-bedroom. She comes from a Puerto Rican family who sacrificed everything for their daughter’s education.

And she produced a soulful, viral campaign video which led to her Democratic primary win in New York’s 14th congressional district in June 2018. This win showed us that voters (not just liberal ones) are ready for politicians who don’t just speak in stale talking points who never had to work a job in retail or the service industry (like Ocasio-Cortez). Her working-class background combined with her fear in calling out corporatism is what we need if we want our party to represent (and perceived as) champions of the working class again.

Her platform is in-line with what many of us believed in: single-payer health care, equal rights for women, POC, gay, and trans people, justice system, immigration, and campaign finance reform. She’s even pushing for a New Green Deal to combat climate change.

Ocasio-Ortiz has electrified the Democratic party. Like her or not, she’s pushing out ideas and a platform that mainstream Democrats are too afraid or unwilling to vocal about. By pushing our party out of its complacency, she’s doing her job. If we consider ourselves the party of progress, we must be less resistant to those who challenge us to change.

Trump’s approval rating in the GOP is 89%. I’ve seen many Democrats say that he has high support because the GOP is shrinking. What polls do they use to support their claim?

Carter Moore

Carter Moore, Degree in Political Science, former Congressional aide and Federal employee

The most common one cited (because of its longevity and consistency) is Gallup’s party affiliation survey:

Source: Trump owns a shrinking Republican party (Brookings)

But when you take those self-described Independents’ partisan preferences into account, you don’t see a really major shift.

Related reading: Gabriel Guzman‘s answer to Independents are now the largest political bloc at 44%. How will this affect the short and long term future of the Democratic and Republican parties?

However, what Democrats and political forecasters are really looking at when saying that the Republican Party is “shrinking” are the demographics of the parties’ composition.

The Republican Party has a lock on rural, white-majority working class areas and older voters generally, but the long-term prospects of those electorates aren’t great. America is diversifying, becoming more educated, ever-moving into cities and suburbs, and the older, conservative generations will be replaced by liberal ones.

Now, prognosticators erred in thinking that these forces were going to come together in 2016 (eg, “The Old White Man’s Last Hurrah (TIME, 2016)”); but unless there’s a significant demographic realignment in the parties – and in the Republican Party specifically – they’re not wrong. (They were also caught off-guard by a reversal in minority voter turnout in 2016).

So even if you can kinda-sorta point to long-term measures of voter identification, it’s not really any particular poll that Democrats and others cite to say that the Republican Party is shrinking, but long-term demographic trends on top of their voting behavior.

Another Fox Host rejects the Trump Kool-aid

What’s happening at Fox?– Blogger question– fls

Trump Tweets: they’re good for what Ailes you, right Roger?

First there was Shepard Smith. Then there was Neil Cavuto.  Now there is this …

Fox News Host Says Donald Trump is to Blame for Robert Mueller’s Russia Investigation

by Alexandra Hutzler, Newsweek — 9/1/18

[…]

But Fox News host Chris Wallace points out that the recusal of Sessions is not the reason for Mueller’s special counsel investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.

“Remember though, that the recusal of Sessions did not lead to the special counselit was the firing of Comey, of James Comey the FBI Director that lead to the appointment of the special counsel,” Wallace said in a segment on Fox News on Friday.

The only person the president can blame for that is himself,” Wallace added.

[…]

What in the world is going on over there in Fox-news-land?

A different editorial policy, that they must tell the Truth at least once per day?

A dose of reality, in the form of real world convictions, that has burst the ‘Witch Hunt’ bubble?

Or is it a dawning awakening, that eventually there will be a political world without Trump, and some there may need a bit more than “Trump Cheerleader” on their Resumes?

— — —

Or it could just be that old truism:  Even a broken clock is right — twice a day.

At those rare moments when “alternative facts” and “reality” converge.

BrokenClocks.jpg
Tic Tock, Fox.  Oh wait that’s for Clocks that actually tell the Time …

See this breathtaking photo from earlier today? from Giffords ‘COURAGE TO FIGHT GUN VIOLENCE’

Progressive Future blogger f.l. shiels:

This is from a worthy political action committee who may be over-interpreting, but what the hell. The symbolism here is obvious and quite powerful. The may be legitimate reasons why Justice “hopeful” Kavanaugh refused to shale the hand of a Parkland teen shooting “survivor Parent”, but I sure can see them and will be anxious to see if this makes the mainstream media.

 

Giffords

frederick –

See this breathtaking photo from earlier today? It’s the father of a young girl killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida trying to shake Brett Kavanaugh’s hand at his Supreme Court confirmation hearing.


* Photo credit: Andrew Harnik, Associated Press

Sadly, Kavanaugh ignored him, buttoned his suit coat, and was ushered away.

The truth is, Brett Kavanaugh is a Second Amendment radical. He believes that limiting access to the weapon that killed 17 people in Parkland, Florida is the same thing as limiting free speech.

We have to stop him. His confirmation threatens strong gun laws already passed in states like Connecticut, and it would threaten any gun safety legislation passed in the future by the next Congress.

Conservative columnist Bret Stephens calls for impeachment—Trump clearly guilty of high crimes

FLS Blogger– This raises an interesting question, even if Trump seems to fit Mark Twain’s famous quip, “The rumors of my demise are greatly exaggerated.” That is this: with the blizzard of corruption, bone-headed comments on social media, an exodus of advisors from his shop, what is it going to take to bring this walking nightmare to an end?,

What would that look like?. I predict it’s going to come, but the tantalizing question is: how–when?

Composite image of Paul Manafort, Donald Trump, and Michael Cohen

After today’s convictions of Manafort and Cohen, Bret Stephens, a conservative columnist for the New York Times, is calling for Donald Trump’s impeachment. Stephens says, via Twitter, that Trump is guilty of “high crimes and misdemeanors.”

Bret Stephens

@BretStephensNYT

I’ve been skeptical about the wisdom and merit of impeachment. Cohen’s guilty plea changes that. The president is clearly guilty of high crimes and misdemeanors. He should resign his office or be impeached and removed from office.

Reuters Top News

@Reuters

UPDATE: Government’s charges against Cohen contain ‘no allegation of any wrongdoing against the president’ – Trump attorney Giuliani https://reut.rs/2wfbt55 

If Trump’s lost a self-described conservative who’s “skeptical” of impeachment, like Stephens, you know the convictions of Manafort and Cohen are the real deal.

Republican silence after these verdicts is proof enough of their complicity. It’s likely that many conservatives, like Stephens, are going to switch here at the end and declare themselves defenders of our democracy now. Ha! Some Republicans will try to revise their history defending this White House, because of the mid-term elections.

Never forget Republicans were and are complicit in enabling Donald Trump.

 

Mike Pence had very clear feelings about adultery in this video, said president should resign

MikePenceRadio.jpg

A younger, only 85 percent full of shit Mike Pence.

When asked about Donald Trump’s “alleged” affair with adult entertainer Stormy Daniels, Mike Pence called the mountain of evidence “baseless allegations.” Oh well, I’m sure that the Christian crusader has always been so consistent. A nice video reminder has been floating around the interwebs today. In it we get to see a younger Mike Pence, when he was just a local Indiana radio host. Back in the 1990s, Pence made quite a few statements and wrote quite a few columns about then President Bill Clinton and the Monica Lewinsky affair and impeachment. There’s a video of Pence on his “Mike Pence Show,” in May of 1997, explaining how the Ten Commandments are not negotiable.

I, for one, believe that the Seventh Commandment contained in the Ten Commandments is still a big deal. It’s the most important promise you’ll ever make. And holding people accountable to those promises and holding people accountable to respecting the promises that other people make to me. What what could possibly be a bigger deal than that in this country?

Just in case you didn’t know, the Seventh Commandment is the “Thou shall not commit adultery,” one. In other writings, Pence had more Christianity to impart on his fellow Hoosiers.

“If our leaders flinch at this responsibility, they would do well to heed the Proverb ‘if a ruler listens to lies, all his officials become wicked,'” he added. “Our leaders must either act to restore the luster and dignity of the institution of the Presidency or we can be certain that this is only the beginning of an even more difficult time for our land. For the nation to move on, the President must move out.”

And another.

Backpedaling Trump Claims Eldest Son Would Probably Be Fine Doing 5 To 10 Years In Prison

SOME COMIC RELIEF DIRECTLY FROM THE ONION

WASHINGTON—In a stark reversal of past statements on the Trump Tower meeting, President Trump acknowledged Monday that he believed his eldest son would most likely be fine doing five to 10 years in a federal prison. “Despite reports that I’m concerned about my wonderful son being sent to jail, I actually think there wouldn’t be much harm at all if he was imprisoned for a decade or so,” said the president, directly contradicting previous reports that he had expressed worry to aides about his son facing legal repercussions for meeting with Russian agents by noting that Donald Jr. was a “resilient kid” who could easily weather a stint in a federal penitentiary until 2025. “Look, my son is young, he’s got a good head on his shoulders—I bet he’d do absolutely fantastic behind bars. Frankly, I’ve just got no problem with him getting locked up in a cell until he’s around 50. And, honestly, any news story telling you otherwise is a complete fabrication.” Trump also dismissed claims that he had any qualms about never seeing Jared Kushner again if his senior advisor were to receive a life sentence for treason.

A FEW QUESTIONS ON THE PROVOCATIVE CHILDREN PIECE BELOW

The previous article by guest editor Alexandra Shiels provides a no holds barred analysis of some of the hypocrisies in Americans’ vaunted self-image of being a Children First society. She also hints at solutions. I have a few more specific questions. Please go to the bottom of this reprint of her piece to see my questions.~ F. Shiels, Progressive Future blogger.

HOW MUCH DOES AMERICA REALLY CARE ABOUT ITS CHILDREN?

AMERICAN CHILDREN

Article by Guest Editor Alexandra Shiels (see below after her article); comments will follow

 

It’s time to face a harsh truth, America: We’re all talk and no action when it comes to caring about kids.

Did we care about children when we forced 2 million school-aged children to work 50 to 70 hours a week in dangerous mills and factories in 1810 and ironically it took the Great Depression to get our country to give a fuck and end child labor nationwide?

Instead of focusing on our broken foster care system or the 13.1 million children go hungry every night or that 1 in 10 children will be sexually abused before their 18th birthday or the five children die every day from abuse and neglect, we choose to force motherhood on American women by passing draconian abortion laws. If you are pro-life, and narrowly focusing on abortion rather than foster care and education reform, your philosophy is empty and you are morally bankrupt.

Where was the care for children when Tamir Rice was killed by police or when Trayvon Martin was shot by “neighborhood watchman,” George Zimmerman (even after being told by the 911 dispatcher that “he didn’t have to follow [Martin]”). No tears for Aylan Kurdi, a 3-year-old Syrian boy washed up dead on a Turkish beach, one of the 2.8 million children who have been displaced from their homes because of the Syrian War. Our response to seeing images of Syrian children covered in ash and blood? “Not our country, not our problem.” But you know, #AllLivesMatter

How can we say we love our children when our Congress didn’t pass comprehensive gun reform after 20 children (between the ages of six and seven years old) were gunned down with a Bushmaster Model XM-15 E2s rifle by a mentally ill 20-year-old man in Newtown, CT.

A society that cares about family values wouldn’t have elected Donald Trump, who has denied payment to the young performers at his own election rally and who elected the offensively unqualified Betsy DeVos to be Secretary of Education. DeVos, who believes 90% of rape survivors are lying and whose ablest policies mean the least accessible buildings and humane treatment for our disabled youth. We force teachers to buy their own classroom supplies, pay them meager wages, and prioritize the appearance of efficiency rather than actual learning. Despite all evidence to the contrary, we force all children to learn the same things in the same way, rather than focusing on each child’s strengths, thus guiding them towards the right path for them, instead of the path we think they should be on.

Pro-life? Then you need to be all in. It’s easy to be anti-abortion, but harder to do the work to change a system that exploits and leaves so many children unprotected. If you are pro-life, then:

  • I want you passing out condoms and educating everyone old enough to have sex about sex, which doesn’t mean abstinence-only. It means teaching boys and girls about reproductive health and connecting self-respect with their choice of sexual partners
  • Repair our broken foster care system by becoming case workers or foster the abandoned, abused, and neglected children that are here, hurting, and waiting for you to be their life champions
  • Support affordable, educational parenting classes, especially for low-income families
  • Care about all children, not just your own, and not just white ones. Ask yourself why black children are routinely seen as threats (ahem, Tamir Rice) while white college-aged males who rape (ahem, Brock Turner) are misguided scamps whose promising sports career shouldn’t be ruined because of a small mistake like raping a girl behind a dumpster. Why don’t pictures of small Syrian children like Omran Daqneesh covered in blood and ash should inspire you to implore “let them in!” rather than “keep them out!?”May our love for our children be so powerful that we inspire each generation to be more empathetic than the one before it. If we truly believe that life is sacred, there is absolutely no excuse for a country as wealthy as this one to not provide children with automatic access to affordable health care, education, food, and clothing.  If we truly care about children, act now. Build them a better world. Devotion above profit. Broken children become broken adults.

Otherwise, admit that we don’t and never have cared about children.

 

A Few Bulleted Items

  • Child labor and exploitation was a problem in 1810 in the U.S. and just being phased out as a problem in 1910. At least 90 extra years of abuse here.

      *         Ideally those who favor anti-abortion laws should come up with the funds to       place each unplanned child whose parent(s) cannot see the possibility of taking care of that child into an adoptive home and provide funds for the child’s upbringing, healthcare, etc. To Age 21… Any other solution is rank hypocrisy. Your move “Pro-Life People” kindly put up or SHUT up

* Unfortunately, the people who looked the other way as the sent in their NRA dues after the Sandy Hook massacre have a hard-wired disconnect between the arsenal of Civilian Guns USA and what happened in Connecticut and about 180 times since then (these just the Mass shootings, not the little 5-6 people incidents).

So they can take their semi-automatics to a firing range or sell them to some teenager for backyard target practice, it is important to realize that the obscene abundance of guns in this country has nothing to do with the towering murder, manslaughter, and mass-shooting ratings… Those are all about mental illness and poor policing for these folks. We are talking about two separate mental universes housed in one country (or 3 or 4).

More questions for our readers, From our readers, and for Co-Editor Alexandra will follow.

 

 

 

 

 

HOW MUCH DOES AMERICA REALLY CARE ABOUT ITS CHILDREN?

AMERICAN CHILDREN

Article by Guest Editor Alexandra Shiels (see below after her article)

 

It’s time to face a harsh truth, America: We’re all talk and no action when it comes to caring about kids.

Did we care about children when we forced 2 million school-aged children to work 50 to 70 hours a week in dangerous mills and factories in 1810 and ironically it took the Great Depression to get our country to give a fuck and end child labor nationwide?

Instead of focusing on our broken foster care system or the 13.1 million children go hungry every night or that 1 in 10 children will be sexually abused before their 18th birthday or the five children die every day from abuse and neglect, we choose to force motherhood on American women by passing draconian abortion laws. If you are pro-life, and narrowly focusing on abortion rather than foster care and education reform, your philosophy is empty and you are morally bankrupt.

Where was the care for children when Tamir Rice was killed by police or when Trayvon Martin was shot by “neighborhood watchman,” George Zimmerman (even after being told by the 911 dispatcher that “he didn’t have to follow [Martin]”). No fucks for Aylan Kurdi, a 3-year-old Syrian boy washed up dead on a Turkish beach, one of the 2.8 million children who have been displaced from their homes because of the Syrian War. Our response to seeing images of Syrian children covered in ash and blood? “Not our country, not our problem.” But you know, #AllLivesMatter

How can we say we love our children when our Congress didn’t pass comprehensive gun reform after 20 children (between the ages of six and seven years old) were gunned down with a Bushmaster Model XM-15 E2s rifle by a mentally ill 20-year-old man in Newtown, CT.

A society that cares about family values wouldn’t have elected Donald Trump, who has denied payment to the young performers at his own election rally and who elected the offensively unqualified Betsy DeVos to be Secretary of Education. DeVos, who believes 90% of rape survivors are lying and whose ablest policies mean the least accessible buildings and humane treatment for our disabled youth. We force teachers to buy their own classroom supplies, pay them meager wages, and prioritize the appearance of efficiency rather than actual learning. Despite all evidence to the contrary, we force all children to learn the same things in the same way, rather than focusing on each child’s strengths, thus guiding them towards the right path for them, instead of the path we think they should be on.

Pro-life? Then you need to be all in. It’s easy to be anti-abortion, but harder to do the work to change a system that exploits and leaves so many children unprotected. If you are pro-life, then:

  • I want you passing out condoms and educating everyone old enough to have sex about sex, which doesn’t mean abstinence-only. It means teaching boys and girls about reproductive health and connecting self-respect with their choice of sexual partners
  • Repair our broken foster care system by becoming case workers or foster the abandoned, abused, and neglected children that are here, hurting, and waiting for you to be their life champions
  • Support affordable, educational parenting classes, especially for low-income families
  • Care about all children, not just your own, and not just white ones. Ask yourself why black children are routinely seen as threats (ahem, Tamir Rice) while white college-aged males who rape (ahem, Brock Turner) are misguided scamps whose promising sports career shouldn’t be ruined because of a small mistake like raping a girl behind a dumpster. Why don’t pictures of small Syrian children like Omran Daqneesh covered in blood and ash should inspire you to implore “let them in!” rather than “keep them out!?”May our love for our children be so powerful that we inspire each generation to be more empathetic than the one before it. If we truly believe that life is sacred, there is absolutely no excuse for a country as wealthy as this one to not provide children with automatic access to affordable health care, education, food, and clothing.  If we truly care about children, act now. Build them a better world. Devotion above profit. Broken children become broken adults.

Otherwise, admit that we don’t and never have cared about children.

 

 

 

LEXI2

 

Alexandra Shiels is a native New Yorker currently living in Austin, TX. By day, she works as a marketer for an insurance consulting company, by night she is a freelance writer, taking on such topics as politics, race, feminism, immigration, and mental health awareness.

When she’s not writing, Alexandra can be found swimming, hiking, and traveling. She has visited over a dozen countries and hopes to explore the islands of the Pacific Rim one day. She lived for a year in Brazil, 1999-2000 sponsored by a Rotary Scholarship

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