It’s August 2020, AOC Is Not The Problem Democrats
I have criticized AOC where I have felt she was wrong including in her criticism of Hillary Clinton and her campaign, the shuttling of Amazon from Queens, her definition of unemployment and understanding of other economic minutiae, and finally her ignorance of the misogyny and racism of many of her following in the Bernie sect, and how she benefitted from it. All of that is true.
With that being said, criticism of her right now, in July 2020, for her response to Ted Yoho’s misogyny, makes absolutely no sense. Not only are we in a moment where sexism and racism are being challenged at all levels, her condemnation has proven to be effective as the outgoing Congressman has been forced off of the board of the Christian Organization, Bread of the World.
While disagreeing with her on politics and policy, I have no personal animus towards her. It seems like many do. If you don’t like AOC, here are the ways to stop AOC:
- Vote her out
- Neutralize her to the point where she can actually become an asset
- Ridicule and chastise her about things she’s done in the past that her fanbase likes, and apolitical people attracted to her do not care about.
A was ruled out as she won her reelection by 50 points with 73 percent of the vote. B is what Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi, Kamala Harris, Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren, Beto O’Rourke, James Carville, and Neera Tanden have done. C is what I’m seeing an awful lot of Democrats do online.
C undercuts B and empowers her base in the friction against supporters of the aims of the people currently adopting plan B. Criticizing AOC, right now, in July 2020, in the midst of condemning the sexism of Ted Yoho, only hurts Democrats and is actually counterproductive to the very cause of the people who don’t want to see her succeed.
Again, I have been on the record opposing Bernie Sanders as the Democratic nominee for President consistently for 5 years due to that very same misogyny and racism I see in his followers that boosted AOC. I proudly embrace the “Corporate”, “Establishment”, “Centrist”, “Moderate” moniker given by the left of the party.
Democrats, do we have the political discipline to put differences aside and unite to rid ourselves of the existential threat in the White House? I am actually seeing that discipline from AOC. I’m seeing it from non-Democrats on the left like Angela Davis, Noam Chomsky, Cornel West, Bernie Sanders and David Sirota. I’m not seeing it from Democrats talking about who AOC backed in 2018, or how the Justice Democrats don’t speak for them.
It’s July 2020, if you’re criticizing AOC right now and you’re a Democrat, what are you doing? It’s the same question posed to Democrats criticizing Hillary Clinton… right now, or blaming Obama for Trump…right now. What are you doing? Focus on the task at hand. Criticizing a freshman Congresswoman, in your own party, for politics and policy from eve as recently as a few seconds ago is punching down.
AOC Is Not The Problem
For those who don’t know, Politico chronicled how AOC deviated somewhat markedly from the Bernie Sanders led left. I encourage all to read it, but here are a few highlight:
- Of the half-dozen incumbent primary challengers Justice Democrats is backing this cycle, Ocasio-Cortez has endorsed just two. It is accurately mused that AOC 2020 would not back a candidate like…AOC from 2018. We even saw this in her own campaign where she was a no show at the same debate she criticized the incumbent she ousted, Joe Crawley, for not showing up to.
- She has increasingly been trying to work more within the system. She is building coalitions with fellow Democratic members and picking her fights more selectively.
- Gone are her plans for a “corporate-free” caucus, modeled on the uncompromising tactics of the conservative Freedom Caucus. In February, she dubbed Pelosi the “mama bear of the Democratic Party.”
- She chided Sanders supporters for online harassment and delivered soft critiques of Sanders and some of his allies for being too “conflict-based.”
The Democratic Party is the party of coalitions, not a cult. I’ve observed her. I think she’s really talented, that she’s really smart. Maybe she is — I don’t speak for her — coming to the conclusion that she wants to be part of the coalition.James Carville, a top strategist for Bill Clinton’s 1992 campaign and vocal critic of Sanders during the primary.
There are some people on the left who thought that their views represented a strong majority, and the primary process has shown that voters diverged, that Sanders is winning a minority and smaller minority than he had four years agoNeera Tanden, president of the liberal think tank Center for American Progress and a longtime Hillary Clinton aide, called Ocasio-Cortez’s shift “a sign of leadership.”
AOC is not the problem. Republican President Donald Trump calling BLM a terrorist organization is the problem.
AOC is not the problem. Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell cutting unemployment insurance is the problem.
AOC is not the problem Acting DHS Secretary Chad Wolf employing paramilitary forces in American cities is the problem.
Democrats, I implore you to make your sole political focus on retaking the executive branch and the Senate this November. Anything else is simply an unproductive distraction.
If you really have a visceral dislike of AOC, ask yourself these questions:
- Is criticizing AOC making her any less popular?
- Is criticizing AOC causing Democratic leadership not to embrace her or shun her?
- Is criticizing AOC causing any more people to vote Democrat?
If the answer to any or all three of the questions is no, ask yourself a fourth question: Why am I doing this?