Blogger is back after a quick tech break. Yours Truly decided to take advantage Apple's year-long battery replacement and in her phone. Thanks to the very helpful geniuses at The Apple Store at The Grove in Los Angeles, Blogger ended up getting a new phone because the battery was too swollen to safely remove. With Blogger's smartphone fully operational, time for Blogger Candidate Forum.
The Democratic Congressional leadership got a very rude but much needed awakening yesterday. Democratic Socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez defeated 10-term Representative Joe Crowley (D-NY) in the New York State Primary for the 14th congressional district, which includes the Bronx and Queens. Ms. Ocasio-Cortez, a first-time candidate, won the day with 57 percent of the vote using highly efficient grassroots campaign. This marks the first time, in fourteen years, that a candidate defeated another candidate from the same party. Gregory Krieg reported in CNN that Rep. Crowley's stunning defeat "...marks a potential sea change in the broader sphere of liberal politics--a result with implications for Democrats nationwide,...." (cnn.com; date accessed June 27, 2018). Rep. Crowley is currently the fourth-ranking Democrat and considered the heir apparent to House of Representatives minority leader Nancy Pelosi. The Democrats should be concerned, very concerned for a number of reasons.
What makes Ms. Ocasio-Cortez's victory so striking is, first, she is a member of the Democratic Socialist of America, something you be hearing a lot of between now and November, possibly into the next presidential election cycle. Jeff Stein broke down what the DSA and stand for in a 2017 article for Vox (vox.com; Aug. 5, 2017; date accessed June 27, 2018) but in essence, it is mostly an organization that is dedicated to "abolishing capitalism," although what specific actions of accomplishing this goal are up for debate. It is not a formal party, per se, " it claims to be the largest socialist organization in America and tries to work within the Democratic Party to weaken capitalism, not end it." (Ibid)
Socialists and socialism has gotten a bad reputation in the United States because of its perceived association to Soviet communism. Even more mind boggling was the perception that a single-payer healthcare system was the first step down the road to the gulags. Blogger knows, seriously!?
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is changing these outdated notions. Dylan Scott reported " that Ocasio-Cortez supports Medicare-for-all and a single-payer health care system, tuition-free college for all, banning private prisons, and most notable, abolishing the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency." (Ibid: June 27, 2018). Definitely a leftist platform that is finding an audience. Whatever the reason for her stunning victory, voters in New York's very blue14th congressional district chose her, which means Ms. Ocasio-Cortez is all but certain to take her seat come January 2019. Even more certain, the Democratic congressional leadership is definitely paying attention, as they should.
While the Republicans rejoiced in the upset, declaring that the "socialist wing is building" (cbs.com; date accessed June 27, 2018), House minority leader Nancy Pelosi was quick to state,
It's ascendant in that district, perhaps, but I don't accept any characterization of our party presented by the Republicans. (Ibid)
The Democrats also noted that Rep. Joe Crowley was the only incumbent to lose thus far.
Democrats, fear no socialists.
Dylan Scott writes, "Maybe it shouldn't be such a shock that a young woman of color who identified as a democratic socialist won a Democratic primary against a machine politician who raised millions of dollars from corporate donors,..." (vox.com; date accessed June 27, 2018). Registered Democrats, and most of the public have been plainly stating that they have been ready for a "real progressive policy agenda to enter the mainstream." (Ibid). Perhaps now is the time.
The DSA certainly ticks off all the right boxes: single-payer health insurance, federal jobs guarantee, tuition-free college for all, repeal Citizens United by constitutional amendment, get rid of ICE, restore Glass-Steagall financial regulation, set a goal to be fossil fuel-free by 2035, end privately owned prison. (Ibid). Left-wing indeed but it might be very popular.
Socialist ideas, like single-payer healthcare, has gained traction over the past few years. However, as Dylan Scott points out, "'Medicare-for-all' as a slogan, is overwhelmingly popular. Even sing,e-payer described as such has the support of nearly half of Americans." (Ibid). A federal jobs guarantee also enjoys the support of nearly half of all Americans.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez possibly benefitted from being a young Latina running against a middle-aged Cauasian make in a diverse district--"40 percent Latino, 32 percent white, 15 percent Asian, and 14 percent black." (Ibid). The progressive movement was also a factor: "Young people, untainted by year's working in politics and unsavory relationships that develop as a result, may be the best hope of removing undue influence from our politics." (Ibid)
The bottom line is this, a young person of color may be a forceful advocate in ways a Cauasian male can never be. Given the demographic direction of the United States, that just may be what the Democrats need--more women, more people of color. The question will the Democratic leadership embrace a left-leaning agenda or fight it? The Forum hopes they embrace it.