I’ve written a bunch of favorable stories about Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and remain solidly in her corner. Some people have said I have been too favorable, including managing editor Andrew Stewart, but I firmly believe that whatever her drawbacks AOC is a breathe of fresh air and right on most everything. As I have written before, let’s not let the perfect be the enemy of the good.
Nonetheless, I’m going to publish an excerpt from a story written by Niles Niemuth, the Socialist Equality Party’s candidate for Congress in Michigan’s 12th Congressional District. (To sign up to get involved in the SEP campaign, visit niles2018.com.) The story originally appeared on the World Socialist Web Site and obviously is an attack from the left.
I’m not saying Niemuth doesn’t make some good points or that AOC is beyond reproach. But this article does nothing that changes my opinion about her and I also believe it is at times misleading and utopian.
The vote for “democratic socialist” Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in last month’s Democratic Party primary in New York reflects growing interest in socialist politics and hostility to capitalism, particularly among young people. However, Ocasio-Cortez’s campaign is based on a fundamental lie that is fatal to all those who are seeking to oppose inequality, war and the attack on immigrants, namely that anything can be achieved through the Democratic Party.
Workers and young people have already gone through the experience of Bernie Sanders, who in the 2016 elections spoke of a “political revolution” against the “billionaire class.” The real purpose of Sanders’ campaign, however, was realized in his decision to back Hillary Clinton, the candidate of Wall Street and the military. Sanders now occupies a leadership post in the Democratic Party caucus in the US Senate.
The campaign of Ocasio-Cortez, a member of the Democratic Socialists of America, is in the same mold. Her program consists of mild reforms that are inadequate to address poverty and inequality. Her demand for a $15 minimum wage, for example, would still leave millions struggling to survive, and many low-wage employers, such as those at UPS, are already beginning to pay this to part-time workers.
While she says little about foreign policy, she does not oppose the US wars in the Middle East and Central Asia that have already killed more than 1 million people.