revenge of the grass roots

Progressive candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez won her primary over 10 term congressman Joe Crowley by running a grass roots campaign which she took right to the people. There is litte doubt that many Democratic voters are fed up with establishment politicians like Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi and while they may chalk up this 28-year-old woman’s victory to a blip on the electoral map they would be unwise to do so.

Cortez was an organizer for Bernie Sanders who himself had captured the imagination of the millennial voters by running on a truly progressive agenda. Medicare for all and free college tuition could be laughed off as a pipe dream until one considers the money that goes into military industrial complex defense spending, big pharma, malpractice litigation and other expenditures that make those dreams quite plausible by comparison.

The Dems can laugh off Cortez’s win but the population is tired of their ties to Wall Street, the pharmaceutical industry and even the gun lobby which pays them big dividends to stay fat and complacent.

The Trump administration is a train wreck being shepherded by a complete imbecile up to his eyeballs in corruption. He somehow captured the pulse of dissatisfaction of the American population but is far from being their savior and will only sink the ship further. His base of non-college educated whites unwittingly voted against its own best interest and doesn’t realize it but it will in time; unfortunately only after he has taken a wrecking ball to the country.

But not everyone who voted for Trump was part of that base and others did so as an anti-establishment protest.

One can only hope that there will be more young politicians like Cortez on the horizon with the imagination and kind of energy that will help remake a political landscape which sorely needs it.

The GOP is now the party of Trump with the rest of the senate and congress shaking in their boots or riding on his coattails and letting him say what they themselves are afraid to.

Americans want to put food on their table, a roof over their heads and some form of justice which rewards hard work. Under this rigged system that isn't going to happen which is why there must be a return to the grass roots.

Welcome Alexandria.

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  1. The importance of Ocasio-Cortez's win can not be overstated. Yes, it's one district, but she slayed a giant. Yes, she's Latina in an increasingly Latinx-dominated district, but "identity politics" is not actually the straw man the right paints it to be. By and large, Latinx people will not vote for someone with whose ideas they disagree, and more than most trans people would vote for Catelyn Jenner.

    Most importantly, though, whatever one's predictions of the so called Blue Wave (I'm highly skeptical of it myself given my inside professional knowledge of how American elections actually work, and having watched the Justice Democrats (the organization, not the candidates) mismanage themselves like political naifs), by being the first primary election giant slayer in a district virtually guaranteed to vote left in the general election, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has struck a huge blow to the corporate media's ability to do the one thing it has thus far done best to minimize the left's impact: ignore us.

    Some corporate stations are now actively talking about whether the Democrats should be taking the left more seriously. They're being forced to talk about Bernie Sanders' agenda as though it is not a mere pipe dream. And Bernie is now out there in interviews doing his Bernie thing: refusing to answer "stupid beltway questions," and bringing the interviewer right back to the issues that matter.

    Pelosi has responded by laughing, and telling people through her laughter not to get too carried away with Ocasio-Cortez's win in one little district. This pattern has been recognized long ago by Ghandi: "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win."

    The win, of course, is not guaranteed. We are at an extremely dangerous crossroads here in my country, and internationally because of my country. Or at least because of the walking, barely-talking personality disorder at the helm of its executive branch. Now is the time for all of us on the left to begin to do everything we possibly can to fight the rise of fascism. Its ugly head is rearing again in less than 100 years since the Holocaust. It's our time and our turn to fight, and it's not too late. I'll be joining the national day of protest against the treatment of asylum seekers on the Mexican border on Saturday, and I hope every American on the left who can be out there to be seen will be.

    Times are dangerous and bleak. But Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez just gave the left a major boost of energy, momentum and hope.

    1. Edit: That's "any* more than most trans people would vote for Catelyn Jenner." Not "and more..."

      --Caryn Bare

    2. There is little question that her platform has much that would help the type of people that America now ignores and it would also help rebuild the middle class (or at least some version of it). If the people vote that's what counts and if there are other progressives out there like her and Bernie the United States could slowly be remade in the image of an FDR New Deal model that would benefit a huge swath of people rather than just the few.


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