Tom Perez, chairman of the Democratic National Committee (DNC), appeared Tuesday on the Bill Press Show and when asked about the party's future, he replied:
“I have three kids. Two of them are daughters — one just graduated college, one who is in college. And they were both texting me about their excitement over Alexandria (Ocasio-Cortez) because she really — she represents the future of our party.”
If a self-declared socialist represents the party's future, Democrats may find themselves becoming more and more irrelevant. Is that what all Democrats really aspire to? Do 31% of citizens from the land of the free and the home of the brave really hope to live in a socialist nation?
Let's take a look at Ocasio-Cortez's platform:
- Medicare For All
- Housing As A Basic Right
- A Peace Economy
- Federal Jobs Guarantee
- Gun Control/Assault Weapons Ban
- Criminal Justice Reform, End Private Prisons
- Immigration Justice/Abolish ICE
- Solidarity with Puerto Rico
- Mobilizing Against Climate Change
- Clean Campaign Finance
- Higher Education, Free Trade School For All
- Women's Rights
- Support LGBTQIA+ (What does the "+" represent? Are there some genders we've left out?)
- Support Seniors
- Curb Wall Street Gambling: Restore Glass Steagall
At the end of her socialist wish list, she invites supporters to become campaign volunteers:
"Democracy is Powered by Volunteers Like You"
Why doesn't it say, "Socialism is Powered by Volunteers Like You?"
Ocasio-Cortez's naïveté is unmistakable. Her age and inexperience are glaring. Her platform reads like a Miss America contestant's description of a perfect world. For starters, its implementation would bankrupt our country.
With a U.S. national debt of over $21 trillion, which climbs a little higher every day, our debt stood at approximately 105.4% (other estimates put the number as high as 107.2%) of gross national product (GDP) at the end of 2017, one of the highest in the world.
There are a few countries with greater ratios of debt to GDP.
Japan, at slightly over 234%, has financed many stimulus projects to "jump-start" their economy over the last several decades. However, since Japanese citizens hold over 90% of the debt, at low rates of interest, it is very sustainable for the country.
Other countries with ratios higher than ours (at the end of 2017) include: Greece: 181.9%, Portugal: 125.6%, Italy: 131.45%, Lebanon: 152.85%, Yemen: 141.01%, along with many African nations such as The Gambia: 123.24%, Cape Verde: 126.03%, The Republic of the Congo: 119.07%, Eritrea: 131.24%, Sudan, 126.02% and several others. We are not in good company.
The top holders of US debt are China (5.3%) and Japan (4.8%). Although 5.3% is not a large portion, and the US Treasury has never had difficulty finding buyers for our debt (even with a rating downgrade), 5.3% of $21 trillion still represents over $1 trillion of debt owed to an unfriendly nation.
Even the partial implementation of Ocasio-Cortez's platform items would put the US in a precarious financial situation that would ultimately threaten our national security.
But, long before that would happen, her idealistic initiatives for a "peace economy" - "bring our troops home, heal our wounds, repair our image in the world" - would probably see our mainland invaded by foreign enemies.
A thorough rebuttal of each of Ocasio-Cortez's poorly thought out objectives could result in as many posts. Suffice it to say that it is an unworkable agenda. We can't afford it. It's not who we are as Americans. And I find it hard to believe that the majority of Democrats would support this platform.
The party's "lurch to the left" is giving many Democrats pause, especially those who understand a thing or two about the US economy and national security. For example, Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn) appeared on ABC's "The Week" on Sunday and said, "We are always going to need immigration enforcement, I think we know that. We are a major country with major borders."
Another sign of push-back from within the Democratic Party is the growing traction of the "#WalkAway Campaign." Hair stylist Brandon Straka started this movement, which shares video stories of people who decide to dissociate themselves from liberalism."
And finally, many more centrist Democrats will retreat from Maxine Waters' brand of "in your face" activism. There's a reason why President Trump wants to position her as "the face" of the Democratic party, along with Nancy Pelosi. The credibility of both women has fallen.
So, if Tom Perez envisions a socialist future for Democrats, and chooses to believe that candidates such as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez represent the party's future, it is a gift to the Republican Party.
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