Herojinja levice

Ne skrivam svojih simpatij do AOC, Alexandrie Ocasio-Cortez, demokratske poslanke, ki se je po presenetljivi zmagi na kongresnih volitvah v New Yorku meteorsko povzpela znotraj demokratske stranke. Danes me je spet očarala, ko je okrog prsta zavrtela Jeroma Powella, predsednika Fed, glede napak Fed pri oceni relacije med brezposelnostjo in inflacijo (Phillipsova krivulja). AOC danes skupaj z Elizabeth Warren in Berniejem Sandersom kroji vsebinsko debato in politične predloge demokratske stranke (ki jih utirja Nancy Pelosi). In ti predlogi, ki so v Evropi standard (zastonj univerzitetni študij, univerzalno zdravstveno zavarovanje, zelene politike, ostrejša regulacija konkurence itd.) so za ameriške razmere dokaj levi. Tako levi, da jih namesto kot socialno-demokratske, kar so, pojmujejo kot demokratični socializem.

No, ta trojka, če bi se združila v dream team (Warrenova kot predsedniška kandidatka, Sanders kot podpredsednik in AOC kot ministrica za pravosodje ali šolstvo), bi bila lahko velika dobitna kombinacija za demokratsko stranko na naslednjih predsedniških, kongresnih in senatnih volitvah.

Spodaj je povezava na še topel, izdaten intervju z AOC v New Yorkerju.

It’s hard to recall a newly elected freshman representative to Congress who has made a bigger impact than Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Her primary victory for New York’s Fourteenth District seat—as a young woman of color beating out a long-established white male incumbent—was big news, and Ocasio-Cortez has been generating headlines almost daily ever since.

Practically the day she took her seat in Congress, Ocasio-Cortez became the hero of the left wing of the Democrats and a favored villain of Fox News and the right. She battled Nancy Pelosi to make the Green New Deal a priority, and has been involved with a movement to launch primary challenges against centrist or right-leaning Democrats. Like Bernie Sanders, she embraces the label of democratic socialism and supports free college education for all Americans. She has called for the abolition of Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Well, when you came to Congress, did you have a plan? How you wanted to be? What you wanted to push forward? How you wanted to communicate?

I think in some parts—how I wanted to communicate, yes. And I think for me, over all, the plan was to try to expand our national debate and reframe our understanding of issues, because I felt as though that was something that wasn’t being done enough, especially on the Democratic side, for Democrats.

We don’t know how to talk about our own issues in ways that I think are convincing, so we fall into Republican frames all the time. And we’re too often on the defense, we’re too often afraid of our own values and sticking up for them. And I feel like we run away from our convictions too much. And so one of the things that I wanted to do was to hold a strong line, and redefine our values, and remind people that I think what we need to be doing right now is coming home as a party. I don’t think we should be afraid of being the party of F.D.R. I don’t think we should be afraid of being the party of working people. And it feels to me that at some point we did start becoming afraid of those things.

And became the party of what instead?

I think we became the party of hemming and hawing and trying to be all things to everybody. And it’s not to say that we need to exclude people, but it’s to say that we don’t have to be afraid of having a clear message. To say, we believe in the human dignity of all people. We believe that health care should be a right. We believe that all people should be paid a living wage. We believe that, as our economy evolves, it’s time to expand public education beyond K through twelve, to K through sixteen, K through college, or K through vocational. And what we call bold agendas, or Republicans call socialist, are things that they’ve always called socialist. And [we should] wear it, understand that that’s what they’re going to say, but don’t run away from the actual policies that can transform people’s lives.

Well, let’s talk about the socialist issue—I certainly was going to talk about it later, but let’s get right to it. You were endorsed by D.S.A., Democratic Socialists of America. You identify that way, as does Bernie Sanders. Bernie Sanders recently gave a speech reaffirming this notion, and everything that he says sounds like, to me—and I know this is a constant debate—sounds to me like New Deal Democratic Party values. And F.D.R. always said, “I am a liberal. I am not a socialist.” So how do you—

Well, I think, to me, how you wrestle with that term is relatively inconsequential with respect to the policy, right. So if you want to support free college and you say “I’m not a socialist,” or if you say “I’m a democratic socialist” and you support free college, at the end of the day, we’re supporting free college. And that’s the thing that we should be focussing on. And I think, for me, particularly when it comes to democratic socialism, the key word is that small d-democratic, is democracy. And so it’s really about making sure that workers have democratic power in our economy.

Vir: The New Yorker

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