Opinion by Allan McNew
After having watched some of the video Ocasio Cortez put on the internet it would be easy to lampoon her as a ditzy Valley Girl who made a wrong turn in Encino on the way to the mall and somehow wound up in the Bronx. A sample of where she confidently tried to make a case out of political talking points and the bewildered, lost look she got when it was ground up in front of her did nothing to dispel that thought.
Her commentary concerning the difference between hers and the older generation highlighted the notions of older people that the next generation is going straight to hell (been around since at least the pyramids were being constructed) and the younger generation’s unflagging conviction that older people are stupid (ditto).
“People under 40 have been shaped by an entirely different set of events. We’ve literally grown up in different Americas. They were shaped by a Cold War America: and we are an Iraq war America, a hyper-capitalism-has-never-worked-for-us, Great Recession era America… We’re raising kids and getting married and we have mortgages and student loan debt…”
So, we boomers had Viet Nam (almost 60,000 American casualties) , Kent State, the Democratic National Convention riot, Watergate, the monetarily stagnant 70’s, the nasty 1980-81 recession where I had a pregnant wife and baby boy with scarce work to be found anywhere, every recession from the 1950’s to present including the Great Recession. We married, had kids and divorced, had mortgages, other debt and personal problems not unique to millennials.
Many of our present societal ills arose from the 60’ s including societal changes that led to the disintegration of the American family – family is the core of any society. Certain changes from the 60’s evolved into the narcissism and disrespect that so infects much of the millennial generation – which led to the current crop of elementary kids who viciously trash each other on social media via the parents who egg it on.
One thing we didn’t have was the “smart phone”, the device the millennial selfie generation can’t seem to remove from their collective faces. I believe that while the internet can be a valuable tool there is a side effect which, with social media overuse and regardless of the user’s age, can make people stupid.
Every political belief that resides in Ocasio Cortez’ noggin was incubated in the 60’s: the radicals who occupied administration buildings said, with the exception of climate change, everything Ocasio Cortez says now. They became “educators” who shaped college campus thought. Therefore, minus making bombs, the universities now promote everything that, for one example among others, everything the terrorist group Weather Underground espoused. Ocasio Cortez is a product of that sort of “education.”
There can be a great divide between education and knowledge. Ocasio Cortez studied economics at Boston University and somehow acquired creative finance: take $25 you have, spend it all along with $75 you don’t have and that equals $200 of newly printed money. How does that work?
Or climate change. I don’t disagree there is climate change and that 98% of world scientist agree, it’s a fact because it’s been going on for billions of years. Here is what’s behind that talking point: They’re not going to name each and every one of those scientists much less more than one or two. Furthermore, if a scientist says “there’s 300 climate models, why don’t we look at them all instead of automatically taking the worst case scenario” the scientist will be swiftly ostracized from society and hounded out of any possibility of making a living by progressive-socialists.
Ocasio Cortez says her views on immigration are shaped by her experiences of working with illegal immigrants at the Manhattan Flat Fix restaurant and is of the belief they are financially oppressed. I’ve worked with them too, and it’s my view that wages in general are low because of the shear numbers of illegal immigrants who will work for nothing and take all kinds of abuse Americans won’t stand for thereby degrading the work place. Her response to that, without knowing anything about me and my associations past and present, would be to label me as a racist, she has no other argumentative tools in her kit.
Then there’s the “wealthy”. I agree with her that many are opportunistic dirt bags, including those who fund her political aspirations. However, she doesn’t seem to understand that wealth is measured in assets rather than income. Assets can be off shored out of her legislative reach. So, who bears the brunt of her Utopian fantasy? The middle class, which will disappear under such a financial burden because they don’t have the means to shelter income from taxes. Everyone left, except for the privileged progressive elite, will be equally mired in poverty.
While hardly a scientific study, I inquired of a number of people of Ocasio Cortez’ age of just under 30 as to the society we should have. The answers boiled down to “We should just live simply without money.” They couldn’t explain how that would work. One added that no one over 50 should be allowed to vote. In the ‘60s the word was “Don’t trust anyone over 30.” Ocasio Cortez, you have a birthday coming up and many more to follow – it will happen to you too.