AOC’s Indictment of Incrementalism

AOC at Howard University May 14, 2019

by Richardt Stormsgaard

“I will be damned if the same politicians who refused to act then are going to try to come back today and say we need a middle of the road approach to save our lives.”

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) just delivered a scathing indictment of incrementalism with regards to climate change at Howard University May 14. Like others on the extreme left she is holding mainstream Democrats responsible for the sharp right-wing turn during the last two decades when they faced great political opposition except for the 2006-2008 period.

Obama’s plans for a more inclusive health care system and his ambitious climate goals were stalled because of massive Republican gains in the 2010 midterm elections as a reaction to the election of our first black President. But if the 2020 elections are a repeat of the 2018 mid-term elections the political climate should be ripe for dramatic improvements in health care and climate protection. Demands for whole-scale overhauls of existing societal structures in the US from our left will not happen even if Democrats were to win. The more likely scenario is that it will allow the right-wing to avoid being held responsible for their attempts to dismantle the social safety net, civil and voting rights, and environmental legislation and go on to win in 2020 by making the election a referendum about the USA becoming another Socialist Venezuela.

AOC was only a ten-year-old girl during the 2000 election when another passionate anti-incrementalist Ralph Nader and his Green Party voters handed the election to the Bush/Cheney/Rove Republicans. Three million nationwide and 100,000 in Florida impatient and (as it has turned out) reckless environmental voters became indirectly and unintentionally complicit for not just the Iraq War and the 2007-2008 Global Financial Collapse, but also for the Bush appointments of SCOTUS nominees Alioto and Roberts who in 2010 were instrumental in dismantling the 2010 Voting Rights Act and in 2013 the Citizens United decision.

These two SCOTUS decisions have been very important factors leading to the eventual Trump win in 2016 when millions of Democratic voters were prevented from voting in almost a dozen Republican states. Two additional even more conservative SCOTUS judges, Gorsuch and Kavanaugh, have since been added to create a potentially activist right-wing Supreme Court, and we can expect abortion rights, civil and voting rights, and environmental regulations to be damaged even further, perhaps even permanently, if our friends on the left gain too much influence in the Democratic Party, and we have a disastrous 2020 election with a nationally unelectable candidate.


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