Open Letter to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Dear Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez,

I know you represent the 14th district of New York, and that tending to their needs and hopes is your first responsibility.

But I want you to know, you represent me too.

You represent all who are disgusted with racial prejudice, with all sorts of prejudice, tearing us apart while the president of the United States fans the flames of racial fear.

You represent everyone who is sick of people working hard all their lives, with poverty their only reward.

You speak for us who are ashamed of how the United States responded when its own citizens in Puerto Rico were devastated by hurricane Maria. Let no politican dare ever say, that the U.S. has nothing to apologize for.

You represent us who see how much suffering and pain is coming — is already here — with climate change.

You are so much more than the vote of the 14th district of New York. You are the voice of America’s conscience. Be, for us, for all of us, the living proof that one may hold power, and still speak truth to power.

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29 responses to “Open Letter to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

  1. I don’t know much about the lady – but I’m disgusted with the negative news about her ideas, platform and comments. The United States isn’t united, not even close anymore. It’s divided by that racist monkey presently occupying the White House. All I read is rampant stupidity, hatred, xenophobic and angry comments from racist white people (probably white) and it sickens me. This isn’t 1776 – and it will never, ever be again. It’s time for America to move forward and abandon the Dark Ages mentality and rampant stupidstitions that have plagued this world for so long (recent examination by Carrier shows that Western civilization was held back by no less then 1,000 years by Christianity). The United States needs to grow up and act like mature adults, including the disgusting pigs in the Republican Party. AOC may be the voice for the future, but it’s utterly childish for people to throw ignorant rocks at what may be a better government in the making, certainly ANYTHING will be an improvement over the disaster we’ve got right now.

    • One small point: The Revolutionary War severely divided the country as well between the Loyalists and the Revolutionaries. This is not well taught in high school courses and below.

  2. Just finished reading through her* Green New Deal resolution. I was expecting it to be mostly good, but in fact there is nothing in there with which I disagree. Well done!

    *Not hers alone, but hers.

  3. Ocasio-Cortez removes Green New Deal Plan from Her Webpage.
    Seriously did you read read what was in that ?
    Poverty will be the only reward for voting for those policies.

    • It doesn’t actually have any specific policies yet, so I think that that’s a little premature, to say the least. What is does have is policy directions–broad goals and directions.

    • Don’t worry Jeff, I hear there’s a bartender job waiting fro you on Brooklyn.

    • A couple of nordic countries have marginal tax rates of about 57%, which cuts in a lot sooner than the 10 million cut off point proposed. It’s not quite 70% but not that far off. Norway, not long ago was around 60%. Can you point to any studies which show that high marginal rates slow the economy down into poverty?

    • As Doc says, these are policy directions; the numbers are not set in stone. It’s the vision that’s important if the world has any chance of combatting global warming. Of course, if you’re a denier and warming is natural etc., it doesn’t make sense to do anything which sounds radical and upsets the economic order of cheap fossil fuels.

    • So, Jeff, care to provide some support for those unsupported opinions? What I see is a call to actually step up and address the causes of one of the greatest threats to the global economy–climate change.

      The fact is that something like this simply must happen. Somehow we have to get from a 19th/20th century energy infrastructure to one that meets the needs of the 21st century. And how would you propose that we do that if it is not via a massive investment in that infrastructure? And who do you propose should pay for that investment if not the people who have benefited most from the economy that has ignored these needs.

      And where, specifically do you perceive policies that promote poverty? I see increased R&D spending, which promotes growth. I see investment in infrastructure, which promotes growth. I see at least the possibility that some of the money will go to folks left behind by the recent economic growth–people who install roof-top solar systems, build new green transport–including high-speed rail links that every other developed economy is investing in and which are acknowledged to be more efficient than air transport.

      Shouldn’t capitalists be disturbed by the fact that in the face of the greatest challenges of the day, capitalism has mainly responded by denial and obfuscation?

    • The marginal tax brackets aren’t really what matters. When the top bracket was 94%, the issue was 94% of what. The “of what” is what matters. Back then and now.

    • ‘Capitalism has been tried.’?
      “We have 12 years to limit climate change catastrophe, warns UN “

    • She wants to add a tax bracket that target’s the super rich. 70% on annual earnings over 10 million. The idea is basically a throwback to pre-Reagan decades:
      https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_taxation_in_the_United_States

      • I think that, for an increasing number of Americans, that’s a “feature, not a bug.” One may, of course, debate the economics.

        But it’s worth keeping in mind the tide of tax cuts, almost always benefitting primarily the upper economic echelons of society, which has been flowing now for several decades. And keep in mind, too, the fact that we are now being told that we “can’t afford” medicare expansion; that we “can’t afford” to mitigate climate-wrecking emissions; that we “can’t afford” climate adaptation, such as the coastal adaptation program axed by this Administration; that we “can’t afford” even programs like Meals on Wheels, which depend heavily on volunteerism in the first place.

  4. One can only hope AOC can make a difference. Our lady PM seems to be on the right path here in NZ .
    From NZ your American political system looks broken beyond repair.
    You may need to fix that before you mange to move along the path of the green new deal, The right will simply dismantle any gain made as soon as they get back in. I would suggest the fist thing that needs to change is the financing of your electoral process.

  5. JR: “Western civilization was held back by no less then 1,000 years by Christianity”

    BPL: Prove it. Prove that “Christianity” was what held it back, and define what you mean by “held back.” Held back by what measure, and in what units?

    • Doc
      “I think that, for an increasing number of Americans, that’s a “feature, not a bug.” One may, of course, debate the economics.”

      I didn’t offer an opinion because I know so little about economics. Just reading a brief history of taxes was an eye opener.
      Clearly, though, income inequality is a big problem and getting worse. I volunteer a few hours a week at a local charity…. and see whole families living in a car. Heartbreaking. People are sometimes grateful to tears at being given a sleeping bag or clean pair of sox.

  6. I am also proud of my own Senator Ed Markey, who has been tirelessly working toward knowledge and action on climate change for almost 40 years!

    AOC is a national treasure!

  7. Russell Seitz (@RussellSeitz)

    The time has come to unfurl the red pashmina banner and storm the barricades in solidarity with the oppressed masses of Bronxville.
    Viva el Yada Yada!

  8. I don’t expect the ‘New Green Deal’ to pass as is, the plan is far to vague and ambitious. But it’s shifting the Overton Window, the range of acceptable political discussion, towards discussing climate change – and that’s just fantastic.

  9. SA:”AOC is a national treasure!”

    This explains Bruno Latour’s enthusiasm for the Climate Leviathan crowd- his family cellars more AOC’s than you can count.

    DS: “Well, at least it wouldn’t be a “revolution about nothing.”
    When it comes to climate policy, that seems a normative outcome.

  10. “When it comes to climate policy, that seems a normative outcome.”

    Yes, if by that you mean “in the US federal government.” In other jurisdictions, both in the US and around the world, no.

    For example, Germany–much maligned recently for stalled progress on mitigation–has reduced emissions 25% from 1990 levels. (And better yet, has also increased ambitions once again, so we may expect to see renewed mitigation progress.) The UK has reduced theirs by 42%:

    https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/776083/2017_Final_emissions_statistics_one_page_summary.pdf

    Obviously, this is not, by itself, remotely enough. But it’s a hell of a lot better than nothing–and when you’re trying to do something novel, it’s really useful to have some concrete examples by way of “existence theorem.”

    • Not really too sure what that is supposed to mean. It’s certainly no secret (or revelation) that Germany has a troubled relationship with coal, nor that progress has been–let’s say “uneven.”

      Here’s an update on Germany’s planning process vis a vis coal:

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