Longtime Congressman Joseph Crowley of New York’s 14th district was stunned at losing the June Democratic Party primary to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a political newcomer. Ocasio-Cortez is 28 years old, worked as a community organizer and never run for political office, and one other thing, she’s a member of the Democrat-Socialists of America.
Some of the blame for Congressman Crowley’s loss lies with Mr. Crowley; he didn’t take his opponent seriously and relied on his nearly 20 years in Congress to see him to the finish line. Mr. Crowley is also a just a plain 'ole Democrat, which a few years ago would have been enough to get past a primary challenge. But this time it wasn’t.
What no one saw coming was the alarmingly low voter turnout. And those who did go to vote in the 14th district primary were mostly young voters. Some of those young, Ocasio-Cortez voters were at the polls for their first time. The greenhorn voters were likely drawn to Ocasio-Cortez by her progressive promises of free college, free healthcare and the promise of more social welfare programs.
Even Hillary Clinton had to resort to some chicanery to get a win over socialist Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders in her run for the Democratic Presidential primary in 2016. Among the abundance of Hillary’s excuses why she lost her presidential bid was “probably being a Capitalist hurt” trying to convince Bernie supporters to vote for her.
One of the newest social programs we are hearing about is the “Guaranteed Income” policy. This is like a minimum wage for workers, except with guaranteed income there's little to no work involved. This policy is high of the list of Senator Bernie Sanders, no surprise there – and also being championed by New Jersey Senator Corey Booker and our own Senator Kirsten Gillibrand - who should be treated for whiplash because of her fast left turn.
In a 2017 group effort survey conducted by several respected news organizations, (NY Times, USA Today, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, POLITICO and more) asking people in the millennial generation their opinion about living as a socialist. The results were unsettling; 44 percent would rather live as a socialist compared to 42 percent as a capitalist. Even more disturbing was of the remaining 14 percent would be content living as communists or fascists. The only redeeming information gleaned from this same survey was 69 percent of those asked didn’t know the definition of socialism. But that also means 31 percent did know.
Veteran Democrats are beginning to show concern about the trajectory of their party, particularly the current embracing of socialism. Personalities and policies of JFK, Tip O’Neill, Bill Clinton and closer to home our former congressman, Mike Acuri, would never make it in today’s far left Democratic thinking. Hopefully, it isn’t too late for the old guard of the Donkey Party to teach their young about capitalism and this country is more toward the middle than far left – or right for that matter.
If we stay on this current path it seems inevitable most of the Democrats will end up in urban, metropolitan areas where tax funded government services are expected to take care of the masses. Republicans will fill in the less populated suburban and rural areas where self-reliance, limited taxation and less government intrusion will be the norm. This notion is not far-fetched or lunacy and is well illustrated right here in New York State.
In the history of this country and its politics, the Democrats and Republicans were once the same party – in name and deeds. The Democrat-Republican Party annually faced off against their political foe the Federalist Party for more than 30 years. In the coming years it will be interesting to see how far left our rural Democratic neighbors will go before they jump off the Socialist wagon to form a new political party or return to their political roots and combine forces with the Republicans - again.
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