Trump Isn’t Ready For A Girl From The Bronx

I’m still stoked and celebrating the Ocasio-Cortez win. It’s yuge. So, I thought I’d share this short vid of an interview that she did w/ Stephen Colbert.

“Trump isn’t ready for a girl from the Bronx,” she says.

Hell yeah! While Trump represents an effort to force America back to a romanticized time that never existed, Ocasio-Cortex is the living embodiment of the kind of representative we desperately need in Washington: A young, non-white female who asks tough questions of capitalism and the privileges and prejudices that capitalism has created.In this very short interview (see vid, below) Stephen Colbert asks Ocasio-Cortez what being a socialist means to her. When asked, she pauses and sort of looks down for a second. I get the pause.

Discussing socialism can get incredibly complex, as well as emotional. And there’s so much mis-information and straight-up lies about socialism that it makes a socialist tread lightly — especially a new politician, like Ocasio-Cortez who just won one of the biggest upsets in recent political history.

Capitalism has its nice little tagline about “freedom” and “free markets,” but we socialists in the 21st century don’t yet have the tiddy slogans. In Maybe it’s reason #1, I speculated that deconstructing privilege and prejudice was the essence of socialism. I think that’s a pretty good start, but I’m thinking Ocasio-Cortez did better.

After her pause, she put it this way: In a modern, moral, wealthy society, no one should be without life’s basics. No one should be without food, shelter, healtcare, and education, among other things.

This is not at all meant to be a technical definition of socialism, of course. Ocasio-Cortez is a mainstream politician, so she’s framing socialism in a way that’s accessible and also pragmatic.

To really get into what socialism is, you have to discuss the nitty gritty of resource distribution, you have to talk about who owns capital and the means of production, as well as the nature of property rights and the concept of “ownership.” All of these are discussions that people are having, more and more, but I think that Ocasio-Cortez has done about as good a job as a person can do, to boil it all down in one sentence.

I would only add one thing. If capitalism has “freedom” as its tagline, socialism has “solidarity.” The goal of socialism is to meet the basic needs of people and planet, to build a sustainable society that respects all life (human and non-human). Solidarity, then, is the essential guiding virtue for socialism. It’s sort of the spiritual force for socialism: we’re are all in this together and we’re better, as a species, when we cooperate.


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Jonathan Erdman

Writer. In the summers, I live and work in the incredible state of Alaska, in the bush community of McCarthy, as the Executive Director of the Wrangell Mountain Center. When not in McCarthy, you'll typically find me in the Santa Cruz Mountains of California, writing and working with local activists. My primary writing project right now is a novel set in remote bush Alaska, of the magical realism genre wherein an earnest and independent young woman finds a mysterious radio belonging to her grandmother, a device that has paranormal bandwidth and a disturbing ability to mess with one's mental stability.

6 thoughts on “Trump Isn’t Ready For A Girl From The Bronx”

  1. She is amazing. Yes, a very steep learning curve ahead of her, but baptism by fire is best. I live in a conservative state and city and a year ago a democratic socialist was elected to city council. Times are changing…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Jonathan, I hope all is well. I enjoyed the photos of your Independence Day celebration.

    As I am trying to understand more, it seems the DSA is a political party. Am I understanding that correctly?

    If so, should they not run as a separate party on the ballots from the Democrats? In NYS for example (I used to live there) you have the Liberal Party, the Green Party and the Democrat Party, all on the ballot. Why not the DSA? Why did Alexandria run as a Democrat if she isn’t one?

    Just trying to understand. Thanks for you kindness in helping.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Michael. That’s a great question. As it turns out, DSA is not a political party. They are an activist organization. Right now, that gives us a bit of an edge, imo. Our focus is broader than just winning elections or growing into a purely political machine. DSA is about advancing the socialist values of solidarity. We are very political, but we are not a political party….What do ya think? You wanna join?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Very helpful. Thanks for your time in helping me understand.

        Regarding joining, probably not. 🙂 I’m not much of a “joiner”.

        Regarding “what I think”, I am still making up my mind.

        I watched a Cornel West interview last night. Seemed like a whole of “zigging and zagging” was going on when it came to some specificities. I guess that is the nature of political discourse.

        I liked him best as Councillor West in both The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions and the voice for the character in the video game Enter the Matrix. 🙂

        I am intrigued with the “no profits” approach. While the DSA is a nonprofit (actually 2 since they also have a foundation for charitable giving), they are a corporation (and receive benefits from the IRS). Anyway, they will go out of business if their expenses exceed their income (aka profit).

        Oh well, off to make a profit.

        Be blessed.

        Liked by 1 person

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