Media Darling/Pariah Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) started making headlines almost immediately after taking office in early January of this year. An attractive and minority woman that grew up living a common life won a congressional seat representing the largest city in the nation. She was going to get attention regardless if nothing else just from the political implications those things can bring. A rising star in the Democratic Party that has the opportunity to reach and relate to millions of people that your typical, “Old Rich White Male” politician is not able to.
However the aforementioned headlines started coming in when she started talking what some would call *ahem* crazy. Her platform includes things such as a 70% tax on the uber-rich and free college for all. You know, things that lean toward the “socialism” side of the spectrum. It’s to be determined how these stances affect her political career, but it’s already clear that if it’s a splash she was trying to make she was vastly successful. The far left are in love with her, while the whole of the right are disgusted, and the moderate left still trying to figure out exactly how she fits into their party’s picture. Whether you agree or disagree with her platform, everyone agrees that she’s radical in the rigid framework of politics. Hell, she even said it was radical herself.
What I’m getting at though, is that a lot of times as a politician you are defined by your past policies, platforms, action, and votes. Hillary and Benghazi, Hillary and her emails, Trump and his baggage, George H.W. Bush and his claim of no new taxes, Bernie being a socialist, and etc. Once you’re labeled as something in the political world, whether deserved or not, it’s a very hard task to shake that label.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has been labeled a radical, and by her own admission deservedly so.
For her though, what that means going forward is that every policy or bill she presents will be viewed as such on the surface as long as her name is attached to it. She’s made that bed, and for better or for worse (to be determined), we’ll have to see how her constituents make her lay in it.
Today she unveiled a framework of what is being called “The Green New Deal”. With trigger words such as “Green” and “New Deal” (So the entire name), and coming from the hands of Ocasio-Cortez it’s already incredibly divisive. You can read the whole proposal at the link below, it’s not very long.
Both the right and the left have called it radical, and Nancy Pelosi has already seemingly dismissed it, labeling it “The Green Dream”.
However, if one was to actually read the text themselves and formulate their own opinion you would see that for the most part, it isn’t too radical. Most of that talk is due to the reputation of AOC. Now, don’t get me wrong there certainly are parts that are rather radical but even those are tapered with hedge words such as “as much as technologically feasible”.
Without reading the proposal you might hear things such as
“She’s trying to ditch auto-transportation and plane travel because they rely on fossil fuels”…
When in reality this is what it says:
overhauling transportation systems in
the United States to remove pollution and
greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector as much as is technologically feasible, including through investment in—
(i) zero-emission vehicle infrastructure
(ii) clean, affordable, and accessible
public transit; and
(iii) high-speed rail;
And the same verbage is used when examining the agricultural and industrial sector. Predominantly the talk of climate change isn’t “radical” either. She presents facts that have been backed up by peer-reviewed journals and scientists and explains why Climate Change needs to be stemmed. Wildfires, severe storms, and droughts I think would all be considered “bad” by the majority of Americans, and climate change is increasing the rate and severity of those events. That may seem like a radical statement to some, but it is in fact, a fact. It isn’t radical to try to prevent those things.
She also touches in the proposal on how to clean-up green house gasses in the atmosphere, which tells me this is viewed as a mitigation proposal as much as a preventative one. Things like restoring natural areas to store carbon in the soil through reforestation and land preservation. None of this is bad or radical.
The opposition of this proposal will get hung up on things like:
(A) global reductions in greenhouse gas emissions from human sources of 40 to 60 percent from
2010 levels by 2030; and
(B) net-zero global emissions by 2050
Opponents of this “Green New Deal” will see that and determine that she is trying to remove all pollution sources such as cars, planes, cows etc when in fact, going off of the tone of the rest of the proposal, quite the opposite. Most of the opposition of AOC fear for the business and economy of the country because of her, but one would also assume that those businessmen would also know the difference between “net” and “gross”. Before you assume she’s taking your cars off the road, pick up a science book and read about the Carbon cycle.
If you take as much carbon out of the atmosphere as you put into it via car, factory, etc. you’re at a “carbon neutral” state
I mentioned that the proposal wasn’t *mostly* radical, but I’ll concede there is some language that will throw people into a fit such as:
meeting 100 percent of the power demand in the United States through clean, renewable, and zero-emission energy sources, including—
(i) by dramatically expanding and upgrading renewable power sources; and
(ii) by deploying new capacity;
Which I will admit is unfeasible in the time-frame presented (10 years). That being said, don’t get hung up on this one thing and determine that the whole bill is crazy-talk. At some point renewable energy will have to become the foremost energy consumed to power the world, and the more invested in and utilized it is before that day comes, the better. You also in negotiations never offer first what it is you want. You never offer the sticker price on a new car do you? You shoot for the moon, make some concessions, and hopefully end up with the realistic expectations of what you desire.
People will hear about this proposal, and judge it on the name of it and the author. I would urge you though, to read it all the way through and formulate your own opinion because if there is anything we as a nation have learned the past few years; you can’t trust the media.