Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez participates in a town hall at the University of Delaware in Newark, Del. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
In the immediate sense, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez may be the best thing to happen to the Republican Party since Abraham Lincoln. Her Green New Deal is as much dead in the water as it is brain dead and constitutes a fabulous talking point for the GOP to run on in 2020.
But there is a point of concern — and in the long run a more important one.
AOC represents the natural outgrowth of our extraordinarily biased higher educational system. She is its valedictorian, its Social Justice Summa Cum Laude. Give her the SJWPhD honoris causa and, while you’re at it, give the United States of America to China. They won’t have to fire a shot.
Think I exaggerate? Consider the level of writing and thinking in her Green Deal in whatever ever-changing iteration, with or without the banning of cow flatulence and air travel, and notwithstanding the guaranteed income for those unwilling to work. (Isn’t that already the case with internet trolls — but I digress?) This document, if one can call it that, resembles nothing more than the kind of swill presented to — and highly approved by — professors in today’s grievance-obsessed colleges, where Shakespeare and Milton are dismissed or rejected and actual thought (i.e., intellectual reasoning) is ridiculed as manifestations of “white privilege.”
Actually, AOC is a nascent (or not-so-nascent) totalitarian. Nevertheless, she has brought along with her almost all of the declared Democratic Party candidates (Gillibrand, Harris, Warren, Booker, Sanders, etc.), a couple of whom, one would hope, might be smart enough to know her ideas are fantastical and so expensive as to bankrupt not just the USA but most of the world along with it. It would cause tremendous suffering, most of all to the poor and working classes who can’t afford, or even dare to dream of, Teslas or vacations on Mustique.
These are the people the Democrats claim to be helping. Nevertheless, these candidates say nothing and go along. Either they are cowards or fellow travelers or both. But beneath it all, they are wannabe undergraduate Social Justice Warriors.
That’s what I mean about the danger of our educational system. It’s not global warming that’s the problem, as the Green New Deal would have it (though its actual intention appears to have little to do with the environment and everything to do with promoting socialism). The real problem is our colleges (and earlier education, obviously) that are turning out the likes of AOC on an assembly line of the sort that drove Charlie Chaplin mad in Modern Times.
As I wrote elsewhere, only 20 percent of colleges have even one Republican on the faculty. Imagine the indoctrination that is going on. Imagine how much more attention is paid to Marx (and Marcuse and Gramsci, etc.) than to Adam Smith or Edmund Burke, let alone Aristotle, Aquinas, or even James Madison.
Do you think AOC has read one word of Friedrich Hayek? Do you think that she has even heard of him? What do you think she knows of history in general? We already know how informed she is about the Middle East.
This is a new form of proud Know-Nothingism. We can’t even say it will come back to haunt us because it already is doing just that. Reforming our educational system is the most important mission of our time. Presidents come and go. Even media grandees come and go — after a while (too long a while). But education remains, shaping our future. Change it or everyone sitting in Congress will be AOC. (No it doesn’t stand for All-Out Communist. But wait long enough and it could.)
Roger L. Simon — co-founder and CEO emeritus of PJ Media — is an award-winning author and Academy Award-nominated screenwriter.