By Katie Cericola & Alex Cucciniello
The rhetoric of the Democratic Party today has little in common with the mainstream ideas and values of John F. Kennedy; it is now the rhetoric of the far left and socialists like Alexandria Ocasio Cortez and other freshmen House members, who are embracing extreme governing concepts that sound more like failed Soviet 5-year plans than they do like American capitalism.
The economic intellectual deficiencies found in AOC and many of her House colleagues are head scratching since most of them, like us, grew up under the benefits of an American education and economic system that has bestowed great benefits on Millennials and other recent generations.
Ms. Cortez’s utopian proposal known as the “Green New Deal” – a play on words to Franklin Roosevelt’s “New Deal,” is not an FDR policy – which preserved democracy and freedom – but was only mildly successful in ending the Great Depression.
The Green New Deal is not so much an environmental blueprint as it is an attempt at a massive government takeover of people’s lives and the nation’s economic system; dictating not only where money will be spent, but what industries it will be spent on. Ms. Cortez and her supporters believe government should be dictating on how people should live, what kind of cars they should drive, or what house they should live in. She wants to dictate what people should eat and what cattle farmers should raise. Sound familiar? Yes, Joseph Stalin, the communist dictator of Soviet Russia, imposed on his nation central state planning and so did every Soviet dictator until the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. What came of it you ask? Contrary to what Ms. Cortez may think, central government economic policies bred poverty and misery until the massive USSR state was no longer viable.
Green alternatives do not need a national mandate on the level of the New Deal. Green initiatives are best introduced and tried at the local level, rather than a one size fits all national policy. Orlando, Florida has introduced its own green initiatives that include adding electric buses to their transportation system, capturing the state’s abundant sunshine and increasing small community gardens. Those may be great practices for sunny Florida –not so sure how well an electric bus would work in the winter in the Northeast where buses need to plow through heavy snow — and gardens are great but northeast growing seasons are short.
As young people, who will one day inherit the responsibility of operating businesses and running the country, we are quite frankly embarrassed that Ms. Cortez has vaulted to a media-fed position of alleged millennial leadership and that she is seen as a spokeswoman for our entire generation. She absolutely is not.
Her continuous attempts to scare people with her views of an environmental apocalypse are baseless and make her come across as gullible and uneducated. Her notion that young people should be afraid to bring children into the world is a preposterous scare tactic that is suited for grade school kids, not thinking adults.
As young people with college educations and real jobs, we believe in America’s uniqueness and greatness. We don’t see America through the eyes of a socialist who has inherited the freedom to pontificate on all that is wrong with our country. We know the sky is not falling, the world is not ending. Her self-congratulatory, social media-driven rhetoric where she proclaims over and over again that “at least I am trying” is consistent with a generation of kids that grew up receiving participation trophies for accomplishing little or nothing. Hers is not the rhetoric of a thoughtful leader, but of a young privileged person who had the opportunity to go to a major university where she fell in love with the “idea” of socialism while overlooking its many real-life horrifying failures – including the one playing out now in Venezuela.
As young people, we want to make choices for ourselves. We don’t want government making them for us because government has proven time and again it makes bad decisions.
The Trump administration’s economic initiatives – cutting taxes and regulation — have our economy booming and putting more people to work than ever before in the United States. Our lives are hopeful. Policies that enable people and don’t promote government overreach prove beneficial to society every time. Despite what the media thinks, many young people want opportunity, not a government hand out. Millennials have to stop being portrayed as unthinking pawns of the left. We are not. Speaking for many of our friends we agree with the proposition that “America Will Never Be A Socialist Country.”
We were born free and we choose to stay free.
Katie and Alex are respectively Chairwoman & Vice-Chairman of the Bergen County Young Republicans.