- Is Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez smart enough to serve in the Congress?
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Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is the new darling of the Democrats, having defeated incumbent Rep. Joe Crowley in the primary for New York's 14th congressional district. As a 28 year old unknown, she came out of nowhere and ran an effective grassroots campaign which shocked the party by taking out the heir apparent to Rep. Nancy Pelosi. She did so with a commanding lead, 57.48% - 42.52%. Her main political experience was as a volunteer for the Bernie Sanders campaign in 2016 and, as such, identifies herself as a member of the Democratic Socialists of America, the far left wing of the party. With her victory, the main stream media immediately fell in love with her, causing the New York Times to dub her, "A 28-Year-Old Democratic Giant Slayer."
Naturally, after her sudden rise in celebrity, numerous news outlets requested interviews, which she welcomed for the publicity. However, the more questions asked of her by the press, the more her inexperience and political naivete became apparent, causing some mind-numbing gaffs which even left Democrats shaking their heads.
For example, on PBS' "Firing Line" with Margaret Hoover, Ms. Ocasio-Cortez was asked about her opinion on the relations between Israel and the Palestinians. When she mentioned Israel was occupying Palestine, the interviewer asked her to clarify her statement; to which she said:
"I think what I meant is like the settlements that are increasing in some of these areas in places where Palestinians are experiencing difficulty in access to their housing and homes."
When pressed to further expand on her comments, she backed off claiming, "I am not the expert on geopolitics on this issue," and "I just look at things through a human rights lens and I may not use the right words...Middle Eastern politics is not exactly at my kitchen table every night."
Such an explanation made her sound more like a school girl, certainly not a polished candidate running for the United States Congress.
It gets better though.
In another interview, she contended, "Unemployment is low because everyone has two jobs," which took many people aback, particularly since the latest employment figures in June revealed only 4.8% of employed Americans hold multiple jobs, a figure that has been declining for years. This leads us to believe she is not only naive about such numbers, but doesn't have a sense of how the economy works.
My personal favorite though is her comments regarding capitalism:
"Capitalism has not always existed in the world and will not always exist in the world." I don't know quite how to put this Alexandria, but as long as people have engaged in trading products and services, Yes, capitalism has always been there. As to its demise, I do not know what she proposes to replace it with, perhaps a revocation of the concept of "ownership."
Again, her comments reflect her lack of knowledge and experience in the area of finance and economics 101.
Such slip-ups are reminiscent of those regularly delivered by Uncle Joe Biden when he was Vice President, except his was a little more bawdy. The big difference between the two is experience; whereas Ocasio-Cortez simply doesn't know better, Uncle Joe should have.
Frankly, Ms. Ocasio-Cortez is a person with good intentions but is grossly unqualified to serve in Congress. Don't we have enough problems already without compounding it further by naivete? Perhaps her energy would be more useful at the local level where she might gain some experience.
Not surprising, Rep. Crowley, who she defeated in the primary for Democrats, will still be listed on the ballot in November, not as a Democrat, but under a lesser known party. Despite her objections, Rep. Crowley refuses to be removed from the ballot and remains a legitimate threat to her election.
This division by the Democrats may open the door to Republican Anthony Pappas, a college professor with impressive credentials in economics, business and math.
Such is the price for political celebrity.
Keep the Faith!
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Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 40 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at email@example.com
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