Wednesday, April 17, 2019

This Is Why So Many Establishment Politicians And Their Supporters Hate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Let me just say it out front.  I think AOC is one of the best things to happen in 2018/2019.   In this post I'm going to explain why I think she's pissing off so many people in Washington and beyond. But if you aren't interested in that, just scroll down to the bottom for her positive look to the future and when it gets trashed by the president and others, you can come back and see why I think they do that.

  • She's smart in the sense that she understands how lots of things fit into the larger macro picture.
  • She's articulate.
  • She's able to show her love of life.
  • She's able to respond to her detractors with wit, humor, dance, and hope.
  • She's not shy.
  • She's using her new Congressional seat to actually do things this country needs.
  • She's savvy with social media.  
  • She's able to give voice for women and people of color and working people.
  • She's beautiful.  (This isn't something that we're supposed to comment on, but we all know that it doesn't hurt.)
OK, let's take a short side trip.  When I was a junior in high school, I delivered the mail as a Christmas break job.  I delivered in my own neighborhood, my own street even.  I was fast.  My supervisor was my regular mailman.  After a couple of days he pulled me aside and said, "Steve, you get paid by the hour and when you finish your route, your time is up.  What's your hurry?  Pace yourself.  When you get to your house, take a break before starting again."  

Later, as a grad student, I learned about 'soldiering' when I read Frederick Taylor's The Principles of Scientific Management.  He described how workers get into a comfortable pace or work and how frisky new workers (like me delivering mail) upset that comfortable pace.  So the workers first start to subtly hint to the worker (as my supervisor did) to slow down and take it easy.  If that doesn't work they get more aggressive, which could lead to sabotage and even physical violence.  

I think this is the reason there's so much negative press about AOC.  She's making everyone look bad.  

For the Republicans it's about everything:  
For Democrats the issues are, perhaps, more procedural.  
  • She challenges the speed they are moving toward change in Climate and Health Care etc.
  • Her activity and social media savvy and presence make them look like they're doing nothing.
  • She brings a bright spark of life to a job they're doing with less sparkle.
  • She got elected by defeating one of their inner circle in the primary
  • She's challenging the way they operate, their rules, their beliefs about what's possible
Trump's election showed weaknesses in the Democratic common wisdom.  He exploited the fact that Democrats championed people of color and women in a way that made white males the enemy.  The only terms negatively describing a group of people that Democrats didn't 'ban' were words like hillbilly and white trash.  Trump gave that group respect.   AOC's parents were poor.  They nearly lost their home to the 2008 housing crisis.  An event that led to her to find out about her congressional rep's power structure in New York.  Like many of today's college grads, she ended up doing minimum wage work.  So she's reached out to the Trump voter, whom she knows as someone who has lived their life.  

He also used social media to by-pass the press and talk directly to his followers.   And AOC is as good a politician in using social media.  She doesn't just use it, for her it's almost an art form.  

And while some Democrats embrace everything she brings to Congress and their party, others see her as interfering with their routine, their way of seeing what's possible and how to get there.  

Here's the video.  It's a bit of social science fiction. 

It looks to the future, what the world would look like if things got better because of the policies she's pushing.  And it's pretty close to how I envision things, though I'm less sanguine about what technology will do for us.  Like all predictions there are probably flaws, but the attacks on her New Green Deal are much harsher than other people's predictions of the future, predictions that are less imaginative, more mired in the past.

And the video is beautiful.  The artist [Molly Crabapple] does a great job. (If I find out the name I'll add it here.)  This format has come a long way since I wrote about The Story of Stuff and then the followup about Victor Lebow.


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