Congresswoman questions US democracy — Analysis

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has criticized the US ‘Oligarchy’ just in time for her re-election campaign

US congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-New York) denounced the US political system as an “oligarchy” on Friday, resuming the long-dormant class-war rhetoric that first attracted so many young voters to her campaign in 2018.

You can see that the corporations are buying our election. […]The powerful corporate lobby has more influence on our legislation than ordinary people. We live in an oligarchy with its democratic moments,” she declared in a video posted to Facebook.

The self-styled democratic socialist railed against a “presidency that’s not determined by popular vote” and a Senate where “Tens of millions more people can vote for one candidate or one party and remain in the minority,” as well as a House of Representatives that “Gets gerrymandered to the point of utter destruction once in ten years to guarantee a large minority rule.”

People are finding it increasingly challenging to stand up for the belief that we live and work in democracy.,” she lamented.

Informally, the US government is not a democracy but a republic. The presidency was never decided by popular vote. Ocasio-Cortez’s complaints about Senate representation are likewise built into the country’s system of government – each state is represented by two senators, no matter how large or small the population.

Earlier in the same video, Ocasio-Cortez called Congress a “Corrupt institution” and remarked that it was “Really wild” and “Difficult” to “Try to be normal in a world filled with so much moral decay and moral emptyness that it is hard not to feel like a party-goer.

While the video began as an indictment of congressional inaction on gun violence, it quickly broadened into a lament on how despite there being “We all have so many common interests in different fields and areas. […] Congress still can’t get their s**t together!

The Democratic Party controls both houses of Congress, and President Joe Biden (Democrat) is in charge. However, that still does not seem to be enough to push through the legislative agenda supported by the party’s own voters.

As many Democratic politicians and the president have demanded tighter gun-control laws to no avail, so has President Trump. Many in their party blame the deadlock on Republicans’ devotion to the National Rifle Association.

Ocasio-Cortez attempted to separate herself from the legislative masses, however, complaining that as long as the Democrats think “there’s some level of horror that is going to convince Republicans to change their minds,” mass shootings will keep happening.

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I don’t want to be one of those ding-dongs that just tells you to vote harder,” she said, saying that “people treat Congress like it’s some kind of incumbency protection racket. These seats don’t belong to us.”

Ocasio-Cortez will be up for re-election on November. In January 2019, Ocasio-Cortez was elected to office. She voted for large military budgets, and supported party leaders that opposed many of her policies, including student loan forgiveness and Medicare for All.



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