She has only been in post for a fleetingly short amount of time, but Democratic Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez seems to be going from incredible showing of strength to incredible showing of strength. I don’t think she’s by any means perfect—her relative silence on foreign policy gives me pause—but when contrasted against the business-as-usual moral morass of Washington her presence and her message is proving somewhat akin to a blinding light. It helps that she has star power, and clearly a formidable team working alongside her, but the fundamental point is that her message is rock solid, and existentially vital: U.S. politics is broken.
Well, ‘broken’ is the polite word she uses. That word can only be really used to describe it from the point of view of one side of the power equation. The kleptocratic crony-capitalist system in place is working perfectly well for the elites of the country and their allied interests. It is criminal, immoral, and unjustifiable. But for them, it is working. For the rest of the country—the minorities suffering systemic prejudice; the working and middle classes feeling an ever-worsening squeeze; the environment and climate reaching a catastrophic tipping point—yeah, ‘broken’ is the right word. The contract between the government and the governed lies in tatters, ground under the boot heels of the main culprit responsible for its destruction:
You want to talk about ‘draining the swamp’ for real, rather than staffing it with white supremacists and Goldman Sachs executives. This is what a swamp drainer looks like:
That is how you simply and powerfully take on the deeply poisonous and corrupt campaign finance problem of U.S. politics. The role of money in the halls of power is perhaps the biggest elephant in the room there is. If it isn’t addressed and its nature interrogated, the potential for real progress will remain forever atrophied.
Here is that clip again with captions:
Image sources (in order of posting): The Guardian, YouTube