Beating the Undemocratic New York Machine
by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org – Home – Stephen Lendman)
There’s nothing democratic about so-called Dems, especially under one-party rule, each right wing little different from the other. Duplicitous rhetoric largely separates them.
Politicians against America’s dirty system are rare exceptions to the rule. Cynthia McKinney stands out – twice losing her congressional seat for courageously supporting Palestinian rights and opposing Washington’s permanent war agenda.
Doing the right thing is costly. Going along with what’s wrong pays well, not taking a stand against it.
McKinney has always been too principled to play the dirty game. Political success in America, other Western societies and Israel depends on it.
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard is another exception to the rule, Hawaii’s most popular politician – an anti-neocon, polar opposite most other congressional members supporting endless wars.
She’s fundamentally against US aggression in Syria or any other country for regime change or any other reason.
Her Stop Arming Terrorists Act took courage to introduce – legislation to prohibit Washington from using US taxpayer dollars to provide funding, weapons, training, and intelligence support to ISIS, al-Qaeda, and other terrorist groups – or to countries directly or indirectly aiding these jihadists.
Introduced in January 2017, her proposed measure got scant support as expected. Few in Congress are courageous enough to be pro-peace and stability, anti-war, anti-the rape and destruction of one nation after another.
If Washington had more McKinneys and Gabbards as well as less bipartisan neocons, world peace might break out all over.
Gabbard visited Syria, supporting peace for its people. She met with Bashar al-Assad, courageously called misnamed rebels terrorists, on return to America saying:
“My visit to Syria has made it abundantly clear: Our counterproductive regime change war does not serve America’s interest, and it certainly isn’t in the interest of the Syrian people.”
“As I visited with people from across the country, and heard heartbreaking stories of how this war has devastated their lives, I was asked, ‘Why is the United States and its allies helping al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups try to take over Syria? Syria did not attack the United States. Al-Qaeda did.’ I had no answer.”
She returned to Washington “with even greater resolve to end our illegal war to overthrow the Syrian government…(to) stop directly and indirectly supporting terrorists.”
She and McKinney are rare profiles in courage in a nation pursuing endless wars of aggression.
Aged-28, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is cut out of the same mold – a Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) member, a different breed from the vast majority in Congress, showing what’s she’ll be up against in pursuing her progressive agenda.
She scored a stunning 58 – 42% triumph over longtime undemocratic Dem incumbent Rep. Joe Crowley in Tuesday’s New York primary – a Wall Street, war-profiteers, machine favorite, a likely House leader to replace Nancy Pelosi before his defeat.
Ocasio-Cortez’s campaign was 100% people-funded. She shunned corporate PAC money, raising around $200,000 on her own compared to multiples that amount by Crowley.
She ran “to champion the needs of working families in the Bronx and Queens,” she said, supporting universal healthcare, tuition-free higher education, quality employment, along with equity and justice for all – an anti-big money agenda.
She calls herself “an educator, organizer, Democratic Socialist…running to champion working families in Congress,” adding:
Her “movement…is about education and healthcare.It’s about housing, jobs, justice, and civil rights.”
“It’s is about preparing for the future of our environment, energy, and infrastructure. It’s about championing the dignity of our neighbors. And it’s about getting money out of politics.”
Her platform pledges included the following:
“Medicare For All (universal healthcare as a fundamental human right)
Housing As a Human Right (ending homelessness in the world’s richest country)
A Federal Jobs Guarantee (true full employment with a guaranteed $15 minimum wage pegged to inflation, along with full healthcare, as well as paid child and sick leave for all)
Gun Control/Assault Weapons Ban (a way to reduce gun violence in America without a blanket ban these weapons)
Criminal Justice Reform, End Private Prisons (America’s gulag, the world’s largest by far, is the shame of the nation)
Immigration Justice/Abolish ICE (a clear path to citizenship, protecting the rights of families to remain together)
Solidarity with Puerto Rico (her family’s home, aiding beleaguered islanders recover from the ravages of Hurricane Maria)
Mobilizing Against Climate Change (transitioning America to a carbon-free, 100% renewable energy system by 2035)
Clean Campaign Finance (getting money out of politics, favoring wealth and power over social justice)
Higher Education for All (free public education to the highest levels for everyone wanting it)
Women’s Rights (equality for all women in all ways, including equal pay and reproductive justice)
Support LGBTQIA+ (human and civil rights assured for everyone in America)
Support Seniors (enabling everyone to retire in dignity)
Curb Wall Street Gambling: Restore Glass Steagall (ending the policy of too-big-to-fail banks and other financial institutions, separating commercial from investment banks and insurers, curbing casino capitalism instead of fostering it virtually unrestrained, leading to inevitable booms and busts)
Clearly Ocasio-Cortez is pro-peace without affirming it in her platform. All of the above pledges demand use of the nation’s resources for policies she supports – excluding their use for warmaking.
She represents a rare breath of fresh air in a corrupt cesspool of congressional service to monied interests and war-profiteers over rapidly eroding social justice in America.
In New York’s 14th congressional district affording Republicans little support, she’s virtually assured of triumphing in November.
She’s up against a system overwhelmingly hostile to her agenda, preventing “an America that works for all of us, not just a wealthy few” from becoming reality.
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My newest book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”