Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) was criticized after she attempted to downplay the threat of socialism by claiming Republicans are trying to scare people away from voting for Democratic candidates.
“The ‘old-fashioned red-baiting approach, familiar to those of us who lived through the Cold War, doesn’t seem to be working,'” Ocasio-Cortez said in a Twitter post accompanied by an article that argues the fear around socialism is beginning to recede.
“Drumming fear around socialism is the GOP’s big play, & it’s failing, bc capitalism = GoFundMe as our national healthcare system,” she added.
The “old-fashioned red-baiting approach, familiar to those of us who lived through the Cold War, doesn’t seem to be working.”
Drumming fear around socialism is the GOP’s big play, & it’s failing, bc capitalism = GoFundMe as our national healthcare system. https://t.co/IOrDu1VYe0
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) August 29, 2019
Many people called out Ocasio-Cortez trivializing the threat of a tyrannical political system that has caused destruction in many parts of the world, most recently in Venezuela.
“AOC’s message today: there’s never a reason to fear communism or socialism, despite the fact they’ve never worked,” Stand for America, an organization founded by former United States Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley, posted in response. “We don’t need to go back 30 years to see what’s happening in Venezuela today. #NeverSocialism.”
AOC’s message today: there’s never a reason to fear communism or socialism, despite the fact they’ve never worked.
— Stand For America (@standamericanow) August 29, 2019
Will Estes, who has penned pieces for the National Review and Washington Examiner, wrote: “If the ‘fear around socialism’ has begun to recede, it’s thanks to a public education system that has failed to impart the cruel lesson of its privations on every people who’ve been subjected to it. Which, frankly, explains much of your popularity too.”
If the “fear around socialism” has begun to recede, it’s thanks to a public education system that has failed to impart the cruel lesson of its privations on every people who’ve been subjected to it. Which, frankly, explains much of your popularity too.
— Will Estes (@WilliamAEstes) August 29, 2019
“I fought against Communism for 23 years in the U.S. Army,” Dr. Rich Swier, a retired army lieutenant colonel and a publisher of the DrRichSwier.com e-magazine, wrote. “This corrupt and failed system must be resisted at all costs. As a member of Congress it’s your sworn duty to protect and defend our Constitution.”
This comes as several Democratic presidential candidates are openly pushing for socialist policies as their leading agenda in the 2020 race.
As part of his campaign, Rep. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) is promoting a range of socialist policies like “Medicare for All,” free college tuition, and a $15 minimum wage. These policies are being endorsed by other Democratic candidates including Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.).
Meanwhile, Ocasio-Cortez is pushing her own socialist policy, the Green New Deal, to tackle climate change. It calls for a Soviet-style 10-year mobilization to take all gas-engine cars off the road and upgrade or replace every home and commercial building in the country. It would also cost U.S. taxpayers up to $93 trillion over the course of the mobilization, according to one estimate.
Trump Communications Director Tim Murtaugh has described the Democratic field of candidates as “one big socialist organism with 22 heads,” which was later changed to “one big socialist organism with 23 heads” when New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced his presidential bid.
President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, and other GOP leaders have repeatedly warned about the rise of socialism. Moreover, Trump, a fierce critic of socialism and communism, has previously vowed that “America will never be a socialist country.”
“Here, in the United States, we are alarmed by new calls to adopt socialism in our country,” Trump said during the annual State of the Union address in February. “America was founded on liberty and independence–not government coercion, domination, and control. We are born free, and we will stay free.”
A Gallup poll released in May found that over 40 percent of Americans say socialism would be a good thing for the United States—an alarming increase since 1942. The polling data found that while 51 percent of Americans say socialism is a bad thing, 43 percent believe it would be a good thing.
This is an 18 percentage point increase since 1942, where 40 percent of Americans thought socialism was a bad thing, while 25 percent believed it was a good thing, according to the Roper/Fortune survey, as noted by Gallup.
Socialism, which takes the form of progressivism in the United States, is a precursor to communism and has already infiltrated U.S. politics, higher education, and culture, according to The Epoch Times series How the Specter of Communism is Ruling Our World.
Epoch Times reporter Ivan Pentchoukov contributed to this report.