Ocasio-Cortez Suggests America Is in State of ‘Garbage,’ Accuses Reagan of Spurring Racial Conflicts

March 10, 2019 Updated: March 10, 2019

Democratic socialist Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) suggested that America is in a state of “garbage” in an appearance at the South by Southwest Conference & Festivals (SXSW) on March 9.

At the same time, she claimed former President Ronald Reagan spurred racial conflicts by pitting white working-class people against minorities.

Responding to a question on her push for far-left socialist policies, such as her proposed “Green New Deal” and Medicare for All, Ocasio-Cortez claimed the nation has drifted away from “our core” into something that isn’t radical but what “we’ve always been.”

“We’ve strayed so far away from what has really made us powerful, and just, and good, and equitable, and productive, and so I think all of these things sound radical compared to where we are, but where we are is not a good thing,” she said. “And this idea of, like, 10 percent better from… garbage, is, shouldn’t be what we settle for, it’s like this, like, it feels like, moderate is not a stance, it’s just an attitude toward life of, like, ‘hmmm.'”

The congresswomen at one point also claimed that Reagan’s rhetoric had “[screwed] over all working-class Americans.”

“A perfect example of how special interests and the powerful have pitted white working-class Americans against brown and black working-class Americans, in order to just screw over all working-class Americans, is Reaganism in the ’80s, when he started talking about welfare queens,” she said.

“So you think about this image, welfare queens, and what he was really trying to talk about was… he was painting this photo… he was painting this, like, really resentful vision of, essentially, black women who were doing nothing, that were ‘sucks’ on our country.”

Ocasio-Cortez accused Reagan of fueling anger against a group of people “that you are already kind of subconsciously primed to resent.” She claimed the former president gave Americans a different reason to harbor such resentment that was “not explicit racism, but still rooted in a racist caricature.”

FEC Complaints

Her remarks come amid a hectic week for the congresswoman, who faces scrutiny over the operations of her office and campaign, including two ethics complaints filed by conservative non-profits to the Federal Election Commission (FEC).

One ethics complaint filed on March 7 accuses her of using congressional privileges to provide her boyfriend an official House email address by falsely designating him as a ‘staff’ member.

U.S. Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) listens as Michael Cohen, attorney for President Trump, testifies before the House Oversight and Reform Committee in the Rayburn House Office Building on Capitol Hill in Washington on Feb. 27, 2019. (Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images)

A separate complaint alleges that two political action committees (PACs) backing the congresswoman’s campaign fed nearly $900,000 to a limited liability company (LLC) that functioned as a de facto slush fund for campaign spending, skirting campaign-transparency rules.

The congresswoman recently also came to the defense of Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) who has faced accusations of anti-Semitism from both parties. On March 5, Ocasio-Cortez retweeted a Twitter post from a supporter of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, which the U.S. State Department designates a terrorist organization.

Ocasio-Cortez, in her retweet, said it was “disappointing” to see pro-Israel activist Stephen Fiske telling the New York Times that the “lobby is coming” for herself and two other congresswomen.

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