Trump Tweets: Squad “Free to Leave”

Donald Trump seized the opportunity to take to his preferred presidential platform on Sunday to address the American people, tweeting comments full of racist language that appeared to be aimed at the four progressive Democrat congresswomen of color who have come to be called “The Squad.” 

“…So interesting to see ‘progressive’ Democrat congresswomen, who originally came from countries whose governments are a complete and total catastrophe, the worst, most corrupt and inept anywhere in the world (if they even have a functioning government at all), now loudly and viciously telling the people of the United States, the greatest and most powerful nation on earth, how our government is to be run. Why don’t they go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came. Then come back and show us how it is done. These places need your help badly, you can’t leave fast enough.”

Ocasio-Cortez, who was born in New York, responded, “The country I ‘come from,’ and the country we all swear to, is the United States.”

Ayanna Pressley (MA), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY), Rashida Tlaib (MI), and Ilhan Omar (MN), House freshmen collectively known as “The Squad,” have had a well-publicized clash with Democrat House Speaker Nancy Pelosi over the humanitarian crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border, as well as over Pelosi’s reluctance to pursue impeachment proceedings against Trump. Trump, who has repeatedly insulted and denigrated Pelosi, used the clash as an opportunity to lambaste the four women, despite the fact that it meant momentarily siding with Pelosi. 

Citing Ocasio Cortez’ statement that Pelosi was being disrespectful in “explicitly singling out newly-elected women of color” for criticism, Trump said of Pelosi, “She is not a racist.”

Trump, who continually and consistently shows disrespect for any number of people, including Pelosi, said, “I think Cortez is being very disrespectful to someone who’s been there a long time (Pelosi).”  

Pelosi’s response to Trump’s remarks was that the president had demonstrated that his plan to “Make America Great Again” had always been, essentially, to “make America white again.”

Ocasio-Cortez further responded to Trump’s remarks: “You are angry because you don’t believe in an America where I represent New York 14, where the good people of Minnesota elected (Omar), where (Tlaib) fights for Michigan families, where (Pressley) champions little girls in Boston.

“You are angry because you can’t conceive of an America that includes us. You rely on a frightened America for your plunder.”

On Monday, Trump continued his Twitter campaign against The Squad, seizing on some of the trigger phrases for his base, including stating that the women “hate America,” and that they should “apologize to Israel.” Trump did, however, move from  his previous proclamation that “They can go back to where they came from” to “They’re free to leave.”

Incidentally, only one of the “Squad,” Ilhan Omar, “came from” another country. Omar, who was born in Somalia and spent time in a refugee camp, emigrated to the U.S. at age 12, and is a U.S. citizen. Several reporters have reminded readers that Trump, along with The Squad (and most of us), has an immigrant heritage, as well.

Trump Says Ocasio-Cortez Is Being Very Disrespectful to Pelosi | Bloomberg [2019-07-12]

Trump defends Pelosi amid feud with Ocasio-Cortez |
Fox News [2019-07-12]

Democratic Socialism and Socialism: Are They the Same?

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’ win over Rep. Joe Crowley in the New York Democratic Congressional primary last week has people talking for several reasons. First, Crowley was a long-standing incumbent. Second, Ocasio-Cortez is a millennial; she’s only 28 years old. But most notable (and disturbing, to some) may be the fact that she’s a Democratic Socialist.

As with Bernie Sanders, many Americans simply refer to Ocasio-Cortez as a socialist, not acknowledging the differences between socialism and democratic socialism. Since Socialism has historically had a negative connotation (to say the least) in American politics, and remains misunderstood by many, some are alarmed at Ocasio-Cortez’ victory. Though it’s true that both socialism and democratic socialism share the goal of reducing economic inequality, they also differ significantly.

Many Americans jump to the conclusion that all socialists (including democratic socialists) advocate an authoritarian government. They envision a tyrannical, state-controlled society with oppressive central government control of business and industry, and forced redistribution of wealth.

Though socialism aspires to fully replace our capitalist economy with a socialist economy, democratic socialism does not list this as its goal. It would, however, aim to grant employees more rights and a higher minimum wage, as well as place some limitations on corporations and large business owners, such as how much CEOs can make in comparison with their employees.

And though socialists hold that all parts of the economy should be centrally run, democratic socialists support the idea that some parts of an economy are better democratically run. Hence, the word democratic as a modifier of socialist.

The Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) stress that they are committed to Democracy. They hold that changes in government and policy should be a result of fair elections. They also support the empowerment of workers in the workplace and in the economy, and they aim to create more equitable gender and cultural relationships.

Generally, “socialists believe the government should provide a range of basic services to the public, such as health care and education, for free or at a significant discount” (Business Insider).

Ocasio-Cortez, in fact, sees housing as a right, advocates Medicare for all, and calls for tuition-free college. It also calls for the de-militarization of police departments and the abolishment of for-profit prisons.

Senator Bernie Sanders, a Democratic socialist, said, “I think [democratic socialism] means the government has got to play a very important role in making sure that as a right of citizenship all of our people have healthcare; that as a right, all of our kids, regardless of income, have quality childcare, are able to go to college without going deeply into debt; that it means we do not allow large corporations and moneyed interests to destroy our environment; that we create a government in which it is not dominated by big money interest.”

Though Americans, particularly conservative Americans, find the idea of democratic socialism in the U.S. to be horrifying, we should note that a number of successful democratic socialist nations exist, including Norway, Sweden, and Denmark. Not all democratic socialist countries have been successful at remaining democratic, however. Whether we’re on board with democratic socialism, or whether we feel it should be avoided at all costs, it would be wise to observe and examine the spectrum of democratic socialism in practice.

Judge Jeanine: The rise of socialism | Fox News [2018-06-30]

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez: There’s Room For Democratic Socialists In The Democratic Party  | (HBO)  VICE News [2018-06-28]