AOC’s America: Sophomoric Debate as Nat’l Politics (EP.109)

AOC's America

Summary

Representative Ocasio-Cortez, D-NY, AOC as she identifies herself, or “Alex from the Bronx”, as others call her, is a product of our lazy thinking times. I can remember participating in discussions with as much passion for making everything right, and the same naive, uninformed and misinformed information base, and wandering approach to logistics and planning as AOC’s. But we were sophomores in high school then. This goes far beyond AOC; many of her party’s leaders are actively supporting her, and few–if any–have challenged her. And we–all of us–are a part of the problem. Ill or uninformed voters are dangerous enough. Politicians of the same type are even more dangerous. And our fault. If we want better candidates and better office holders, we need to be better voters.

For the next 10 minutes, we will talk about what this means for everything from our personal lives to the future of the republic.

Transcript

Representative Ocasio-Cortez, D-NY, AOC as she identifies herself, or “Alex from the Bronx”, as others call her, is a product of our lazy thinking times. I can remember participating in discussions with the same passion for making everything right, and the same naive, uninformed and misinformed information base and wandering approach to logistics and planning as AOC’s. But we were sophomores in high school then. This goes far beyond AOC; many of her party’s leaders are supporting her, and few–if any–have challenged her. And we–all of us–are a part of the problem. Ill or uninformed voters are dangerous enough. Politicians of the same type are even more dangerous. And our fault. If we want better candidates and better office holders, we need to be better voters.

For the next 10 minutes, we will talk about what this means for everything from our personal lives to the future of the republic.

The powerful group of declared candidates hoping to oppose Donald Trump in 2020 fully support policies like the Green New Deal in general, and Medicare for All free college in particular. While the Green New Deal was instigated by AOC, they have all signed on.

Pause for clarification. This is not the fault of the Democrats, it is not the fault of the Republicans. It is our fault. “We have met the enemy, and he is us.” Worthwhile quote from a Pogo, cartoon opossum, in the eponymous cartoon strip.  

Clearly, if we want better candidates and better office holders, we need to be better voters. (It really is up to us.)

Let’s take a deeper look at what’s going on:

  • Medicare For All would cost in excess of $3 trillion (with a “T”) a year. Keep in mind that our national budget is just in excess of $4 trillion a year. Medicare For All would almost double our annual spending. Already fewer and fewer medical providers are accepting Medicare; there is no guarantee that the facility you might want would even accept Medicare. Others are now limiting Medicare patients to certain days and hours, making getting appointments more and more difficult. Additionally, Medicare is cutting back access to physicians, allowed procedures and medicines. These problems would be greatly exacerbated if millions of people were added to the Medicare rolls. And what do you do with the tens of millions who have worked for decades, having paid into Medicare all along? Do they just stand by and watch while the services they earned deteriorate while now being free to others?
  • Add in the fantastic 10-year goals of the Green New Deal, and we are at about $10 trillion (yes, still with a “T”) a year. In addition to the $4T we are spending each year now. Let’s remember the Green New Deal’s author, AOC, said that she was coming to DC in January to be “inaugurated” and that she would soon be “signing bills.” That lack of even basic understanding of how congress works would get you an “F” on a high school civics quiz. Remember AOC’s opposition to and eventual delight in helping to kill Amazon’s HQ2 plans for New York City? Amazon’s deal came with 25K jobs at $150K/annum, and $3 billion in tax rebates. AOC said many times that the $3 billion could be put to better use in her city that to bribe “Jeff Bezos, the richest man in the world.” First, there was no $3 billion to spend. Those dollars were rebates against the estimated $12 billion – $20 billion Amazon would have paid in taxes over the course of the deal. There was no $3 billion for AOC to have spent elsewhere to improve the city. By the way, Mr. Bezos owns 16% of Amazon, with other shareholders, including huge pension funds and 401 (k) plans, owning the other 84%.

Today’s Key Point: We need to fix healthcare, and we need to address climate change. These issues and more will get worse and worse, all while spending more and more money, unless we put honesty and integrity above political agendas. “Impeach Trump” is a counterproductive, purely political agenda. As is, “Lock her up.” Finding common goals, and common goals exist in even the most controversial areas (test me here) is the vital first step to fixing what’s broken.

As a cap to today’s brief discussion, let’s take a look at a likely scenario: We go ahead with many of these plans, and as the critics predicted, they are disasters. The country is plunged into a depression, and it get worse from there. Do you think that a single proponent of these plans, things like Medicare for All or the Green New Deal, would admit they were wrong? No. Not one. They would all find ways to blame others, saying things like “These plans were not implemented correctly, If they had been, everything would have worked.”

Yes, we have political leadership and media that are made up in the main of people who take credit, and place blame. Honesty requires accepting blame when appropriate, and leadership and well, humanity, require always sharing credit. When are we going to start practicing those traits ourselves–and demanding–demanding them of our leaders? When are we going to act like real grownups, demanding the best our ourselves–though that may be hard (Remember Life is Hard–as it Should Be (EP. 106)? ). When are we going to follow only adults with integrity in the media? And elect grownups who are there to serve the country, and not themselves and their parties?

All of this ties to the core, driving principles at Revolution 2.0, which are:

  1. Personal Responsibility; take it, teach it and,
  2. Be Your Brother’s Keeper. The answer to the biblical question, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” is a ringing, unequivocal “Yes.” There is no other answer.

If we apply those two core principles simultaneously, never only one or the other, we will always be on the right path. Depending upon what we face, one principle or the other may appropriately be given more emphasis, but they are always acted upon together.

The Founders, Revolution 1.0, were declared traitors by the British Crown, and their lives were forfeit if caught. We risk very little by stepping up and participating in Revolution 2.0™. In fact, we risk our futures if we don’t. I am inviting you, recruiting you, to join Revolution 2.0™ today. Join with me in using what we know how to do–what we know we must do–to everyone’s advantage. Let’s practice thinking well of others as we seek common goals, research the facts that apply to those goals, and use non agenda-based reasoning to achieve those goals together. Practice personal responsibility and be your brother’s keeper.

Let’s continue to build on the revolutionary vision that we inherited. Read the blog, listen to the podcast, subscribe, recruit, act. Here’s what I mean my “acting.”

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Revolution 1.0 in 1776 was built by people talking to other people, agreeing and disagreeing, but always finding ways to stay united and going forward. Revolution 2.0 will be built the same way.

Join me. Join the others. Let’s grow this together. Think about what we are talking about and share these thoughts and principles with others. Subscribe, encourage others to subscribe. Act.

And visit the store. Fun stuff, including hats, mugs and t-shirts. Recommend other items that you’d like to see.

Links and References

Pogo

America’s Unqualified Voters (EP. 89)

Green New Deal and the Man From India (EP. 104)

Contact

As we get ready to wrap up, please do respond in the blog with comments or questions about this podcast or anything that comes to mind, or connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. And you can subscribe to the podcast on your favorite device through Apple Podcasts, Google, or Stitcher.

Now it is time for our usual parting thought. It is not enough to be informed. It is not enough to be a well informed voter. We need to act.  And if we, you and I, don’t do something, then the others who are doing something, will continue to run the show.

Know your stuff, then act on it. Knowing your stuff without acting is empty; acting without knowing is dangerous.

Will Luden, writing to you from my home office at 7,200’ in Colorado Springs.

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Will Luden

I am your host, Will Luden, former long-time high-tech CEO and Board Chair. I had no idea when I started this podcast that it would become the highest calling of my professional career. Lincoln famously hoped that a government, “…of the people, by the people and for the people…”, would not perish from this earth. My hope, the reason for Revolution 2.0 ”A Booster Shot”, is that a government based on common goals, achieved by applying non agenda-based reasoning to core facts, will allow us to continue to build on our mutual inheritance of a legacy of dedication to seemingly impossible ideals, a legacy that also includes a history of achieving them.
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2 Responses

  1. Charles Cabral Reply

    So we have a situation where the two dominant political parties are now being held captive by the extremists on each end of the spectrum. Neither party will stand up to the nut cases (current Twit-in-chief included) for fear of losing the next election by losing that 10-20% of their voters. As a voter, I have no reasonable options, and apparently there is not enough leadership or courage within the current power structure to offer me one.

    • Will Luden Reply

      Charlie, agreed. So, let’s go about changing the power structure. On an individual level, if we want better candidates and office holders, we need to be better voters. Nationally, the conventions of states seems to be gathering some steam. conventionofstates.com

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