Illusion of ‘The Outsider’: Why Ocasio-Cortez Won’t Fix Our Broken Two Party Duopoly
21st Century Wire
I‘ll admit, for a minute I fell for it again. Watching a young, telegenic woman take on and defeat an entrenched politician produced a temporary moment of euphoria mixed with schadenfreude. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s unbelievable knockout of Democratic party boss Joe Crowley almost made me believe that these two equally bankrupt political parties can be fixed from within. The feeling proved to be short-lived; no person is more powerful than the institution they are desperate to join.
I am no longer the naive loyalist who believed that a little known Senator from Illinois would deliver the change we have been waiting for. As much as I want to root for Alexandria, I know that in the end she too will be co-opted by the DNC and party leaders. The problem in DC are not the candidates but the system as a whole. A government hijacked by two mafia parties will not allow true change agents to survive let alone prosper. In this paradigm, even the most well-intentioned of people will end up conforming to the norm and have zero chance of transforming our broken state of politics.
Yet, year after year, election after election, we keep falling for the latest fresh faces who promise to go to DC and drain the swamp of corruption and nepotism. The results always end up the same way, hope being paid back with hopelessness as the politicians we put our faith in sell their souls in order to retain power and celebrity. This is how the establishment remains fixed no matter who gets elected; the people in charge are not the politicians we elect but the donors who fund their campaigns and the insiders who determine rank and privileges within the party infrastructure.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez talks with talk show and Democratic Party surrogate host Stephen Colbert.
Elected officials who are team players get rewarded with stature and are prominently splashed across mainstream media outlets. Those who ruffle feathers and refuse to play by the rules don’t last long. The sheer amount of money and resources it takes to run for national positions demands that politicians don’t stray too far from their lanes or risk being primaried by their own party or have a media driven firestorm chase them out of office. In a landscape where winners and losers are determined by the largess of moneyed interests and by the access they are given to mainstream media, the will of voters is always subverted by the demands of the neo-aristocracy.
Alexandria knows this full well, this is the reason she course corrected and started to tone down her rhetoric the minute she won the New York Democrat primary last Tuesday. In less than a week, she latched on to the bullshit Russia narrative, started echoing the half-baked “vote blue no matter who” mantra, and endorsed the very establishment she is seeking to topple by embracing Hillary Clinton. People who join the very institutions they are supposedly fighting against and cast their lot with the status quo are not revolutionaries, they are given platforms in order to lure disenchanted voters back to the very parties that are mauling them.
Keep paying attention to Alexandria’s rhetoric, you will notice subtle drifts away from her original positions. In politics, they call this pivoting to the middle, otherwise known as selling her principles in order to jockey for position. Watch:
As long as Democrats and Republicans have a choke-hold on power in Washington, DC and on ballot boxes throughout America, the chance for change to occur in our lifetime is zip to zilch at best. We have to stop treating politics like a reality show; just because they throw out new characters and new plot lines does not mean we are witnessing progress on policy fronts. Tokenism must come to an end, the political fortunes of the “first black president” or the “first Latina woman” is meaningless unless they address the root issues that are leading to vast economic inequalities on the home front and upheaval throughout the world.
Alexandria’s accomplishment last week was not a victory for progress, it was a triumph for the status quo. A two faction scam that is rejected by a vast majority of Americans—when independents are combined with people who have been driven out of voting participation—is now being given a veneer of legitimacy by the latest media darling. Instead of finding ways to dismantle these two criminal enterprises who collude to commandeer our government, we will be navel gazing at yet another cult of personality. When will we learn, pouring gallons of milk into vats tainted with bacteria will only intensify the pathogens. Republicans were duped by the Tea Party in 2010 only for the party to appropriate the movement.
If you take away nothing else from this article, I hope it’s this one overriding message. Do not be lured by the bait of actors and narratives. Unless you think that one person is powerful enough to sweep away decades, if not centuries, of rooted corruption built on the backs of these two malicious political parties, it is imperative that we focus on the systemic graft that allows them to fester. If your lawn is infested with weed, are you doing anything to solve the problem by planting a rose in the midst of the outbreak? Likewise what good is an injection of fresh blood in a party infected by corporate Ebola? The only way to address the incorporated sham that is passed off as a representative democracy is by opening up our elections and letting ideas compete instead of allowing the duopoly to reign supreme using gimmicks and slogans to hide their malevolence.
During this Independence Day week, instead of accepting the way things are and being sold a bill of goods by the duopoly, let us commit to being imaginative and finding a way out of the wilderness. Stop letting the media-politico complex bamboozle us with fresh faces only to lead us to the stale institutions which keep kneecapping all of us. No more voting for the lesser of two evils and no more listening to people who try to convince you that supporting ideas outside of the Democrat/Republican divide is wasted energy. Don’t fall for the merry-go-round of personalities who keep being unleashed to sheepdog voters back to this two-party racket.
PS: More than 90% of mainstream media is owned by six corporations (read six people), they don’t allow true change agents to have access to the airwaves. Be cautious and twice skeptical when unknown candidates are given millions in free advertisement by the same interests they’re supposedly fighting.
“The revolution will not be televised” ~ Gil Scott-Heron
Author Teodrose Fikre is the founder and editor of the Ghion Journal, and a former defense consultant was profoundly changed by a two year journey of hardship and struggle. Going from a life of upper-middle class privilege to a time spent with the huddled masses taught.
An original version of this article was first published at The Ghion Journal.