Column: The politicians supportive of illegal immigration
The victory of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez over longtime Democratic congressman Joe Crowley of New York inspired some hysterical punditry. We were told that the 28,000 people that voted in a district of more than 600,000 had decided the fate of the political universe. Ocasio-Cortez, in this telling, heralds the coming of Democratic Socialist, multiracial, female-dominated America. The 28-year-old bartender and community activist is the Democrat of the future—according to no less an authority than the chairman of the Democratic National Committee. And in a polarized media climate, with hyperbolic insinuations of "civil war" and calls for the harassment of political opponents, one is tempted to believe that romanticism and extremism grow ever stronger.
I remain skeptical. For one thing, New York politics is sort of the equivalent of the Las Vegas party scene—what happens there tends to stay there. Crowley was boring and out-of-touch; Ocasio-Cortez is appealing and a tireless campaigner. Her picture of democratic socialism is all rainbows and unicorns, platitudes and aspirations. And the numbers involved in the primary were so small that randomness has to have played some part in her 4,000-vote win. Ocasio-Cortez is neither a threat to America nor to the American right. But she is representative of the transformation of the American left.
The only civil war happening at the moment is within the Democratic Party. The old-guard corporatists are under attack from activists with radical goals and immoderate tempers. You can trace a line from Occupy Wall Street in 2011 through Black Lives Matter in 2013 through Bernie Sanders in 2016 through the Women's March a year later, Tom Steyer and Maxine Waters's impeachment campaigns, the growing prominence of Democratic Socialists of America, and the movement to abolish Immigration and Customs Enforcement today.