What the New York primary victory of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez means
28 June 2018
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a member of the Democratic Socialists of America, defeated the fourth-ranking member of the Democratic leadership of the House of Representatives, Congressman Joseph Crowley, in Tuesday’s primary election in the 14th Congressional District of New York.
There is no doubt that the vote for Ocasio-Cortez reflects the mounting opposition in the working class to the corporate-controlled politics of both the Democratic and Republican parties. There is a growing radicalization among working people, powerfully expressed in the wave of teachers’ strikes earlier this year and now seen in the broad opposition to the Trump administration’s persecution of immigrants.
The defeat of Crowley demonstrates the popular hostility towards the Democratic Party establishment. In a district with a population of more than 700,000, where the incumbent won 83 percent of the vote in 2016, a leader of the congressional Democrats received barely 11,000 votes. Given its outlay of $3.4 million (according to the Federal Election Commission), the Crowley campaign spent more than $300 for each vote.
Despite the repudiation of Crowley, however, the politics of Ocasio-Cortez and the DSA offer no way forward for the working class. There is not a hint of socialism in her program (the word itself does not appear on her web site), and both the candidate and the DSA have sought to downplay their connection. Anyone who suggests that her victory marks a shift to the left by the Democratic Party should be told, in no uncertain terms: Curb your enthusiasm!
The DSA is not fighting for socialism, but to strengthen the Democratic Party, one of the two main capitalist parties in the United States, which shares…