In an Instagram Live video on Friday night, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) fielded questions from her followers. One of them asked: “What does a democratic socialist foreign policy look like to you?” And by the time AOC was finished answering, it was obvious that she’s as radical and misinformed about this topic as she is on just about everything else.
“Less policy informed by frameworks of imperialism, colonialism, exploitation, & ‘security state,'” Ocasio-Cortez said. “More policy informed by decolonization, international labor rights, increased focus on economic opportunity for the poor, expanded indigenous rights and protections, and VERY important strong international agreements on climate action.”
The United States, she continued should use trade agreements as a way to “advance global carbon emissions drawdowns.”
“Trade policy is climate policy,” she said. “It’s one of the strongest potential levers for global cooperation on climate change. If there are no climate benchmarks in your trade policy, then your trade policy is climate denial. That’s why I voted against the USMCA, aka NAFTA 2.0.”
While she didn’t specifically address war in her Friday night answer, pinned on her Instagram page is her opinion on the matter from a Twitter response last month: “War is a class conflict, too. The rich and powerful who open war escape the consequences of their decisions. It’s not their children sent into the jaws of violence. It is often the vulnerable, the poor, & working people -who had little to no say in conflict – who pay the price.”
So yeah, AOC sounds like any third-year UC Berkeley student who is high on buzzwords and low on facts, but that’s par for the course. We’re quite positive that Ocasio-Cortez’s theories on “decolonization” do not have a lot of depth to them, but even if you go to an authoritative source – the pages of the radical left-wing magazine Counterpunch, for example – you’ll find little more.
In November 2019, Counterpunch tackled the thorny issue of foreign policy via democratic socialism; they seemed to determine that we’d simply put the whole country in charge of deciding when and where America goes to war.
“When it comes to war and acts of aggression, democratic socialists would do well to propose a final, citizen check on these measures,” wrote UNC Professor Timothy Gill. “Before the United States could commit soldiers abroad, these actions would require citizen approval. In doing so, the executive and aligned politicians would be required to not only convince congressional members of the necessity of their proposed forays, but also the citizens themselves, who are, of course, the individuals who end up fighting and dying over such policies.”
Our representative republic form of democracy isn’t perfect, but to replace it with this sort of direct democracy would be madness. Sorry if it sounds undemocratic, but Uncle Uninformed doesn’t need a direct say in whether we commit troops to the Baltic Sea or not. We’ve got enough confused doofuses casting votes in our regular elections; we don’t need to compound the problem by putting Joe Facebook in charge of our foreign policy.
Although…if the alternative is Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, then maybe it’s a wash.