by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Senator Sanders is a politically and intellectually unserious man — which is nothing new to American presidential politics, of course. But he has been a radical left-wing Froot Loop long enough to know that there are practical limits to public Froot-Loopery. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has not been around long enough to appreciate that fact. Which is why, among Democrats who believe that American law-enforcement agencies are Enemies of the People and that our immigration and border-patrol authorities should be liquidated in order to facilitate the uncontrolled flow of people across open borders, she actually says that American law-enforcement agencies are Enemies of the People and that our immigration and border-patrol authorities should be liquidated in order to facilitate the uncontrolled flow of people across open borders.
Senator Sanders knows better than to say that. He also knows better than to believe it. …
… But Representative Ocasio-Cortez is one step beyond, dismaying the Sanders campaign by using her campaign appearances to, among other things, encourage law-breaking by and for illegal immigrants: “Organizing is about tipping people off if you start to see that ICE and CBP are in communities to try and keep people safe,” she says. Organizing to keep law-enforcement agencies from enforcing the law in order to abet illegal behavior isn’t politics — it is criminal conspiracy. Senator Sanders may not care much about that, but he does not want to spend 2020 explaining it away, either.
That is because Senator Sanders’s appeal is a nationalist appeal, and the senator himself is, at heart, a nationalist, as indeed were the Democratic giants of American progressivism who preceded him spiritually: Franklin Roosevelt, above all, but also Woodrow Wilson. Representative Ocasio-Cortez is an anti-nationalist, one whose sensibility (it would be too much to describe her posturing as “ideas”) is more oriented toward trans-national class solidarity.