New York Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez says the liberal party in America isn’t actually on the “left” at all and is much closer to “center-conservative.”
Ocasio-Cortez, a Democratic Socialist, made the comments Monday during an event for the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on the holiday memorializing the civil rights icon. The congresswoman said she sides with King in his belief that capitalism leads to wealth inequality and poverty.
“We don’t have a left party in the United States. The Democratic Party is not a left party,” she said, according to Newsweek. “The Democratic Party is a center, or a center-conservative, party.
“We can’t even get a floor vote on Medicare for All — not even a floor vote that gets voted down. We can’t even get a vote on it. So this is not a left party.”
Ocasio-Cortez also said there are “left members inside the Democratic Party” and ultra-progressives like herself are “working to make that shift happen.”
She also thinks there are plenty of “true believers” within the Democratic Party who think capitalism can end things like massive wealth inequality and poverty.
“If anything, that’s probably the majority,” she said before saying she disagrees with them. “That’s an area in which I agree with Dr. King — that that assessment is flawed.”
King questioned in a 1967 speech whether or not it was the most egalitarian system.
“And one day we must ask the question: Why are there 40 million poor people in America? And when you begin to ask that question, you are raising questions about the economic system, about a broader distribution of wealth. When you ask that question, you begin to question the capitalistic economy,” King said. “And I’m simply saying that, more and more, we’ve got to begin to ask questions about the whole society.”
Ocasio-Cortez, who said recently she was a “proud” Democrat, is content to separate herself from the party as a whole. She endorsed fellow Democratic Socialist Bernie Sanders earlier this month, and said her and primary front-runner Joe Biden wouldn’t even be in the same party in other parts of the world.
“In any other country,” she said, “Joe Biden and I would not be in the same party. But in America we are.”