Who Is Alexandria Oscasio-Cortez

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Is The Future Of The Democratic Party

The wave of Democratic-Socialism is making it's way through.

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Harry Belafonte once asserted that we had come to the point where we (black people) needed to really take a look at the Democratic Party and decipher if there was anything within it worth salvaging. For many, the answer was, and still is "no."

The real questions are, exactly what parts of the Democratic party work solely and specifically for black people? And which party members believe there should be and are actively working towards it?

Statesmen after statemen pander to communities of color, particularly the black community, as, in every election, candidates vie over the coveted "black vote." I can see it now, George, Bill, Ted, and Sarah each sitting down with their campaign managers going back and forth on strategies to get "the blacks on our side." And of course, that involves preying on the needs of that community, and exploiting them for votes by make promises they have no intention of keeping. At the end of the day, capitalist societies only work when there are people at the very bottom, right?

For many black people in this country, that means doing away with the capitalist agenda altogether. For years, decades even, black people in America have promoted self-sufficiency --- wealth through black-owned business, black entrepreneurship and black banking. You may have even heard of " Black Wallstreet," in the Greenwood area of Tulsa, Oklahoma. It was a mecca of black business and a booming black economy until it was burned to the ground by racist white people...

Another economic system black people support---socialism.

If you ask New York-14 congresswoman-elect, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez what it means to be a democratic socialist, her answer is simple. It doesn't take four minutes to explain it, and she doesn't veer off topic in the usual obscure, round-about way that leaves you trying to remember what the original question was.

Her answer: In a modern, moral and wealthy United States of America, no one should be too poor to live.

She and other progressive Democrats are the future of the party. Anything to the center of the far left is too conservative, and frankly not worth my time, or the time of any millennial.

And if you think this doe-eyed idea of socialism is a "millennial thing," it is. This generation doesn't have the same relationship with socialism as the baby boomer generation. We were all born into financial turmoil and have never lived in a time of financial prosperity. 9/11 happened in elementary school, the housing market crashed in high school, and in college, we were introduced to the first orange president.

While the baby boomers think of Cuba and Venezuela. Millennials are in a looking glass, and on the other side, we see Denmark, Finland, The Netherlands, single-payer health care, gun laws, free or affordable secondary education, and all of that within a free market and through the democratic process...without giving the government full control, but allowing its people to control and share resources.

I'm sure you too hear often about the "shrinking middle class" or even that there is no longer such a thing as "middle class," and this is true. The top 1% now have as much wealth as the bottom entire 90% combined.

For most people, living on their own is not an option as rent in many states is the equivalent to a mortgage payment. Minimum wage is just over $7/hr, and most companies with billion dollar CEO's refuse to pay their employees much more than that. Healthcare still isn't affordable and sick people are forced to use sites like "Go Fund Me" to help pay for their medical expenses. What's even more depressing is that a lot of people actually die due to the fact they aren't able to raise these funds.

A few months ago, the narrative argued that Ocasio-Cortez was "too radical." She didn't lick rich white booty for funds and didn't pander to communities of color pretending she too carries hot sauce in her bag. And while I think, she's got the right idea, I don't think she's "radical" enough. She doesn't exactly have the race-based agenda black people need, but it is a step in the right direction.

In November she unseated her Democratic incumbent opponent, Joe Crowley and the reporters at Fox News were shook.

She argues crazy things like healthcare as a human right, every child having access to a college education, zero homelessness, and a paid living wage in order for everyone to lead a dignified life. A group of people working together for the betterment of the group as opposed to individuals working for the betterment of themselves without regard for anyone else.

"My campaign is challenging Joseph Crowley, one of the most Corporate-funded members of Congress, on an entirely progressive and grassroots campaign," Ocasio-Cortez said during an "Ask Me Anything" Reddit session at the start of her campaign.

And that's just it, the future of the Democratic party. Progress. Working Class. Socialist.

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This Is How Your Same-Sex Marriage Affects Me As A Catholic Woman

I hear you over there, Bible Bob.
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It won't.

Wait, what?

I promise you did read that right. Not what you were expecting me to say, right? Who another person decides to marry will never in any way affect my own marriage whatsoever. Unless they try to marry the person that I want to, then we might have a few problems.

As a kid, I was raised, baptized, and confirmed into an old school Irish Catholic church in the middle of a small, midwestern town.

Not exactly a place that most people would consider to be very liberal or open-minded. Despite this I was taught to love and accept others as a child, to not cast judgment because the only person fit to judge was God. I learned this from my Grandpa, a man whose love of others was only rivaled by his love of sweets and spoiling his grandkids.

While I learned this at an early age, not everyone else in my hometown — or even within my own church — seemed to get the memo. When same-sex marriage was finally legalized country-wide, I cried tears of joy for some of my closest friends who happen to be members of the LGBTQ community.

I was happy while others I knew were disgusted and even enraged.

"That's not what it says in the bible! Marriage is between a man and a woman!"

"God made Adam and Eve for a reason! Man shall not lie with another man as he would a woman!"

"Homosexuality is a sin! It's bad enough that they're all going to hell, now we're letting them marry?"

Alright, Bible Bob, we get it, you don't agree with same-sex relationships. Honestly, that's not the issue. One of our civil liberties as United States citizens is the freedom of religion. If you believe your religion doesn't support homosexuality that's OK.

What isn't OK is thinking that your religious beliefs should dictate others lives.

What isn't OK is using your religion or your beliefs to take away rights from those who chose to live their life differently than you.

Some members of my church are still convinced that their marriage now means less because people are free to marry whoever they want to. Honestly, I wish I was kidding. Tell me again, Brenda how exactly do Steve and Jason's marriage affect yours and Tom's?

It doesn't. Really, it doesn't affect you at all.

Unless Tom suddenly starts having an affair with Steve their marriage has zero effect on you. You never know Brenda, you and Jason might become best friends by the end of the divorce. (And in that case, Brenda and Tom both need to go to church considering the bible also teaches against adultery and divorce.)

I'll say it one more time for the people in the back: same-sex marriage does not affect you even if you or your religion does not support it. If you don't agree with same-sex marriage then do not marry someone of the same sex. Really, it's a simple concept.

It amazes me that I still actually have to discuss this with some people in 2017. And it amazes me that people use God as a reason to hinder the lives of others.

As a proud young Catholic woman, I wholeheartedly support the LGBTQ community with my entire being.

My God taught me to not hold hate so close to my heart. He told me not to judge and to accept others with open arms. My God taught me to love and I hope yours teaches you the same.

Disclaimer - This article in no way is meant to be an insult to the Bible or religion or the LGBTQ community.

Cover Image Credit: Sushiesque / Flickr

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Dear Senator Walsh, I Can't Wait For The Day That A Nurse Saves Your Life

And I hope you know that when it is your time, you will receive the best care. You will receive respect and a smile. You will receive empathy and compassion because that's what we do and that is why we are the most trusted profession.

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Dear Senator Walsh,

I can't even fathom how many letters you've read like this in the past 72 hours. You've insulted one of the largest, strongest and most emotion-filled professions.. you're bound to get a lot of feedback. And as nurses, we're taught that when something makes us mad, to let that anger fuel us to make a difference and that's what we're doing.

I am not even a nurse. I'm just a nursing student. I have been around and I've seen my fair share of sore legs and clinical days where you don't even use the bathroom, but I am still not even a nurse yet. Three years in, though, and I feel as if I've given my entire life and heart to this profession. My heart absolutely breaks for the men and women who are real nurses as they had to wake up the next morning after hearing your comments, put on their scrubs and prepare for a 12-hour day (during which I promise you, they didn't play one card game).

I have spent the last three years of my life surrounded by nurses. I'm around them more than I'm around my own family, seriously. I have watched nurses pass more medications than you probably know exist. They know the side effects, dosages and complications like the back of their hand. I have watched them weep at the bedside of dying patients and cry as they deliver new lives into this world. I have watched them hang IV's, give bed baths, and spoon-feed patients who can't do it themselves. I've watched them find mistakes of doctors and literally save patient's lives. I have watched them run, and teach, and smile, and hug and care... oh boy, have I seen the compassion that exudes from every nurse that I've encountered. I've watched them during their long shifts. I've seen them forfeit their own breaks and lunches. I've seen them break and wonder what it's all for... but I've also seen them around their patients and remember why they do what they do. You know what I've never once seen them do? Play cards.

The best thing about our profession, Senator, is that we are forgiving. The internet might be blown up with pictures mocking your comments, but at the end of the day, we still would treat you with the same respect that we would give to anyone. That's what makes our profession so amazing. We would drop anything, for anyone, anytime, no matter what.

You did insult us. It does hurt to hear those comments because from the first day of nursing school we are reminded how the world has zero idea what we do every day. We get insulted and disrespected and little recognition for everything we do sometimes. But you know what? We still do it.

When it's your time, Senator, I promise that the nurse taking care of you will remember your comments. They'll remember the way they felt the day you publicly said that nurses "probably do get breaks. They probably play cards for a considerable amount of the day." The jokes will stop and it'll eventually die down, but we will still remember.

And I hope you know that when it is your time, you will receive the best care. You will receive respect and a smile. You will receive empathy and compassion because that's what we do and that is why we are the most trusted profession.

Please just remember that we cannot properly take care of people if we aren't even taken care of ourselves.

I sincerely pray that someday you learn all that nurses do and please know that during our breaks, we are chugging coffee, eating some sort of lunch, and re-tying our shoes... not playing cards.

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