New York congressional candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez defended an ambitious slate of policy proposals Sunday, casting the various planks of her Democratic Socialist agenda as long-term investments that would pay dividends for future generations of Americans.
“What we need to realize is that these investments are better and they are good for our future,” Ocasio-Cortez said in an interview on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
“These are generational investments,” she said. “They’re not short-term Band-Aids, but they are really profound decisions about who we want to be as a nation and how we want to act as the wealthiest nation in the history of the world.”
Ocasio-Cortez in June ousted 10-term incumbent congressman and House Democratic Caucus Chairman Joe Crowley in his Queens and Bronx-based district’s Democratic primary. Since that astonishing win, the 28-year-old former Bernie Sanders organizer has become the face of a groundswell of progressive candidates in 2018 to challenge longtime Democratic lawmakers for their seats. Some have other won; others, such as New York Democratic gubernatorial candidate Cynthia Nixon, have fallen short.
Pressed on Sunday by Jake Tapper on how the U.S. government would fund a federal jobs guarantee, Medicare-for-all, tuition-free public college and other programs that could cost roughly $40 trillion over the next decade, Ocasio-Cortez insisted she was not blind to the “political realities” of enacting her platform.
“They don’t always happen with just the wave of a wand. But we can work to make these things happen,” Ocasio-Cortez said.
“These systems are not just pie in the sky. They are, many of them are accomplished by every modern civilized democracy in the Western world,” she added.