Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's so called Green New Deal was smacked down by the US Senate in a rare completely unanimous vote of 57-0. But this is unlikely to be the end of the Green New Deal because its potential as an intellectual product is still amazingly great and this first vote against it may actually help Miss Ocasio-Cortez in the future.
If we look at things in terms of ideology then every political leaning has its own mythos and narrative. Arabs annoyed with US involvement in their affairs always bring up “the Crusades” in their propaganda, because that was time when the West came not just to take things but their very souls. Russians often use World War II as a mirror for present day events because in that war they were clearly on the right side and were sure that if they lost they would be exterminated. Republicans tend to gush over Ronald Reagan and every possible minor positive that Capitalism has to offer, which allowed them to win the Cold War. Democrats can probably see their greatest moments in their history as being the Cultural/Sexual Revolution of the late 1960’s and Roosevelt’s New Deal. In many ways Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal puts both of these “heroic moments” into a new package for the near future.
For Left-leaning Americans, the New Deal laid the groundwork for everything that is “right” in America today. These policies shifted America towards a state where the government must take care of the population and play a hand in the markets making sure 1929 never happens again. The New Deal is the birth certificate of Democratic Socialism. Obviously for the other half of the USA, Roosevelt’s changes are the “beginning of the end” for American greatness. But these Right-Wing Republican types have their own separate mythos and the Democrats don’t care about this very much.
For millions, especially the young across America, a Green New Deal sounds amazing. Not only is it a plan to Make America Wealthy Again, but do it in a friendly Liberal friendly Green sort of way that the evil Rich White Man has kept them from achieving. And all this amazing planning is penned up by a beautiful young peppy Latino woman full of naive optimism. This project, this vision, this message is for Liberals just as perfect as Trump’s MAGA. It checks all the boxes of their mythos/narrative while proposing something new.
Yes, this Green New Deal was just shot down and hard but that ultimately does not matter and Alexandria knows this...
“Ocasio-Cortez defended herself after the defeat and argued she encouraged the Democratic senators to vote 'present' instead of in the affirmative. “
The idea of the Green New Deal has radically increased her growing street cred within the American Left, but actually enacting the GND right now from a seat in Congress and watching it completely fail would be very bad for her career. The promise of a Cultural/Environmental Revolution as a campaign promise when running for the Presidency of the United States could win her the Oval Office or at least the youth vote. Feelings and ideas matter far more than reason and results and AOC and her fantastic Green New Deal provide millions of irrational yet active people the right “feels” they want. Results no longer seem to matter, feeling like something is or has succeeded is far more important to most people than any measurable success.
The actual effectiveness of the GND (i.e. whether it will work or not) is ultimately irrelevant, but out of curiosity is worth taking a look at. Many things listed in it are literally impossible to accomplish under the current US system. Perhaps this is on purpose as an excuse to radically change America to suit this new Green way or it could just be through honest ignorance. For example the GND calls for…
1) “10-year national mobilization”
A Capitalist country cannot use mobilization. The Soviet Communists could order 40,000 people to relocate to some place to do some task, this is not possible in America, you cannot just order people to location X to do task Y like a military unit. Especially the entitled millennial cry babies that would vote for someone like AOC.
2) "Guaranteeing a job with a family-sustaining wage”
There is no way to guarantee anyone a job under a Capitalist system. Somewhere around ⅛ to ¼ of jobs in America are from the government that is a lot but is still a tiny minority of employment. There is no way the US government could just force businesses to hire people to do nothing. In a Communist “single employer” system this concept did work, but it has no way to possibly be achievable in America.
3) "Meeting 100 percent of the power demand in the United States through clean, renewable, and zero-emission energy sources."
There is currently no way to produce massive amounts of energy needed to power a massive civilization like America without some sort of pollutive by-products. Could America become much “cleaner” or “greener” yes, but can it become a pollution free paradise based on current technology - NO.
This document is a highly naive utopian vision that is better for a sci-fi novel than actual policy especially when that policy is written vaguely and rests only upon trendy assertions. The Green New Deal won’t work, however it could get a Democrat into the White House and that is all that really matters.