Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez – Bringing Moral Courage to American Politics | The Daily Show

my guest tonight is the 28 year old progressive activist who defeated a 10:00 term congressman in the Democratic primary for New York's 14th congressional district please welcome House Democratic nominee Alexandria Acacio Claire welcome to the show thank you congratulations on being the nominee and more importantly congratulations from being both the dream of half the country and a nightmare of another half I'll take you you seem like you have been taking it the term democratic socialist has never felt like it has more weights to it then now we hear your name on the news every single day when you use that term what do you want people to understand by it well I think what I want people to understand is that we live in a society that is capable we are capable of ensuring that we have basic frameworks where people can be covered by health insurance can send their kids to college where we can pursue a very bold action on climate change and save our future and that it is part of a moral and ethical economy and that we can legislate from that value and where it is possible I believe we are morally obliged to pursue it right now when you when you speak about that it seems like a logical idea for a politician to have in America the way you are framed the way you are framed is oftentimes the crazy socialist who wants to turn America into Venezuela into Cuba now what I find interesting is you know when I think of ideas of socialism I go okay there's maybe Venezuela and there's Cuba and then I go but then there's also no way and Denmark do you think there's a there's a branding disconnect connecting America between some of these policy ideas between generations maybe well between generations I absolutely think so I think us as Millennials we grew up in a time we grew we came of age in a time of 9/11 happened in middle school right the financial crisis happened in college we have never really known or grown up in a time of true economic prosperity in the United States we came of age in a time of hyper concentration of wealth with the very tippy top of people in in the country and the world right and so for us to have access we also grew up seeing our peers in other countries it like in the UK and Canada with we'll pay our healthcare systems we grew up with peers being able to go to college without you know graduating with a mortgages worth of debt and we we know that economically there's a better way because it has already been done right when when you get spoken about and this has been interesting it's been a conversation that I haven't just heard from Republicans which you would expect but I've noticed some establishment Democrats who have come out and said oh I've seen the young lady Acacio Cortez say the things she says but it's a little unrealistic you know she has to be a bit more realistic to move things forward do you think that when you move into Congress if you were to win that seats would you be in a position where you would have to augment your views or do you think that you would come to an impasse with other Democrats well I think I often say in terms of my style I'm very idealistic and optimistic about my values and my goals and where I think we should head but I'm very pragmatic and how we head there and so I think that I'm willing to work with folks in the direction that I think we need to head and so I'm not a take-no-prisoners kind of person as much as Fox News and all of these folks want me to want to portray me as but I think it's it's about getting to where we need to be you know and and that made mean some spirited conversation within the party but that doesn't mean we can't I really do believe that we have a much longer path to travel together than one that then before we travel apart when you look at ideas you have like supporting a minimum wage you were very pro the idea of people earning enough to make a living yeah right shocking crazy ideas but but then there are those who say look I I agree with you but how do you pay for this how do you make it economically feasible there there are some who argue and say I hear what you're saying miss Cortes and I'm with you but a $15 minimum wage may stifle economic growth well first we see for example studies in the City of Seattle that have implemented $15 minimum wage show that that is not the case secondly one of the big biggest problems that we have is 200 million Americans may less than $20,000 a year that's 40% of this country and how can we have an economy that grows how can we build wealth as an economy if a large plurality of Americans are too poor to participate in it raising the living the minimum wage to a living wage will expand our economy it will create wealth in our economy and it will increase economic activity in this country so for those that say it's unrealistic this that and the other it comes back to money in politics who's financing your campaign right and are the folks financing your campaign are the private equity groups financing your campaign it's not a coincidence that they profit off of low wages do you worry that when you get into the halls of Congress that you may become infected by that money and the reason I ask this is because I've seen many politicians who start out with beautiful ideals and once they get into the Machine they'll tell you that from the inside it's so different you you have to get money from big corporations and you have to start working with business do you worry that maybe your ideals will be met with reality once you get to to the Capitol well I I think that what makes our campaign and my candidacy a little different is that I have taken a public pledge not to accept any corporate PAC money whatsoever we are now starting to see a movement in Congress I think there's about eight eight members of Congress I believe they're all Democrats that have accepted that pledge but I actually think I may be one of the only ones that actually got elected for the first time on that many many folks got elected with some corporate money and then they swore it off after but I think I'm one of the first to get elected right out of the gate without any corporate PAC money which gives me I believe a very large degree of Independence I am a little you know I am a little afraid because I know of the I know that the culture of Congress is one that I think the majority of Americans are just exasperated with right right right and in to a certain extent you have to be kind of an emissary and that there are ways that you get things done and there's the implication that you need to get committee assignments by purchasing them through fundraising and all of that and I think it's one of those things where you know I think first of all I got elected on not taking corporate PAC money and I have absolutely no intention of changing that whatsoever right and so it's really just about learning to navigate that space with that foundation you you've seen some of the older politicians and more establishment politicians within the Democratic Party saying I I like what Alexandria Cortez is all about but she's scaring away Midwestern voters she needs to temper her message because that's going to lose her the support of Midwestern voters which is weird because you're not yet first of all representing them but but but also how do you respond to that idea that you are in fact creating an unappealing view of what the Democratic Party is ah so earlier this week or last week a few days ago everything's a blur I don't even what is time but I was in Kansas and I intentionally went with senator Sanders actually in an extremely deep red district the district that the Koch brothers live in it was a Republican plus 20 district and a non corporate candidate progressive candidate campaign in that district and turned it to our plus six he shaved 14 points off of the Republican advantage in that district this was a district that everybody gave up on they said it's this is too bad like too far gone he went in there anyway and he cut 14 points off the off of the Republican lead and we went in there and on 1 p.m. on a Friday in the middle of the workday we turned out four to five thousand people in the middle of Wichita for a rally and I think what we need to remember is that it was the Midwest that was the source of the progressive movement originally in the United States of America it was workers in Indiana in Michigan in Kansas that bought into the New Deal that organized that unionized their labor that got a 40-hour work week and a two-day weekend that came from the Midwest right and I believe that it will come from the Midwest again when you look at the power of labels in politics you understand how how powerful a label can be you know that's attached to your name or an idea do you ever consider taking socialists out of your label and I ask this as as an argument that I saw where there was an interesting idea where someone said Millennials and this generation haven't been indoctrinated in the same way against socialism as the older generation has and so then I thought I was like I wonder if Alexandria Cortes would say no I I don't mind not being called a socialist but these are still my platform ideas or do you feel like you should be able to run on the platform and say you are who you are which one will you prefer to go well I think my strength is that I am honest and I am authentic and I think that even Republicans like write letters to our campaign saying thank you and one of the reasons they do that a is because getting money out of politics is a bipartisan and post partisan issue right everybody recognizes that it's a problem but then B I think people appreciate that I am honest and that I'm not trying to not be Who I am in order to get you to like me right you know I'm here this is what it's about Medicare for all tuition free public college a green new deal that is what I campaigned as and that is that I think it's also important to say that this socialist label something that I think the media cares more about because I don't knock on a person's door and it's like hey let me tell you about socialism like that's yeah that that wouldn't that's not how I campaign yeah that's like Jehovah's Witnesses that's yeah exactly and and I also think that I don't knock on a person's door and say hey let me tell you about being a Democrat no I don't say that I speak to people's needs and you know if Fox News and if if media want to continue using this word I use the word I think by me saying oh no I'm not the set in the other it just becomes a distraction we're here to talk about wages we're here to talk about education we're here to talk about saving our planet we're here to talk about a carbon tax we're here about we're here to talk about people paying their fair share and we're here to talk about saving the country right quite a few golden that that is one of the key things that I want to speak to you about then is those ideas I think most people would agree on especially if they don't know the label that they're attached to you know but then the pragmatic side of it comes in as you said how do you pay for these you know you always see people coming in with economic arguments and they say look these numbers don't really add up you know in order to get health care for everybody this is what it would cost that's gonna be troubling even if you reverse the Republican tax deal that's only gonna make up 5% of what we need to pay for Medicare for all you know how do you pay for education for all how do you pay for all of these these ideas so I this isn't this is an excellent excellent question and in fact there's a lot of back-of-the-envelope stuff based on our values so for example I sat down with a Nobel Prize The Economist last week I can't believe I can say that it's really weird but one of the things that we saw is if people pay their fair share it's corporations and the ultra wealthy for example as Warren Buffett likes to say if he paid as much as his secretary paid 15% if you paid a 15% tax rate if corporations paid if we if we reverse the the tax bill but when raised our corporate tax rate to 28% which is not even as high as it was before right if we if we do those two things and also close some of those loopholes that's two trillion dollars right there that's two trillion dollars in ten years and it's why one of the wide estimates is that it's going to take three to four trillion dollars to transition us to a hundred percent renewable energy economy so we got two trillion dollars from folks paying their fair share which they were not paying before the Trump tax bill right they weren't know like they weren't paying that before the Trump tax bill if we get people to pay their fair share that's two trillion in ten years now if we implement a carbon tax on top of that so that we can transition and and financially incentivize people away from fossil fuels if we implement a carbon tax that's an additional amount of of a large amount of revenue that we can have and then the last key which is extremely extremely important is reprioritization just last year we gave the military a seven hundred billion dollar attack a budget increase which they didn't even ask for they're like we don't want another fighter jet like don't give us another nuclear bomb they didn't even ask for it and we gave it to them and so a lot of what we need to do is reprioritize what we want to accomplish as a nation and really what this is about is saying health care is important for enough for us to put first education is important enough for us to put first and that is a decision that requires political and moral courage from both parts of the aisle period thank you so much for being on the show John Brooks has everybody you

Maurice Vega

44 Responses

  1. I love everything about her but I'm worried they will take her out or like kill her cuz she's doing something against thaire favour it's much bigger than it is like all she wants to do and the way she's doing it is to good for them the fact that she dosent get gribed with Money is a huge disadvantage for them she will be the only one going against them she's to good to be among them cuz they will make her disappear or she will just get an excuse that she won't be able to be one Of them cuz of anything again she's to good but it's worrying

  2. Please make sure to cover this brave young lady with prayers for those who believe in such. She is idealistic, yet pragmatic with rational and sound ideas and policies. America as a first world country is so behind in fulfilling basic human needs yet some vacuous persons would call what she's suggesting socialism to make it sound ugly. Smh. There are small Caribbean countries who have universal healthcare subsidized secondary and tertiary education, sick leave and maternity leave for their people as a basic right. Come on America!

  3. Time to make space for the new comers and their ideas it keeps america fresh and gets rid of the old farts who makes a boo boo in the diaper they need in-home care time to retire

  4. 2 trillion for the next ten years the green deal will cost 100 trillion dollars America is who follow this person needs to do there own research

  5. He didn’t question any of her answers, or go hard at all shows how biased he is when compared to Tomi Lauren interview!!

  6. What about apple Inc donating 7 grand lol u don't take money from corporation. U guys are being brain wash by charismatic person just like Obama

  7. she nailed it! How will an economy expand if it's citizens aren't paid well to afford to buy the products produced in their country?!?!?! That's exactly what I think and it's simply logical!

  8. She is not genuine and trying to push a socialist agenda that if happens , you idiots won’t be able to share the opinions that your sharing now. She is an air head who will not debate serious contenders like Ben Shapiro . You cheer because she seems to be wanting to fight inequality . But she is not fighting for equality of OPPURTUNITY, she is fighting for equality of OUTCOME. Nothing in this world is for free , and if you expect handouts you’ll be slaved by those who are handing.

  9. I don’t know anything about politics will someone care to fill me in on why she is either wrong or right? I am generally confused I read the comments but there seems to be an obvious division between opinion so will anyone care to fill me in? I am completely unbiased

  10. She genuinely gives me so much hope for our country and the world. She represents what government should be and protects the right values ❤️ i have so much respect for her

  11. In an Economic way, this is idealistic and possible in the future. When people have a bigger income, they can contribute more to the society and automatically economic growth. Socialism doesn’t contradict capitalism. Socialistic capitalism is solidarity which is necessary in the USA. We are AMERICANS. Solidarity = economic growth, which benefit the whole states.

  12. 200 million is 40% of 327.2 million? That number adjusting for part-time / seasonal workers and only counting people in the workforce (not EVERY person in the county) is below 20%. The military asks for bigger budget every year! Last year TOTAL budget was $700 billion, it did NOT increase by $700 billion.
    I don't have the space, but do your research, Every single one of her tax percentages are incorrect, and not by just a little! Way off.
    Every figure she presents in this interview are completely incorrect, from her tax percentages to the population of the United States! By her figures the population of the u.s. would be over 500 million. U.S. population 327.2 million (2018).
    Don't forget she holds a major in international relations and ECONOMICS!

  13. You people who support her should watch this then comment about how brilliant she is. My guess is you wont. This woman is off her rocker. nice pick on the election dumbasses, now she gets to be a leader. Please follow the sex strike of Ms. Millano so you don't procreate.

  14. I would say that I wish college was cheaper, but honestly I do find the “free college” is a bit of an out reach. Instead of saying free we could say affordable. Affordable for each individual. Really, the books are stupid expensive, so why not start with what information we’re actually reviewing in courses. I purchased $200+ text books and we never read more than a few pages. You pay the same amount of money for a code that gives you an online book….. In regards to the military getting more money, I think they need to focus on more technology rather than nuclear weapons etc. I love some of her ideas and I’m Latina too so I’m all for what she represents, that’s just what I believe. Thank you AOC for being an inspiration. I have more to say but I don’t think YT is the place for it.

  15. If it takes courage to reach to new heights of stupidity, AOC and Trevor are the bravest people of all time.

  16. it is not moral courage it is the self righteous ignorance and naivete of a child who knows nothing. can't you tell the difference? she is a wild eyed fanatic and utterly dangerous, just like too many young idealists can be

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