By Dan Calabrese
Apparently there are limits to the influence of America’s Socialist Sweetheart.
Once the media had proceeded to turn her into an instant political celebrity, Alexandra Ocasio-Sanchez found herself instantly in demand among other candidates around the country. They wanted her to come and campaign for her in their primary races. She would attract crowds. She would attract media attention. All of that is golden when you’re trying to gain traction as primary day looms.
Ocasio-Cortez made it to four different stops, one of which was here in Michigan where she stumped for gubernatorial candidate Abdul Al-Sayed and congressional candidate Fayrouz Saad. She also campaigned for a candidate in Missouri and publicly endorsed one in Hawaii.
And she tweeted inspirational marching orders to her adoring troops:
We’ve got about ONE WEEK LEFT until a whole slew of elections come up across the country.
Check your state primary date & VOTE August 7th + 11th.
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@Ocasio2018) July 31, 2018
So how well did the World’s Biggest Political Star do in pushing these candidates over the top in their primaries?
Uh, well, er, yeah . . . about that:
Cortez held a whirl-wind tour of the U.S., stumping for Abdul El-Sayed for governor of Michigan, Fayrouz Saad in Michigan’s 11th Congressional District, Cori Bush in Missouri’s 1st District, and is backing Congressional candidate Kaniela Ing in Hawaii.
El-Sayed lost his bid for the Democrat nomination for governor to 51.8 percent to 30.5 percent, according to numbers published by the New York Times.
Saad came in fourth in the five-way race, capturing only 18 percent of the vote.
Cori Bush lost her primary to William Lacy Clay, 56.7 percent to 36.9 percent, the Times results show.
Hawaii’s primary isn’t until Saturday, so Ocasio-Cortez still has one more loss, er, I mean race, to go.
Now, it’s fair to say Ocasio-Cortez’s presence and/or endorsement is probably not the reason these candidates lost. They lost because they’re fringe candidates who would have had little or no chance of winning general election races if nominated, and Democrat primary voters, unlike Republicans in Alabama, aren’t interested in nominating terrible candidates who are going to lose.
I can tell you that Abdul El-Sayed wasn’t going anywhere in Michigan no matter who came to campaign for him. The UAW had already gotten behind eventual nominee Gretchen Whitmer, and that’s who has the power in Michigan’s Democratic Party – not a socialist mental midget from New York that no one had heard of a month ago.
But you can still glean some meaningful things from Ocasio-Cortez’s 0-fer. One is that just because the media glorifies someone doesn’t mean she actually influences anyone. Her celebrity is big at the moment, but a recognizable face and name is not the same thing as the ability to persuade anyone.
Another is that no matter how fashionable a face she may present, the ideas she represent are still bankrupt and proven by history not to work. It’s disturbing how many young voters seem completely obvious to this, but maybe they don’t represent as large a percentage as we think.
That said, a word of caution is also in order here: I’m not sure there’s that much difference ideologically between the establishment Democrats who won these races and the unashamed socialists endorsed by Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez. They campaign differently and speak somewhat different languages, but your mainstream Democrat still tries to expand the power of the state as much as political realities allow. The difference is that avowed socialist is determined to go for broke all at once, while the establishment type know you usually have to take a few yards and line up for another play.
And the establishment Democrats have, over time, built quite a Leviathan doing it that way. I’d say they’re all socialists in the end. Some are just a little more clear-eyed about the fact that normal people aren’t.
Dan writes Christian spiritual warfare novels and does all kinds of other weird things too. Follow all his activity by liking him on Facebook!