The Democratic Socialists of America. | 22 Words

Remember those age-old schoolyard lines: "so is your mom" and "I know you are, but what am I?" Well, Trump came up with something similar recently. Of course, unlike those two examples, Trump's "go back to your own country" comment is a schoolyard comeback reserved for racists and ignorant children that know no better.

As Donald Trump is the President of The United States, seventy-three years old, and, we hope, has still got some of his wits about him, his comments were undisputedly racist and absolutely not okay.

Not only did Trump single out democratic congresswomen, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib, and Ayanna Pressley, because they were not born in the United States (even though three out of four of these women were born in the United States and all of them are American citizens), he also suggested that they should leave. If we are to assume that Trump envisages an America without immigrants (isn't that what America is made up of - isn't it supposed to be the land of freedom?), we must presume that Donald will also happily ship his spouse, Melania, on the next boat out of the country.

"Sorry Melania, I don't make the rules... Oh, wait..."

Don't bring family into politics? Don't bring race into politics.

via: Getty Images.

Donald Trump made more than a tweet blooper when he called out the Ocasio-Cortez, Omar, Tlaib, and Pressley, for being women of color. He tweeted that these women "originally came from countries whose governments are a complete and total catastrophe" and that they should "go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came." Three out of the four progressive democratic congresswomen that Trump attacked were actually born in the US.

Once again, Donald Trump has shown the world that he doesn't fact check.

I mean, it's bad enough that we have a racist, misogynistic, egotistical buffoon as president, but it seems as though every time that he presses his stubby fingers to his Twitter page, he does so without checking that whatever he says hasn't just come from the fantastical world of his own making, rather than the reality that we are actually in.

"They don't like me? Well, send them back to wherever they came from."

Does Trump think that he's some kind of old-time totalitarian king and that everything that he says is gospel? The sky is purple, so long as Trump says it's so.

Why are people still happy to go along with Trump and his witchhunt?

The more worrying thing is perhaps that there seems to be a large part of America happy to go along with all this nonsense. We are not illiterate; we can grasp what is going on here, surely. We won't actually let this man launch a witchhunt against African American women because they speak up against him, will we?

Do you know how a witchhunt works?

The instigator of the hunt insighted fear in those following him or her. I mean, you wouldn't set a match to your pitchfork and burn down your neighbor's house if someone hadn't told you that those neighbors presented a direct threat, would you? It's only afterwards that you learn this neighbor was not, in fact, after your spouse, but that the whisperer wanted that land for his own.

Trump doesn't care about spreading fake news.

Early on in his presidential campaign, Donald Trump learned that he could say anything, make up statistics, promise the impossible, say whatever he very well-liked about his opponents, because a lot of the general public don't fact check. Who has time to check everything? And when he's telling you not to listen to those dangerous liberals who want to brainwash you, that fear that we've talked about prevents you from doing so... it prevents you from checking for yourself. When he's not tweeting lies to better public opinion of himself, he's tweeting to distract the public from other current issues or scandals (a great cover this week for the Epstein scandal...).

Trump accused the progressive democratic congresswoman of being "unpatriotic."

To be accused of being unpatriotic in modern-day America can be as detrimental to someone's political standing as accusing someone of witchcraft would have been some two-hundred years ago. The truth is that these women do not represent a cluster of Americans that don't respect the country, they represent the marginalized Americans whose voices are not respected by the current political body.

Trump's evidence that they are unpatriotic?

Let's be clear on this. Who are these congresswoman and what do they represent? What have they done to upset the president, and why does he fear that people should favor their politics over his?

Let's start with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

At the age of twenty-nine, AOC became the youngest woman ever to serve in the US Congress, after defeating democratic caucus chair, Joe Crowley, in what was widely seen as the biggest upset victory in the 2018 midterm election primaries. Ocasio-Cortez's engagement on social media site, Instagram, has given a generation of Americans a first-hand insight into what it's like to work for Congress. Ocasio-Cortez's personable politics is revolutionizing public engagement and bringing US politics into the 21st century.

Alexandria grew up in the Bronx, NYC.

A fellow New Yorker, AOC, like Trump, was born in the Big Apple. Sure, AOC wasn't born in the wealthier part of town, but when did we decide that one end of the scale is more American than the other? AOC's father, Sergio, was born in the Bronx to Puerto Rican parents and her mother, Blanca, was Puerto Rico born. The family is Catholic and her father worked as an architect.

AOC is proud of her family's roots and is proud to be an American.

Discussing her Purto Rican community, Alexandria said: "We are black; we are indigenous; we are Spanish; we are European." AOC's diverse ethnic background stands truer to what it is to be a true American than any white-washed codswallop that President Trump wants to feed the public.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has lived a full American life.

While at college, AOC worked as an intern for the office of US Senator, Ted Kennedy, in the area of foreign affairs and immigration issues. Despite her age, AOC became an integral and major part of the team, being the only Spanish speaker. Speaking of the experience, AOC said: "Whenever a frantic call would come into the office because someone is looking for their husband because they have been snatched off the street by ICE, I was the one that had to pick up that phone, I was the one that had to help that person navigate that system."

How many Americans speak Spanish?

41 million Americans speak Spanish as their first language, that's about 13% of the population with Spanish as their first language. How many elected US congresspeople can speak Spanish? In 2017, only 9 US politicians were bilingual in any language. The US has not had a bilingual President for eighty-seven years. Each and every one of "The Squad" can speak another language. When did America stop celebrating its diversity? When did America decide that it wouldn't be stronger united?

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is determined to inspire more working-class/women of color into politics.

After college, Ocasio-Cortez worked eighteen-hour shifts as a bartender and waitress, returning to the Bronx to help support her mother, who worked as a school bus driver and cleaner. Sadly, AOC had lost her father to cancer the previous year. Not only did Ocasio-Cortez work crazy hours, she also launched a publishing firm to promote books, showing the Bronx in a positive light, as a lead educational strategist at GAGEis, Inc, as well as putting in hours for the nonprofit National Hispanic Institute, serving as the Educational Director of the 2017 Northeast Collegiate World Series.

Ocasio-Cortez at times doubted whether she'd ever get to run for office.

via: Getty Images.

While working for Bernie Sanders' 2016 presidential campaign, Alexandria traveled across America by car; the trip was an opportunity for her to speak to people affected by the Flint water crisis and the Dakota Access Pipeline. She considers December 2016 a turning point, recalling that, before that, she had believed that the only way to run for office effectively was to have access to wealth, social influence, and power (who does that sound like?). But during the visit to North Dakota, where AOC witnessed "people putting their whole lives and everything that they had on the line for the protection of their community." This reminded her of what getting into politics was all about.

The Democratic Socialists of America.

via: Getty Images.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, alongside Rashida Tlaib, one of the other congresswomen that Trump has beef with, were the first two female members of the group in Congress. Perhaps Trump's fear of a democratic socialist over-haul has something to do with the presence of these two progressive women in Congress...

What does the group stand for?

Are they an anti-America, unpatriotic party hoping to destroy this good nation? Nope, I wouldn't say so. Michael Harrington, founder of the organization stated, "The Democratic Socialists envision a humane social order based on popular control of resources and production, economic planning [...] and racial equality. I share an immediate program with liberals in this country because the best liberalism leads toward socialism. [...] I want to be on the left-wing of the possible." Harrington was explicit that his vision did not align with the traditional Marxist ideas of a marketless, stateless society; he said that he did not understand why this needed to "result in the social consequence of some people eating while others starve."

"The Squad" is taking these Democratic Socialist ideas into 2019.

via: Getty Images.

The informal political grouping, which has been coined "The Squad," is made up of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts, and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan. The four millennial women of color in US politics represent a new age. The women envision a progressive platform that includes Medicare for all, a proposed Green New Deal, abolishing the US Department of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, a federal jobs guarantee, free public college and trade school, and a 70% marginal tax rate for incomes above $10 million.

The Squad represents a younger, more diverse political generation.

They have done everything by the book, defied odds, and worked incredibly hard to get their voices heard. Not only is it still difficult for women to get into politics, it's even harder for women of color. Trump's comments against the group this week were poorly formed, ignorant, and prove that these women scare the president. Ilhan Omar was the first non-white woman elected from Minnesota, and one of the first two Muslim women (along with Rashida Tlaib of Michigan) to serve in Congress. We are all aware of Trump's fear-mongering tactics against the US Muslim population and, regardless of Omar's political ideas and positive contributions to US politics, her religious beliefs mean that she will always be ostracised by bigots like Trump.

Ilhan Omar immigrated to America as a child from Somalia and became a US citizen as a teenager.

The only member of The Squad to have actually been born in another country, contrary to Trump's comments, moved to the US as a small child. CNN's Jake Tapper pointed out that Omar had been in the country "longer than the first lady." Tapper was not wrong. Melania Trump only gained citizenship in 2006, when she was thirty-six, a year after marrying Trump. Omar gained her citizenship six years earlier, in 2000, at the age of seventeen. Not that any straight-thinking person would believe that the duration of your citizenship should give you more or less of a voice than the next person. The United States of America is the land of Freedom and Trump needs to remember that. I'm sure glad that Ilhan Omar and the rest of The Squad do have a voice in US politics, because these women are talking a lot of sense. Omar advocates for a living wage, affordable housing and healthcare, student loan debt forgiveness, the protection of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, and abolishing US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Despite her fair and rational politics, she has faced countless backlash, death threats, and harassment from political opponents. As for Melania? I'm sure that she loves it when her husband repeatedly pushes immigrants like herself under the bus; I'm sure that it makes her feel really respected.