Things That Matter

AOC Took Down The Idea Of The Electoral College And Her Argument Is Angering Conservatives

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Republicans love to talk about Democratic Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, from the type of car her tía loans her to where she buys her clothes. They especially like to talk about how her Nuyorican upbringing has affected her politics. AOC has been talking about the injustices of the Electoral College for a long time now. On Monday, she took to her Instagram story to educate her followers on why the Electoral College is not such a good thing, an idea that has been gaining traction since the 2016 elections. Fox News “is big mad” about the idea of abolishing the electoral college, which tipped the election in favor of Donald Trump.

In fact, Fox News did an entire news segment on her Instagram story.

Credit: Fox News

The conservative news outlet was disturbed to consider the ugly notion that the Electoral College could be racist, and effectively acted aghast by the accusation. Their guest, Dana Perino, said that she “trusts” the Founding Fathers in that they knew what they were doing.

Obviously, AOC has taken to Twitter to make this civics lesson crystal clear for everyone.

Credit: @AOC / Twitter

Before we get too deep, for folks who don’t really get what the big deal is with the Electoral College, let’s simplify the system real quick. When we go to the polls to vote for the president, what we’re really doing is voting which candidate will receive all of your state’s electors. Each state has differing amounts, and it’s a winner-takes-all game in most states. If the majority of voters in say, Pennsylvania, vote for one candidate, then that candidate gets the entire state’s electors. What the Electoral College does for the everyday American is reduce the value of their vote. Moving on.

The GOP wants us to believe that eliminating the Electoral College, will make it so that just “a handful of states determine the presidency.”

Credit: @AOC / Twitter

Actually, that’s what the Electoral College does. The popular vote is simple. Each vote counts as one vote. Punto. The GOP has lost the popular vote in six of the seven last elections.

Then she shot down the GOP “concept that the Electoral College provides “fairness” to rural Americans over coastal states doesn’t hold any water whatsoever.”

Credit: @ocasio2018 / Instagram

In a follow-up tweet, she pointed out that, “First of all, virtually every state has rural communities. NY. California. Much of our states are rural.” Now let’s talk about racism. AOC had pointed out Monday that the Electoral College is premised on somehow evening the playing field between rural America and urban America. “Could you imagine,” she posted, “if we had this kind of democracy-altering “fairness” provision for literally any other group? If we weighed, for example, Black and Indigenous voters more because of unfairness?”

Studies show that the electoral college values white votes above all others.

Credit: @ocasio2018 / Instagram

Then, Ocasio posed several tough questions, sure to be evaded, of the GOP to Twitter: “We do not give electoral affirmative action to any other group in America. Do Black Americans have their votes count more bc they have been disenfranchised for 100s of years? Do Reservations get an electoral vote? Does Puerto Rico and US territories get them? No. They don’t.” That’s because the Electoral College isn’t about accurate representation.

Effectively, the Electoral College adjusts the fairness of the popular vote and automatically leans it more white.

Credit: @AOC / Twitter

The GOP is all about ensuring states maintain autonomy and power without “big government” influence as much as possible. The reality is that the Electoral College goes far beyond ensuring small states are given fair representation in national elections. That’s because every state is automatically given three electoral votes, no matter how many people live there. Those small states are whiter, on average than larger states, making nonwhite voters underrepresented in the Electoral College.

Latinos are the most underrepresented group in the Electoral College, and effectively, in the presidency of the United States.

Credit: The Nation

According to a study done by sociologist Sean Darling-Hammond, rural votes are disproportionately valued higher than any other group. Meanwhile, Latinos are the most underrepresented group in her study. Of course, her study doesn’t include indigenous folks.

We may not even need to abolish the electoral college, thanks to The National Popular Vote compacts.

Credit: @_cingraham / Twitter

Fourteen states have already signed bills into law that would automatically defer its electors to whichever candidate wins the popular vote. According to the Brennan Center, there are enough states considering adopting this pact that would effectively render the electoral college meaningless.

READ: Here’s What Is So Disturbing About Seeing Conservative White Men Pretending To Assault And Choke AOC’s Cutout Picture

Could This Young Woman Of Color Be The Next AOC? This Progressive Political Group Hopes So

Things That Matter

Could This Young Woman Of Color Be The Next AOC? This Progressive Political Group Hopes So

MeetMcKayla / Instagram

Inspired by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Mckayla Wilkes of Maryland has got her sights set on 2020, challenging House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer for his seat. In fact, Wilkes has been influenced so much by AOC’s run for Congress in 2018, she’s now secured backing from Brand New Congress – the same progressive group that supported Ocasion-Cortez’s campaign way back when.

That’s swell and all, but why do we care?

Instagram / @meetmckayla

There’s plenty of reasons to care about Wilkes and who she is: she’s a black, working-class, 29 year-old mother-of-two studying political science in Waldorf, Maryland. When you compare her to Steny Hoyer and his background – essentially an old, white man serving his 20th term in office – you can definitely imagine that Wilkes would be more familiar with the everyday struggles that most of us face, than Hoyer. “He’s not for people that are my family, my friends, my coworkers,” Wilkes said in an interview with Buzzfeed. “It shows in the policies that he sponsors and that he endorses, and it shows in the donors that he gets his contributions from.”

Wilkes has been extremely candid and open about her past and her struggles.

Twitter / @MeetMckayla

It’s easy to see that Wilkes is as genuine as it gets, as she’s also been upfront about her past. “I just don’t want any secrets … I want everything to be out there. It’s not like I’m the only person who goes through these things,” she said, having publicly spoke about her time in jail as a teen and young adult. Wilkes has admitted to going through a rough patch, and also spoke about the abortion she had when she was 19: “It’s not like it’s something easy to do,” she told BuzzFeed recently. “It’s not an easy decision to make. But I feel like women should have that right. … My body is not a political playground. There’s no room for [politicians] in the room with me and my doctor.”

Sure, she’s more representative of the population, but what does Wilkes stand for?

Instagram / @meetmckayla

In short, it seems as if Mckayla Wilkes is running on a platform that’s kinda similar to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Things like Medicare for All, the Green New Deal, affordable housing, overhauling the criminal justice system and even initiating impeachment proceedings against Trump are all on her to-do list, should she be elected. And yeah: none of these policies are gonna be easy to institute, especially as the Democrat’s current position doesn’t support impeachment. But, whoever said that running for office – and getting things done – would be easy?

She is committed to raising money for her campaign directly from her constituents.

Instagram / @meetmckayla

However, Wilkes is clearly driven by her morals, and isn’t afraid of a challenge. She’s also committed to staying away from PAC money and is seeking funding through other means. It’s meant that, since launching her campaign in June, she’s raised $70,000 from door knocking. To put it in perspective, Hoyer raised just $185 in the first quarter of 2019 from grassroots donations … and over $650,000 from other sources. What this means for Wilkes is that, having fundraised exclusively through donations from the community, her decisions and policies are tied directly to her constituents – and not other interests. More power to her, right?

It sounds like Wilkes is definitely for the people – but what is she up against?

Instagram / @leaderhoyer

Well, there is the obvious: Wilkes is running against an incumbent, and one who’s got plenty of funding and connections to boot. It’s not easy to run against someone who’s in that position. Especially when the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) made an announcement earlier this year that if an organization supports candidates challenging an incumbent House Democrat, the party would cut them off from business. It means that even simple things like securing advertisers becomes that much harder for someone in Wilkes’ position.

Wilke’s campaign will be a challenging one to win but she’s got her eyes on the prize.

Instagram / @meetmckayla

Chances are that Wilkes’ campaign will face more challenges than what Ocasio-Cortez saw, too. The population of Maryland’s 5th District is 60 percent white. However, New York’s 14th District, where AOC ran for her seat, is 18 percent white. Political pundits speculate that because 2020 is a presidential election year, it’s highly likely that younger and more diverse voters will show up to have their say – which in turn should help Wilkes.

Mckayla Wilkes is no fool, and she knows that she needs to lean into the fact that she not only represents a more diverse face in the race for Congress, but also a deeper, more tangible connection to the average Joe. “That’s … what sets me apart from Hoyer and also the majority of people in Congress,” Wilkes said to the media, “because I would not be able to sleep at night knowing that I’m denying my sister health care or that I’m denying my friend a place to live or that I’m denying my classmate a place to live. So, for me, it’s personal.”

AOC Has Receipts For Abuelas That Breakdowns The Thousands Of Dollars Worth Of Reasons Why You’re Not Having Kids

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AOC Has Receipts For Abuelas That Breakdowns The Thousands Of Dollars Worth Of Reasons Why You’re Not Having Kids

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Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is always here to break down complex ideas into digestible ones for constituents. A true public servant, AOC highlighted why millennials aren’t having children in a single tweet. However, while millennials might be the first generation in the United States with a lower birth rate, fertility rates around the world have been steadily dropping. 

It’s no surprise, in a modern world where information is accessible and social services are not, having children is a much easier decision than bringing a child into an unstable world. Population decline has pros and cons. With increasing concerns about water, land, and food scarcity caused by climate change, fewer resources require fewer people in need. Nevertheless, civilizations are meant to proliferate in order to function. Fewer births mean a smaller labor force to ensure the society operates healthily. Moreover, when less young people are able to contribute to social services for the elderly, like Medicare, they suffer as well. 

Now you might be able to see how a simple issue of fewer people having babies, can have a negative domino effect with serious economic implications. Countries like Japan, where birth rates have declined to reach new lows, are already experiencing similar effects. While we each have a right to decide if we have kids or don’t, it is clear that if people were inclined to believe their children might have a future better than theirs, they might choose differently. 

AOC reveals why millennials don’t have children.

“When people chastise millennials for not having or delaying starting their families after growing up in a recession, here’s one big reason why,” AOC said in reference to Washington Post opinion writer Elizabeth Bruening’s near $8,000 medical bill after giving birth. This was the cost after insurance. 

Meanwhile, 40 percent of Americans don’t have more than $400 in their savings account, how can anyone be expected to pay for such a massive expense with or without health insurance? This, of course, doesn’t include the cost of childcare, and the loss of income most women who have children experience after taking leave from the workforce. 

Childcare is too expensive.

TheNew York Times surveyed 1,858 men and women millennials between the ages of 20 and 45. When asked why they are delaying having children or not having children at all, 64 percent said childcare is too expensive, 44 percent said they can’t afford to have more children, and 43 percent financial instability was the cause. All of these reasons are related to money. Moreover, Pew Research has connected lower fertility rates to a poor economy since the 2008 recession. 

The world’s population is expected to nearly stop growing.

According to Pew Research, the world’s population is expected to nearly stop growing by the year 2100. This is the first time such a thing has happened in modern history. The population is expected to reach roughly 10.9 billion by the end of the century, but annual growth is expected to be 0.1 percent, a huge decline. Since 1950 the population has increased between 1 percent and 2 percent — that’s 2.5 billion more people. 

Immigration has often been a remedy for declining populations. But we live in a time where xenophobia is heightened, and even citizens don’t get to live out the so-called “American dream.” 

In the future, everyone is a senior citizen. 

“Between 2020 and 2100, the number of people ages 80 and older is expected to increase from 146 million to 881 million,” according to the United Nations’ 2019 World Populations report. “Starting in 2073, there are projected to be more people ages 65 and older than under age 15 – the first time this will be the case.”

This is not good. When one age group becomes the dominant culture it can have a stronghold on the direction of that society. Consider the fact that the reason why our political landscape looks the way it has (bad) for so long is because the Baby Boomer generation has been the largest voting bloc up until 2018 (any coincidence that’s when the Blue Wave happened?), thus it is their values, priorities, and beliefs that are best represented in the United States. 

“The Latin America and Caribbean region is expected to have the oldest population of any world region by 2100, a reversal from the 20th century,” according to the UN report. 

While we all get older, progress is often instigated by younger generations. This is why Republicans fear college campuses. Without young people to steer us away from unhealthy traditions and values, what will become of us? These are structural issues the government must repair. So if you want to solidify a future for your child or future child, in 2020 vote for a candidate who makes children a priority. (Spoiler: that candidate probably won’t belong to the party that lets little children die in cages.)