One of the most popular women around the world is American congresswoman, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. The press refers to her in their headlines as AOC. AOC is radical and feminist. But she did something that shut the mouths of feminists all over the world. Not one feminist uttered even one word of criticism against AOC when she declared she was backing Bernie Sanders to be president of the US.AOC is Latin. One of the popular contenders in the presidential race is Kamala Harris who is half East Indian and half Jamaican. But AOC chose Bernie. In a column months ago, I wrote that if Obama was running against Bernie or Elizabeth Warren, I would have voted for Bernie or Warren.
In another column, I chose Bernie and Warren over Harris. I am East Indian and my country belongs to the integration movement of which Jamaica is close to Guyana. Harris should be my logical choice, but she is not. I am an ardent supporter of Warren and Bernie because I believe they embrace a type of economic policy-making that is fairer in the distribution of wealth.
They share a type of approach to class restructuring that I did not see Obama ideologically embrace. If Warren or Sanders win the American presidency, I think their legacy will eclipse that of Obama. Forty years after, you look at the achievements of President Warren or President Sanders and compare their legacy with Obama’s, it will be more admirable.
Of course I am assuming that power will not derail what Bernie and Warren say they stand for. In any assessment of Obama’s legacy, I remind readers that he chose not to pardon Edward Snowden and he bailed out the largest corporations in the US using billions of taxpayers’ money after those very corporations created the financial crash of 2008.
AOC did not use the gender criterion for her candidate to become the US president; she went for philosophy over race and gender. She chose the person she thinks will lead America in political and economic directions that she, AOC would like to see. This is how people should select leaders.
There has been a stunning silence from women groups around the world about AOC’s preference. Not one voice has asked her why not one of the leading female candidates. The reason is simple. They know the lady would defend herself and her preference brilliantly and they would be embarrassed.
In life, we have to and must judge humans on the basis of their essential qualities. We must appreciate the beauty of the creations of others based on their inherent qualities. I like two paintings by the French impressionist, Monet, because I think they are beautiful. I have prints of them hanging in my living room. Why should I frown on Monet because I am a dark-skinned Third World man? I also love the creations of countless Third World humans, like the compositions of Bob Marley.
The attitude of the popular American congresswoman comes at an important time in Guyana – we are months away from an election. This is my take on the event. Two ethnically-based entities are vying for power – the PPP and the PNC (forget about the AFC; it is an appendage of the PNC). A vote for each one of them is the preference of one race over another. We have been voting that way since 1957. We may deny it. We may say it is because I like the PPP or the PNC. But the Freudian monster resides in the deep recesses of our mind – race is the motive.
We can break that cycle if we emulate AOC. As a feminist woman, she chose philosophy over feminism when she selected Bernie. It is so simple to understand if we try to see how AOC reasoned it. She must have said to herself; “Shall I go for my own gender and put that before my country or shall I put my country first and embrace the better person?”
The same question is facing hundreds of thousands of young people as the March elections move closer.
On Wednesday morning, I was walking my dog in the National Park when four female teenagers came up and began to pet her. Two were Africans, the other two Indians. They appeared to be closely knitted friends. You are not going to believe this. I listen to music on a discman, and at the time the teens came up, Kenny G was playing sax to the vocals of Satchmo’ s worldwide hit, “What a Wonderful World.” I looked back as they walked away, hoping they would not vote race and hoping for a non-racial, wonderful Guyana.
(The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of this newspaper.)
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