Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Corporate gatekeepers and big tech monopolists are making it more difficult than ever for independent media to survive. Please chip in today.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) speaks during a news conference at the U.S. Capitol December 8, 2021 in Washington, D.C. (Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images)

What Far-Left? Asks AOC. 'We Can't Even Get Our Party to Import Cheaper Prescription Drugs from Canada'

The New York Democrat ridiculed a meme shared on Twitter by Elon Musk, the platform's new owner and the world's richest person.

Kenny Stancil

Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez pilloried the world's richest person and Twitter's new owner, Elon Musk, on Friday after he used the social media platform to equate the far-right and the far-left, implying that both are hateful.

"The far-left hates everyone, themselves included!" said Musk, the chief executive of Tesla whose net worth has skyrocketed to more than $200 billion during the Covid-19 pandemic. "But I'm no fan of the far-right either. Let's have less hate and more love."

"In Texas, Republicans passed a law allowing rapists to sue their victims for getting an abortion," Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) responded incredulously. "Can anyone name a 'far-left' policy that extreme implemented anywhere? We can't even get our party to import cheaper prescription drugs from Canada."

Musk's Friday comments came less than 24 hours after he shared an image arguing that a "conservative" occupies the same ideological territory today as in 2008 while a "liberal" has moved increasingly leftward and become a "woke 'progressive'" unrecognizable to a centrist who once had more in common with the left but is now closer to the right.

Musk's argument about a supposed leftward shift couldn't be further from reality, according to critics.

Setting aside the fact that the Democratic Party as a whole has moved toward former President Ronald Reagan on many economic, carceral, and immigration policies since the late 1970s—resulting in more than four decades of bipartisan neoliberalism, which has only recently been challenged by a growing minority of progressive lawmakers—the Republican Party's rightward shift, which has been intensifying for decades, is completely ignored by Musk.

Georgetown University professor Don Moynihan responded to Musk's post by sharing evidence from the Pew Research Center that shows how increasing political polarization in the U.S. Congress is being driven primarily by Republicans moving further and further right—not the other way around.

According to Pew's March analysis of lawmakers' roll-call votes, "Democrats and Republicans are farther apart ideologically today than at any time in the past 50 years." While Democrats have become slightly more liberal on a two-dimensional spectrum, Republicans have become "much more" conservative.

To take just one example of the GOP's creeping authoritarianism, Republican senators in 2006 voted unanimously to reauthorize the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Last November, only Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) joined Democrats in a failed bid to restore the landmark pro-democracy law.

Fueled by former President Donald Trump's "Big Lie" that the 2020 presidential election was stolen, Republican lawmakers at the state level have embarked on a nationwide assault on the franchise, passing 34 voter suppression laws in 2021 and introducing dozens more this year.

The GOP has also gone on an unprecedented censorship binge in recent months, banning books and threatening the job security of teachers across the nation. In addition, Republicans have been attacking abortion rights at a dangerous clip, as Ocasio-Cortez alluded to, as well as LGBTQ+ rights.

Meanwhile, progressive lawmakers who are advocating for universal access to healthcare—during a pandemic that has killed nearly one million Americans—and an accelerated clean energy transition to secure a livable planet are being stymied at every turn by corporate lobbyists and lawmakers in both parties.

Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

Omar Leads Charge Against Baby Formula Monopolies Amid US Shortage

Democrats urge the FTC to probe "any unfair or unsustainable practices, like deceptive marketing, price gouging, and stock buybacks, that may be weakening our nutritional formula supply."

Jessica Corbett ·

'Arbitrary, Racist, and Unfair': Judge Blocks Biden From Ending Title 42

"Only the coyotes profiteering off of people seeking protection have reason to celebrate this ill-reasoned ruling," said one migrant rights advocate.

Brett Wilkins ·

'This Is a War' for Democratic Party's Future, Says Sanders of AIPAC's Super PAC

"They are doing everything they can to destroy the progressive movement in this country," said the senator.

Julia Conley ·

Ginni Thomas Pressed Arizona Lawmakers to Reverse Biden's 2020 Win: Report

"Clarence Thomas' continued service on the Supreme Court is a scandalous and appalling breach of judicial ethics," said one observer. "He is implementing the exact same theories that his wife used to try to steal the 2020 election for Trump."

Brett Wilkins ·

Millions More Kids Going Hungry Since GOP, Manchin Killed Expanded Child Tax Credit

"Even brief disruptions in access to food can have lasting consequences," wrote the authors of a new analysis of worsening hunger among U.S. families.

Kenny Stancil ·

Common Dreams Logo