- Democratic MEP Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has submitted a plan for a Green New Deal in the US.
- It is a blueprint for a better America with a more ecological and social society. The Republicans fear that America will be run down.
- Even many conservative and moderate Democrats, the plan goes too far.
The plan for the future is only 14 pages long and carries the prosaic title "H. Res. 109" The H. stands for House, the Res. For Resolution. This means that the paper is an explanation of the US House of Representatives, a call to the government. So far everyone in Washington agrees.
However, what exactly is required there, the views are far apart. For the author, Democrat Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and her supporters, the explanation is no less than the blueprint for a better America, for a more ecological, social society. That's why they call their plan the Green New Deal, a reference to the great social reforms and job creation projects of the 1930s. However, the new edition should now be decidedly green – climate protection as a way to jobs, prosperity, security and justice for all citizens.
For the Republicans, on the other hand, it's all socialist devilish stuff. America would be downsized to a second Venezuela, should the Green New Deal be implemented, they warn.
That may be exaggerated. According to European standards, Ocasio-Cortez's list of demands is more in line with that of a normal green or fairly left-wing social-democratic party. The US could be – fright! – transformed in Germany, analyzed the news agency Bloomberg, However, by American standards, the plan is actually going spectacularly spectacular: Not only should the entire US economy, transport and energy production be geared towards climate protection. In addition, a comprehensive social network is to be established, which guarantees all Americans health insurance, a job, healthy eating, education and an apartment. As ambitious as the goals is the timetable. For example, within ten years only climate-neutral electricity is to be produced in America.
The proponents of the Green New Deal do not dispute the fact that a massive, planned state intervention would be necessary. They demand a "national, social, industrial and economic mobilization" as it was in World War II, only this time global warming and injustice are the enemies, not the Nazis.
Whether the resolution will ever be legislated by Congress is uncertain. At least as long as the Republicans dominate the Senate and Donald Trump is president, that will not happen. But even in left-liberal, democratically-governed California, the construction of a high-speed train route, as the Green New Deal calls for all of America, has just been canceled – too expensive, climate protection or no. This shows how difficult the implementation is.
The plan shows the democrats split
This does not mean, of course, that the Green New Deal remains politically inconsequential. On the contrary: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez – leader of the "progressive" wing of the Democrats and darling of the base and activists – has pushed the Democrats with their 14-page paper overnight as far to the left as the other liberal politician in years, painstakingly Work did not succeed. For the presidential candidates of the Democrats, the Green New Deal has become a litmus test: The party members, who determine the presidential candidates next year in the primaries, are by a large majority for the plan. Almost all serious applicants therefore support the Green New Deal.
However, one can also read the splitting of the Democrats in the plan well. The party people are enthusiastic. By contrast, the more moderate middle democrats in Congress, who also have to consider more conservative voters, are far more skeptical. Proof of this: Of the 41 Democratic candidates who took seats in the November 2018 congressional election and thus created the new majority in the House of Representatives, instead of just ousting other Democrats like Ocasio-Cortez, there is one single MP Signed the Green New Deal. For all other democratic newcomers in the "house" the plan is too radical and too vulnerable.
The same applies to the Democrats in the Senate. All Presidential candidates representing liberal coastal states in the Chamber support the Green New Deal – from Cory Booker of New Jersey to Kamala Harris of California and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts to New York's Kirsten Gillibrand. An exception is Amy Klobuchar from Minnesota. So far, she is consciously pushing for a clear commitment to the plan – knowing that this is less popular with rural voters in the Midwest than with Ocazio-Cortez's hip followers in the Bronx.
Republicans want to brand Democrats as "socialists."
That's one of the reasons why Democrat leader Ms. Nancy Pelosi has not shown much enthusiasm for the Green New Deal. When asked, she mumbled something about "the green dream, or what they call it". Pelosis priority is to get the Democratic majority in the House of Representatives in the 2020 congressional election. That does not work if the Democrats are seen as left-wing eco-fighters.
The seat of parliament of Ocasio-Cortez in New York City may be safe, there people have been voting for decades by far the Democrats. But things are different in Pennsylvania, Virginia, Michigan, Illinois, Kansas, and Oklahoma – in short, wherever the Democrats gained last year. There the races are scarcer. And Pelosis majority in the House of Representatives is only 17 votes. This is not a very solid basis for daredevil experiments.
The Republicans see the open flank of the Democrats. For the ailing party, the Green New Deal is a political gift. Many strategists believe that Republicans can win the presidential and congressional election campaign in 2020 by branding Democrats "socialists." This may be a deception – some surveys show that the Green New Deal or parts of it are quite popular. But whether that actually pays off in votes for the Democrats on Election Day in the major states and constituencies is another matter altogether.