The Corner

Politics & Policy

The American Political System Does Not Include a Magic Wand

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D., N.Y.) waves on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., May 15, 2019. (Joshua Roberts/Reuters)

In the past year, we’ve heard Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez propose retrofitting every building in America for energy efficiency, Beto O’Rourke propose a mandatory nationwide buyback of AR-15s, and four Democratic senators introduced a Constitutional amendment to eliminate the Electoral College.

On the Right, President Trump declared that he wanted to eliminate birthright citizenship through an executive order, and Sohrab Ahmari envisions a system of American government that eliminates “viewpoint neutrality in access to public spaces” — that is, American laws would deem certain taxpayers would not be entitled to equal access to the facilities they paid to create because of their beliefs and ideas they propose.

We have no shortage of political thinkers and Twitter revolutionaries who envision grand, sweeping overhauls of American society, including dramatic changes to the Constitution. Very few of those making these sweeping proposals have figured out a foolproof plan to win a House or Senate majority. Never mind crawling before they can walk, they want to jump straight to interplanetary travel from crawling.

Show me that candidates you endorse can win a few swing states or districts with that explicitly stated and detailed agenda, and then we’ll talk about how you’re going to completely change the daily life of every American — and immanentize the eschaton along the way.


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