“This is one of the most beautiful, imaginative, prescriptive works of art that has ever been created.”
Despite the Green New Deal’s abject failure in Congress last month, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., hasn’t given up on her signature policy proposal.
On Tuesday, she informed her 4 million Twitter followers that she had been working for months on a “very special + secret” Green New Deal-related project. Then, on Wednesday, she unveiled the masterwork.
It wasn’t an update to the Green New Deal or an ambitious new initiative, but rather an art project: specifically, a video in which Ocasio-Cortez imagines that she has succeeded in turning America into a progressive paradise and saved the world from climate catastrophe.
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As Ocasio-Cortez narrates the 7-minute work of fiction, artist Molly Crabapples provides real-time watercolor illustrations. Looking back on today’s society from a couple decades hence, the freshman Democrats comments pityingly on the mockery and derision that have greeted her Green New Deal.
“We knew that we needed to save the planet and that we had all the technology to do it, but people were scared,” she intones in her best story-time voice. “I think that’s because they just couldn’t picture it yet.”
No mention is made of the substantive arguments against the Green New Deal, including questions about its exorbitant cost, feasibility, and effectiveness.
After offering a brief and U.S.-centric history of how greedy oil companies and craven politicians supposedly created global warming, Ocasio-Cortez arrives at last year’s dire U.N. report on climate change and her ascension from bartender to congresswoman as part of the wave election that gave Democrats control of the House.
She goes on to “recount” her party retaking the Senate and the White House in 2020 and ushering in “the decade of the Green New Deal: a flurry of legislation that kicked off our social and economic transformation to save the planet.”
These laws – including the “Medicare for All,” which she predicts will be “the most popular social program in American history,” and a federal jobs guarantee – narrowly stave off environmental catastrophe and transform the country into a progressive utopia.
“We became a society that was not only modern and wealthy but dignified and humane, too,” Ocasio-Cortez says. “We stopped being scared of each other, and we found our shared purpose.”
As in real life, she doesn’t bother to think through how Congress and the public would suddenly come to support – or pay for – such a massive expansion of government. All it takes, she say, is Americans “closing our eyes and imagining it.”
Ocasio-Cortez’s fans cheered her latest project, which was produced by The Intercept, a left-wing online news outlet.
Progressive writer and activist Shaun King gushed: “This is one of the most beautiful, imaginative, prescriptive works of art that has ever been created.”
This is one of the most beautiful, imaginative, prescriptive works of art that has ever been created.
— Shaun King (@shaunking) April 17, 2019
Human rights professor Joel Pruce called it “brilliant and beautiful and urgent.”
"We can be whatever we have the courage to see." This is brilliant and beautiful and urgent. Imagination is the only way forward.
— Joel R. Pruce (@profpruce) April 17, 2019
However, not everyone was impressed.
— Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) April 17, 2019
A number of critics wondered whether making what they deemed childish art was the best way for a U.S. congresswoman to spend her time.
Did our tax dollars go toward this third grade art project?
— Aldous Huxley's Ghost™ (@AF632) April 17, 2019
Looks like a second grade art project
— Jack Moe (@dbag75) April 17, 2019
Lol looks like a first grade art project
— Millennial (@new__millennial) April 16, 2019
Meanwhile, also on Tuesday, Ocasio-Cortez was named to this year’s Time 100 list of most influential people. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., one of her party’s many presidential candidates, wrote the entry.
“A year ago, she was taking orders across a bar,” Warren said. “Today, millions are taking cues from her. She reminds all of us that even while greed and corruption slow our progress, even while armies of lobbyists swarm Washington, in our democracy, true power still rests with the people. And she’s just getting started.”
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