First-term U.S. Congress-member Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Democrat from New York, is making quite a splash these days on the national scene, especially for someone who has been in public office for less than a one month.

A recent example of Rep. Ocasio-Cortez gaining attention was when she predicted that the earth has only a dozen years remaining until it basically ceases to exist and we all die. No, she was not predicting the rapture or Armageddon. Rather, the effects of supposed “climate change.”

According to Rep. Ocasio-Cortez: “the world is going to end in twelve years if we don’t address climate change.” She was applauded at the MLK Now event in New York City for making this claim.

Now, she is not the first to make such a ludicrous prediction, but stands in a long line of supposedly serious people who have done the same, as Climate Depot’s Marc Morano has exhaustively documented (here).

With all the news being made by Ms. Ocasio-Cortez, she’s on pace to being named Time magazine’s “Person of the Year” for 2019, and there is still eleven months to go. Don’t smirk. This is a serious prediction. Media darlings who make news with nearly every utterance have a leg up for such recognition.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, however, is much more than a garrulous media darling. She may well be accelerating the transformation of the Democratic Party of FDR, Truman, Kennedy and (Bill) Clinton toward a far-left, socialist European direction.

Interestingly, a large part of her ongoing appeal began with how Ms. Ocasio-Cortez got elected in the first place: by defeating the fourth-ranking, 20-year House member, Joe Crowley, in a Democratic primary race last September. This congressional district includes swaths of the Bronx and Queens in New York City, about half the residents of which are Latino and only one-quarter of them non-Hispanic white. Identity politics is pervasive in the modern Democratic Party, and Caucasian Rep. Crowley no longer matched his district; Ocasio-Cortez did.

More than that, she had the temerity and guts to challenge a long-time, sleepy incumbent and win. This is no small accomplishment, and it shocked the political world, as no one saw it coming. There’s nothing like sticking it to The Man, and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez did so. Only now, she’s just getting started, and Democratic Party veterans will have a hard time trying to keep a lid on her outspokenness.

Her catastrophic prediction for the end of the world due to man-made climate change is one of many examples of her growing influence on the Democratic Party, not just in terms of the new House majority, and its agenda, but the wide-open primary race for the Party’s presidential nomination in 2020. The more this growing list of candidates talk, the more they will be echoing Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who already has a national celebrity profile, the most media, and who is clearly eager for the attention.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez supports every range of socialistic prescriptions for the country, including a “Green New Deal” to transform the nation by eliminating the use of fossil fuels, expanding public ownership of industries, and much more; single-payer health care where the federal government administers (and will ration) medicine, with taxpayers paying for all of it; eliminating the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency that protects the nation’s borders (meaning no more borders); reducing the military budget and raising the top tax rate to 70 percent to supposedly pay for the aforementioned policies, and more.

Perhaps more amazing is that Rep. Ocasio-Cortez has wielded such influence by simply speaking extemporaneously to the media. None of her policy positions are spelled out on her congressional website, for instance, which simply reads: For more information concerning work and views related to (Economy/Health/Energy, etc.) issues, please contact our office.” That’s it. Moreover, almost no one in the media bothers to challenge her to defend, or detail, such policies – including the unserious Stephen Colbert, the most recent, fawning example.

To be clear, it’s not that Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has much in the way of original ideas. As mentioned, she follows a long line of people predicting the end of the world due to climate change and a host of other socialist ideas. But, since she carries such national star power, her words, policy positions and vision will continue to gain exposure such that her fellow Democrats running for president will have to mimic her or be out of the new far-left mainstream of the Party’s voter base.

Even now, polls are showing that a greater percentage of Democrats identify themselves as liberal, and growing numbers of Americans are supporting socialist ideas like single-payer.

Tom Perez, the chairman of the Democratic National Committee, said last fall that Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez represents “the future of our Party.” He was wrong. She is a growing influence and presence on the party, and the country – right now. Accordingly, as she grows into a cult of personality and increasing prominence, her socialist agenda on the environment, the economy and the health care system, to name a few areas, will become more likely for the country.

Is America ready for full-blown socialism? Is the country prepared for this Green New Deal environmental extremism? The sad reality is that her agenda will not work here, same as everywhere else it’s been tried. But, if national celebrity, first-term member of Congress, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez continues to grow in influence, we as a nation may end up relearning those tragic historic lessons the hard way.


  • Peter Murphy

    Peter Murphy is Senior Fellow at CFACT. He has researched and advocated for a variety of policy issues, including education reform and fiscal policy, both in the non-profit sector and in government in the administration of former New York Governor George Pataki. He previously wrote and edited The Chalkboard weblog for the NY Charter Schools Association, and has been published in numerous media outlets, including The Hill, New York Post, Washington Times and the Wall Street Journal. Twitter: @PeterMurphy26 Website: