Monday, January 7, 2019

AOC | Lefsetz Letter

This is how fast disruption happens.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez beats the incumbent in the primary, wins the House seat and instead of resting on her laurels, she doesn’t shut up, she continues her campaign, fearless as to the feedback, not intimidated that she’s a rookie, but ready for action.

In case you missed it, in the past few days AOC has been excoriated for dancing, for supporting a sister who used an expletive and called for Trump’s impeachment, and put forth a plan to raise taxes on the rich.


This is little different from Napster, little different from those tech disruptions that changed our world twenty years ago. You see there are nascent scenes just waiting to bubble up and gain our attention. That was Trump, now it’s AOC.

As for Trump, you should read the article on Mark Burnett, arguably the most important person in making him President, in last week’s “New Yorker,” if for no other reason than to learn about a man who started as a nanny in Malibu and then became a landowner in Malibu:

How Mark Burnett Resurrected Donald Trump as an Icon of American Success

“The New Yorker” is too often self-satisfied, living in its own bubble, believing it is superior, but the quality of writing is a notch above that of the rest of the press, which is why it matters. The essence counts. You may have great ideas, but if you can’t articulate them…

And the media cares about the horse race and eyeballs, in reverse order. If you’re quiet and do your job, good luck getting attention. But if you stand up for what you believe in, if you take on all comers, then you’re gonna get ink.

Like AOC.

She’s got two million Twitter followers. That’s nearly twice as many as loser Beto O’Rourke. That’s right, if you want to know where you’ve been, pay attention to the mainstream media, want to know where you’re going, pay attention to social media.

AOC is unfettered. She’s running on instinct, the opposite of a usual politician. Similar to Elizabeth Warren, but she’s half her age.

I was at lunch two weeks ago and Dan told me he was against Pelosi being House Speaker. He said you should not have this gig unless you know how to program a mobile phone. How to set it up from zero, how to use it, as opposed to the alta kachers who have their staff do it for them. That the world runs on the mobile phone, and in addition, it’s the youngsters’ world now, they should be allowed to mess it up.

And the youngsters have different values. They’re saddled with student debt, they have limited career opportunities, they’re concerned about causes, about the environment, who is speaking for them?

Well, Bernie Sanders, who would have been President if he’d started earlier and believed he could win. It’s kinda like entertainment, if you don’t get their hearts and minds, they don’t come to the show, they don’t buy a ticket, and to last in entertainment you have to be honest and truthful and we’ll even forgive your mistakes if we think you’re doing your best to entertain us, follow your dream, be a beacon for the rest of us.

AOC is a woman. And detractors expect her to be solicitous and think before she speaks and be thankful just to be in the room.

But AOC is Kanye without the bipolar disorder. She’s going to the front of the line, she doesn’t want to pay her dues, she grew up in an environment where skin color and sexual preference were not taboo like they were with the boomers, she feels she’s entitled to say her piece.

Look at it this way, AOC is twenty nine, she never knew an era where there was not a personal computer, the internet, where the whole world was wired and reachable.

This is not Hillary triangulating. This is not someone playing defense. This is someone setting the agenda herself, and D.C. is not prepared for it.

Read her Twitter feed:

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez – twitter

Not only is she speaking her mind, she’s correcting opponents on their facts, just like Chris Wallace did today with Sarah Sanders:

Sanders repeats claim on terrorists at the border refuted by administration’s own data

Yup, we’ve reached a turning point folks, you’re either educated or not, can analyze the issues or not, and if you don’t have these skills you’re left out of the discussion, your only impact is your ability to vote.

Yes, many Americans are stupid and uninformed. Then again, there’s a whole swath with knowledge and skills who’ve been held back by the corporatism of America.

And then there’s the tax debate. AOC calling for 70-80%.

Seems a bit extreme until you realize the effective rate for so many rich folk is under 15%, like Romney.

But by bringing up this issue, AOC got Nobel Prize winner Paul Krugman to stop talking about the debt and tearing his hair out about the Republicans to weigh in on this with facts:

“The Economics of Soaking the Rich – What Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez know about tax policy? A lot.”

In other words, AOC steered the conversation.

For the past twenty years we’ve expected techies to do this. Most notably, Steve Jobs. And then Mark Zuckerberg and the rest of the wankers who were corporatists themselves, who just wanted to make money. We were not prepared for the liberal arts majors to have an impact. But AOC majored in economics and international relations, not the STEM subjects, which were sold as a monetary future but the future really relies on ideas, and a good college education teaches you how to wrestle with these.

So, if you’re worried about Trump and his base, you can breathe a sigh of relief now that the House is blue and nationalists have been losing power over the last year.

But that is not what this is about, this is not about the struggle between left and right, this is about standing up for what you believe in, fighting back against injustice and agitating for the benefit of everyone, not just yourself and/or the rich.

This is not the way it’s supposed to be. It’s supposed to be solely about money. That’s why you go into government, for the relationships, it’s the poor man’s way to become a millionaire.

But AOC wants to level the playing field.

We need heroes. We’re sick of having to revere products, websites, because personalities have disappointed us.

Yup, it happens all the time, especially in entertainment. The performer goes for the bucks, leaving us behind. The endorsements/sponsorships, the private shows, the golden circles… That’s why you do it, to get rich, right?

And I’m not going to say cash has no impact, is not an inspiration/driver, but a well-rounded human being is more than that, he or she has a sense of morality, right or wrong, just won’t do what’s expedient, takes the long term view.

On one hand we’ve got the old men trying to preserve a way of life that worked for them and not everybody else.

On the other, we’ve got the MTV/internet generation which has been exposed to many viewpoints, that knows what’s going on and is looking for fairness.

It’s no contest.

A woman may not be President, but in the wake of #MeToo, in the wake of decades of both oppression and hard work by the feminist movement, the whole country has just tilted and will never be the same.

Yup, hard work paves the way for others who will see your ideas come to fruition.

But disruption never sleeps and you skate where the puck is going, not where it is.

That’s the failure of media, it’s reporting today, not tomorrow.

But tomorrow is gonna look different, you can bet on it.


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