United States: Grassroots socialist overcomes Democratic machine in primary

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's campaign demonstrated that the barriers thrown up by the corporate-political establishment can be overcome with a “strong grassroots movement of organisers” and a bold platform.

Overcoming a  and New York’s powerful establishment machine, 28-year-old democratic socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez toppled Democratic Representative Joe Crowley in New York’s 14th congressional district on June 26 with  and an ambitious progressive agenda of Medicare for All, housing as a human right, and nforcement agency. The result is being hailed as the biggest political upset of 2018.

“This is a grassroots victory, this is a testament to the power of organizing, this is a testament to the power of knocking on your neighbour’s door, of picking up a phone, of believing and taking on power even though they say that it cannot be beaten,” Ocasio-Cortez, a member of the Democratic Socialists of American,  after her 15-point landslide win.

“Anything can be accomplished when we knock on our neighbour’s door and choose to believe and stand up for our values.”

With nearly every vote counted, Ocasio-Cortez defeated Crowley handily, with a margin of 57% to 42%.

“The message that we sent the world tonight is that it is not okay to put donors before your community,” Ocasio-Cortez added in her victory speech. “The message is that improved and expanded Medicare for All, healthcare for every single person in America is what we deserve as a nation.”

Having never run a political campaign before deciding to take on Crowley — a Wall Street favourite viewed by many as the likely successor of House Minority leader Nancy Pelosi — Ocasio-Cortez was virtually unknown on the national stage until a  and progressive journalists  brought widespread attention to her working-class background and inspiring message.

Even though Crowley outraised her in funds by a 10:1 ratio and secured the endorsements of New York Democratic Senators Kirsten Gillibrand and Chuck Schumer, Ocasio-Cortez’s campaign demonstrated that the barriers thrown up by the corporate-political establishment can be overcome with a “” and a bold platform.

“He had the machine. He had the money. He had the power,”  the advocacy group People for Bernie. “We had the people ... Welcome to the political revolution.”

[Abridged from .]