Ted Cruz tossed out the challenge — now it’s up to some famous Democrats to make the next move.
Before a rollicking crowd Sunday at the Turning Point USA summit in Tampa, Florida, the Republican laid out a lecture on American history that put the conservative movement firmly in the context of current events.
But it was his take on the unrest in communist Cuba, the favorite dictatorship of the American left for more than 60 years, that might have hit closest to home.
Commenting on the protests that have amounted to the most extensive popular demonstrations of discontent the island nation has seen since the Castro revolution, Cruz held them up as an example of how blinded progressives are in American politics.
And hypocritical they are.
“Just once I want to see some left-wing socialist — I want to see Bernie Sanders, I want to see Elizabeth Warren, I want to see AOC go down to Key West, get on a raft, and sail 90 miles south to the socialist paradise,” told the young conservatives in the audience.
“Their ideas don’t work, tyranny doesn’t work, freedom is powerful and that’s what y’all are defending and I am proud to stand with you.”
Check it out here. The key comments start about the 28:30-mark:
Of course, Cruz is never going to get to see that.
An aging socialist like Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders might have spent his honeymoon enjoying the pleasures of dictatorship in the old Soviet Union, but an octogenarian would be an unlikely candidate for taking up life in an open-air prison-like Cuba.
Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s pretensions to victimhood by appropriating American Indian ancestry would buy her little credibility in a Caribbean society. And, as Warren’s failure of a presidential campaign made clear, she has little to offer besides hectoring diatribes about student loan debt. She’s not exactly cut out for the rigors of real communist living.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is a somewhat different story. As a seemingly healthy and obviously photogenic young woman, she might have the physical attributes needed for surviving Cuban socialism, but she has exactly zero incentive to try it.
That doesn’t mean she’ll acknowledge the flaws of the socialist system. In fact, she’s doing her best to blame the current Cuban unrest on the United States policies toward the island.
But the reality is, Ocasio-Cortez is enjoying a niche existence that might well be impossible in any other country. She’s got the salary and perks of an American congresswoman, a social media platform far beyond anything she would deserve on the strength of her intellect, and fawning mainstream media coverage that all but put her on a pedestal equal to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in her rookie year in Congress.
(Pelosi is no conservative’s favorite politician, but no one can say she didn’t pay her dues in the political world.)
For Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the rhetoric of revolution will always beat its reality.
From her luxury apartment in Washington, to the hybrid Tesla she drives, to her rock-star status among the liberal elite, she’s in the sweet spot of savoring some of the best of what a capitalist society can provide, with the pampered frisson that comes with leftist sympathies for the downtrodden from the comfort of a well-appointed home.
For all their incessant, hectoring criticism of the greatest country the world has ever known, liberals like AOC should acknowledge that the rafts carrying the victims of oppression between Cuba and the United States really do go in one direction: And that direction runs from socialist tyranny to American freedom.
Likewise, the masses of refugees from poorly run countries to liberty and equality on the U.S. border — the illegal immigrants whom liberals celebrate — run in only one direction, from south to north.
That should be a clue to liberals, in real life and in real time, exactly which system of government and economics works and which doesn’t. That reality should be enough to quell any argument about illusory “systemic racism” or the lies of critical race theory with which the left has plagued the country in recent years.
But it won’t be. For leftists like AOC, Sanders and Warren, the game is power, not reality.
Cruz’s statement was a challenge. Don’t expect them — or any other on the American left — to ever rise to meet it.
They can’t. And they know it.
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