New York CongresswomanAlexandria Ocasio-Cortezfloated an interesting proposition while expanding on her criticism of the electoral college, suggesting that a similar advantage be given to black Americans who have been disenfranchised for hundreds of years.
During an Instagram live broadcast this week, AOCmade macaroni and cheeseand took questions from followers. One of them asked her what she learned on vacation, and Ocasio-Cortez began by revisitingher recent feud withright-wingers over the electoral college.
“I talked about how bogus the electoral college is, and Fox News got really mad, but it’s true, I’m not taking it back, it’s bogus, it’s a scam,” she said, then explained the disproportionate power the system gives to a “small band of voters.”
She then asked a series of pointed hypotheticals like ” Why don’t we give Indian reservations an electoral vote?” or “Why don’t we give Puerto Rico and US territories, hundreds of thousands if not millions of US citizens have zero representation, why don’t we give them electoral vote?”
“Why don’t we accommodate our democracy for black Americans who were disenfranchised, and in many ways continue to be disenfranchised, for hundreds of years?” AOC asked, and added “We don’t do any of that. We only consider fairness for a very, like, small band, and frankly this original compromise was to accommodate slave owners.”
Fact check: itwas, and while AOC got sidetracked away from detailing her plan to accommodate our democracy to advantage black Americans, it is an intriguing concept.
The reparations issue got a lotof attentionearly in the Democratic primary (AOC herselfappeared to opposethe idea of direct reparations), and most of the field finally seemed to settle around supporting HR 40, which would create a commission to study reparations.
But an accommodation like the one Ocasio-Cortez suggests could be a revolutionary breakthrough on the issue. Nothing could seem fairer than, say, giving each black American two votes in every presidential election for the next 150 years, and economically anxious Republicans could be content in the knowledge that it wouldn’t cost them a dime. The proposal would be worth it just to seeMitch McConnellcounter-offer three-fifths of an additional vote.