Green New Deal would require an actual revolution

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who was a bartender before running for Congress, has joked on Twitter about proposed names for “Cocktails for the Revolution” in promoting the Green New Deal. But in all seriousness, implementing the sweeping program would require a major political revolution in the United States.

To be clear, when I use the term “revolution,” I do not mean it in the loose sense in which it is typically employed in the relatively stable world of American politics. Political scientists and authors may refer to the Reagan Revolution, or the Gingrich Revolution, or the Obama Revolution. Sen. Bernie Sanders often refers to his movement as a revolution, and many of his former 2016 volunteers took the name of his book “Our Revolution” and turned it into an organization that supported socialist candidates including Ocasio-Cortez in 2018.

When I say the Green New Deal would require a revolution, however, I don’t mean it in the sense that it would require electing new people with dramatically different ideas who would then work within the current system to pass and implement those ideas. I mean that it would require a disruption more along the lines of the Glorious Revolution of 1688, the American Revolution, the French Revolution, the Russian Revolution, or the Chinese Communist Revolution. That is, it will require dramatic changes to the underlying structure of government.

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