Saikat Chakrabarti Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

This is a story about a tech geek. Tired of working in Silicon Valley. Wanting to make a difference in the world. No different than me or many others.  Continuing to work at a bright computer startup didn’t seem to answer that desire.

So in the Spring of 2016, he got together with 4 friends and decided to band together and support anybody they could find to run for office in order to “make a difference” – fulfilling the battle cry of the millennium generation. They got thousands of nominations – not applications – just nominations. A bartender’s brother nominated his sister and she interviewed with an assistant to “run for some public office” because she had no other expanding future. The rest is history.

No, AOC is not just an actor. But she was recruited and put into position by the artistic designer or choreographer. Just him and a few friends said, “let’s help someone run for office.” One bright success (100s of failures are not often mentioned), and his nominee is a significant part of Congress and he’s Chief of Staff for a U.S. Legislator.

I think AOC is misguided, but she’s for real.  Congressional finance disclosures show she’s making $174,000/yr now because she was elected.  Throughout 2018, she had about $35,000 in checking and a brokerage account, and made about $36,000 living in New York serving coffe to others.  She owes about $25,000 in student loans. Most people spend a lifetime advancing up in the income scale and never reach where’s she’s at now.  She did it in one short election cycle.

I disagree with nearly 100% of what Saikat advocates.  I think AOC is wrong with nearly everything she advocates. Today it was the fact that couples should not have any children because the world’s demise is imminent. These things make sense to someone so young.  I believe in other philosophies that describe children as blessings and a good addition to life.  I wish she would listen to others as much as she speaks.

Saikat is very dedicated and committed and influential with action — like I used to be before life knocked me around a bit. I grew up in a period of the nation valuing service to others. I lived in roles of “military service” and “civil servant”. In contrast, he’s grown up in a nation that values accruing power. The public face of his efforts (AOC) said, “Wielding the power to shift public sentiment is how we actually achieve meaningful change in this country.” I thought service to people brought about meaningful change. They believe power over people brings meaningful change.

There are too many historical examples that show the bad outcome of pushing public sentiment with power. That alone scares me. I’m sad that our system makes my life – and every life in the nation – a guinea pig for his ideas. I’m HAPPY for him to do all he wants to do, but I think he should do it with his money and his life, and then let me be convinced by seeing what he did. Instead, he’s exalting our nation and racial issues to create economic and social regimentation, and forceful suppression of opposition. Everybody who did this in history thought they were doing a good thing. We call them Fascists.

His introspective comment was, “You know, if after everything, it turns out we’re just totally wrong, then hopefully I’ve been convinced of the error of my ways.” Ouch. Can I opt-out?

Perhaps this generation has found a better way. Transit life with a backpack and not much other capital. Cash-flow everything; own nothing. Why does this not sit well with me? I think because their choice to do so depends on many others providing the foundation to live on. And I grew up believing that each person should be self-reliant and dependent on their own accomplishments, and reap the rewards of life. The new way seems to be communal interdependence and then to compensate the invisible “others” with some form of socialism, after you accrue the power to make others do so. This concept is the same as Obama’s statement “You didn’t build your business” taken to the next step.



About Brian

Engineer. Aviator. Educator. Scientist.
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