By Lobo Tiggre
Dear Rep. Ocasio-Cortez,
Your official House web page requires me to enter a zip code in your district to send you an email. I understand that you work for your constituents, but you’re going to vote on laws that affect everyone in the United States, and you’ve become a national figure. So, while I live in Puerto Rico and not New York, I’m writing you this open letter, hoping it reaches you.
First, I want to say that while I disagree with every policy idea I’ve heard you advance, I don’t hate you. I’m not here to call you names, nor gain brownie points from “my side” by attacking the object of their fear, anger, and derision.
Actually, I have no side. I’m not a member of any political party. Or perhaps we’re on the same side; you clearly seem to care more about people than parties. So do I.
That’s why I’m writing. I’m giving you the benefit of the doubt, taking you at face value. You seem intelligent, well informed, and sincere. Your willingness to attack entrenched injustice regardless of the consequences for your career is admirable. And if you are what you appear to be, then you should be willing to engage in respectful dialog with those who disagree with the means you propose to achieve ends we may well agree upon.
I suspect we’d both like to see a future in which people flourish in a world no longer scarred by bigotry and institutionalized violence, motivated more by positive dreams of the future than nightmare fears of the past.
If so, I’d like to talk with you. I’d like to exchange ideas and—if either of us is as intellectually honest as we’d like to believe—find where either you or I might be wrong about some of the things that divide us. Your socialistic and my libertarian approaches can’t both be right. If we approach such a conversation in the spirit of seeking truth, rather than of attacking those we disagree with, we might both learn something.
An open, honest, and respectful exploration of whatever it is that divides us could help elevate a national conversation that’s been dragged down into the gutter for years.
I’d be happy to call you whenever you like, or go to Washington or New York to meet with you. Or perhaps we can talk here in San Juan the next time you visit family here.
Here are some of the issues I’d like to explore:
- When asked about your policy initiatives, your answers seem purely pragmatic. Is that the basis of your ethics? If “whatever works to achieve my goals” is what’s right—if the ends justify the means—then how do you prevent atrocities in the name of the greater good?
- If you have some other ethical system, what is it? How do you tell right from wrong? And if in your view something is wrong for an individual, like killing someone who has committed no crime, or stealing from them—even in the name of the greater good—should it not also be wrong for the state?
- I’m sure you know the old saying: “Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” You’re battling entrenched, corrupt power right now. But in order to achieve your goals, you would give more power to the state. Even if that achieves your goals, do you not fear that same power could be applied to achieve goals you don’t like in the future? For example, state control of the medical sector would mean control over women’s reproductive rights—which would then be subject to the vote in the future.
- A. Hayek’s famous book The Road to Serfdom is perhaps the most powerful critique of your approach to public policy. Have you read it? How do you answer Hayek’s arguments?
Fair is fair, so if you’d like, you can ask me any questions you’d like. I’d be happy, for example, to address the question you brought up regarding the morality of a world in which billionaires are possible.
I know you’re busy. I’m busy too. But you seem so sincere, I do hope you’ll take the time at least open a dialog with me.
Lobo Tiggre is a long-time libertarian activist and a director of Liberty International. He’s also the founder of IndependentSpeculator.com, as well as the author or co-author of several books, including Totally Incorrect and Right on the Money, co-written with legendary libertarian investor, Doug Casey.