My good friend and Army buddy Sam and I were chatting over coffee this morning. The subject turned to Punxsutawney Phil and his annual Winter-Spring prediction. We discussed how much Phil reminded us of the predictions and promotions of some of the younger and newly elected members of the House of Representatives. We asked ourselves, “Why do we listen to these rodents?”

We listen to Punxsutawney Phil to predict whether or not this egregious winter is going to continue or whether Spring might come early. It’s all in good fun of course. Nobody really believes in this sort of thing. Spoiler alert….Spring is coming early!!

On the other side, some in our society listen to a bartender recently elected to the House of Representatives, as she predicts and promotes a rosy future for us all if we would only embrace Socialism. Socialism, as we know, has never been proven to help societies and lately has demonstrated a singular ability to impoverish a once thriving economy—Venezuela.

Both Phil and Rep. Ocasio-Cortes are singularly unqualified in their respective areas of “expertise.” There is a huge difference, however. Phil is part of a humorous tradition we embrace as we make light of what can sometimes be some pretty tough, cold weather. Nobody takes him seriously and we certainly don’t bet our economic futures on his “predictions.” We just watch him on the news, laugh, bundle up and go back to work and paying taxes.

Newly-minted Rep. Ocasio-Cortez is another matter. Although like Phil, she is singularly unqualified to opine on the subjects she does, also like Phil, she’s really never produced anything. She’s pretty much lived off of the largess of the producers in her environment. Yet Rep. Ocasio-Cortez presumes to have the knowledge and experience to propose fundamental changes to our economy that any thinking person realizes would destroy it, making us just like Venezuela. However Big Media hype has resulted in her being rewarded with a seat on the House Financial Services Committee, a place where she can do a lot of damage.

My good friend Streiff, when introducing me to this forum, wrote of the standard ritual when two military guys meet,

“The Army is the quintessential big-city-small-town kind of organization. Whenever two Army guys first meet it’s always, a) what’s your MOS, b) where’d you serve, and c) do you know so-and-so. That’s the way it was when Mike and I first met. We’re both infantrymen with many of the same schools. We’ve both commanded line companies, we’ve both done the pilgrimage to Leavenworth and we found we had a lot of mutual friends/acquaintances.”

When you meet in the military, you go through that ritual to establish expectations based on common language, training, experiences and acquaintances.

In our political environment, the press is supposed to be on our side of this process, asking those questions—What’s your MOS? (Field of Study/Degree); Where did you serve? (Real World Experience); Do you know so and so? (Your associations—ANTIFA perhaps?). The press isn’t doing this. Instead they are cheerleading her and other junior leftists, people who have little if any relevant training, a dearth of experience and in many cases, folks who associate with groups who are the antithesis of the philosophy undergirding this great big thing we call “These United States of America.”

In 2020, are we going to elect leaders who care about America, or are we going to listen to the rodents?

Mike Ford is a retired Infantry Colonel who writes on Military, Foreign Affairs and occasionally dabbles in Political and Economic matters.

You can find his other Red State work here.