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'Very real risk' democracy won't exist in US in decade: Rep. Ocasio-Cortez

US Rep. Alexandria-Ocasio Cortez (File photo)

US Rep. Alexandria-Ocasio Cortez says she believes there is a "very real risk" that the United States will not be a democracy in a decade.

The reason is the tremendous pressure Republicans are putting on the country’s political systems, the progressive New York congresswoman said in an interview with the New Yorker.

She ridiculed efforts by Republican legislatures around the country to limit voting rights as the “opening salvos” in a war on democracy, which she noted could lead to a return to the Jim Crow-era disenfranchisement of racial minorities.

Last year, several voting laws were enacted after former President Donald Trump falsely claimed he lost the 2020 election because of widespread fraud.

Democrats say such restrictions discriminate against Black voters and other minorities who traditionally support Democratic candidates.

Ocasio-Cortez warned that the clock was ticking for President Joe Biden and other Democratic leaders to do anything about it.

Her remarks come as huge chunks of the Democratic president’s agenda, including legislation to protect voting rights, have been stalled in Congress by more conservative or moderate members of her own party.

“Honestly, it is a shitshow,” Ocasio-Cortez said of working in the same Democratic-controlled Congress in which centrist senators Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema have blocked both electoral reforms and Biden’s Build Back Better social spending initiative.

“We don’t have much time,” she said. “The president has not been using his executive power to the extent that some would say is necessary.”

New Yorker editor David Remnick asked her about her previous use of the phrase “if we have a democracy 10 years from now,” and she said, “There’s a very real risk that we will not.”

“What we risk is having a government that perhaps postures as a democracy, and may try to pretend that it is, but isn’t.

“We’ve already seen the opening salvos of this, where you have a very targeted, specific attack on the right to vote across the United States, particularly in areas where Republican power is threatened by changing electorates and demographics.

“You have white nationalist, reactionary politics starting to grow into a critical mass … the continued sophisticated takeover of our democratic systems in order to turn them into undemocratic systems, all in order to overturn results that a party in power may not like.”

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