Too many conservatives are having too much fun with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s gaffes and more-than-apparent ignorance of economics, history and the U.S. Constitution. There is truly a lot of low-hanging fruit, and it hardly needs to be re-hashed. Just check your social media feed.
But just deriding the woman belies two errors. One is thinking that she is a lightweight one-off to be mocked and ridiculed for sport and the other is to think there is no harm in doing so.
On the first count, she is showing herself to be a much quicker study than one might expect considering her astounding ignorance on so many levels (that is a condemnation more of her education than of her, it seems.) Her speeches are improving, her communication skills are respectable and getting stronger, her use of social media is adroit — with one glaring exception we will get to — she understands how to use a friendly and sympathetic media to her advantage, she uses emotional arguments well and she is already learning how to work within the Washington, D.C. establishment while maintaining her quasi-revolutionary status.
On the second count, the endless memes and savage mockery do nothing more on the right than entertain, but do serve to strengthen the depth of her supporters and probably expand them. “Look, the rotten old Republicans keep attacking this young woman and calling her stupid,” many in the middle will exclaim. “I want to hear what she has to say!”
It’s worth remembering that Democrats and the left mocked, belittled and laughed at candidate Donald Trump until he won.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is not Trump, but not taking someone seriously in the political realm is a recipe for disaster. And would the D.C. swamp really be that upset at someone who wanted to dramatically expand their realm of influence and power? Would they go after her some day as they have Trump? We all know the answer to that.
If we conservatives content ourselves to ridicule her with the “crazy eyes,” we make a young, pretty woman with a bright smile into a sympathetic victim, thereby strengthening her without ever engaging her on her message — which is a total shipwreck for the nation.
Kevin McCullough at Townhall wrote, “…we must engage, confront with truth and winsomely dispense with her most emotionally charged but intellectually dishonest ideas.”
Further, Ocasio-Cortez has displayed very thin skin, which is par for her generation, and a willingness to swiftly move to use the levers of power against opponents — an instinct of every socialist ever worldwide.
Most recently on this point, she was trolled by Donald Trump, Jr., who shared a meme on Instagram. It had two images: one on top of Ocasio-Cortez with the text, “Why are you so afraid of a socialist economy?” Below that is an image of President Donald Trump with the text, “Because Americans want to walk their dogs, not eat them.”
Funny, pointed, harmless.
But not to Ocasio-Cortez. She amazingly went straight to threat by the power of government, then tried to say that’s not what she did when it was transparently what she did. She tweeted:
“I have noticed that Junior here has a habit of posting nonsense about me whenever the Mueller investigation heats up,” Ocasio-Cortez said, “Please, keep it coming Jr [sic] — it’s definitely a ‘very, very large brain’ idea to troll a member of a body that will have subpoena power in a month.”
That’s pretty pointed. Sean Davis, at the Federalist, responded by pointing out that the House Ethics Manual prohibits members of Congress from threatening citizens due to partisan politics.
In this sense, she is not the bright, pretty young lady from the Bronx. She’s taking the first step toward being a Stalinist. (Yes, many steps to go, but you have to start with one, and she did.)
Since upsetting one of the most powerful and entrenched Democrats in Congress, Joe Crowley, during the primaries, Ocasio-Cortez has argued for a broad array of socialist policies, including a single-payer government healthcare system; government-guaranteed high-paying jobs; government-issued housing; abolishing the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE) and much more.
Perhaps the most chilling part of her agenda was first broached during a rather infamous interview on PBS, when she said “capitalism has not always existed in the world, and it will not always exist in the world” while arguing for why America should end the tyranny of capitalism and move towards socialism.
Of course, she is right that capitalism has not always existed. And neither has anything remotely approaching the standard of living that the poorest American or Western European enjoys today. Just a lowly working stiff in 2018 lives a life of luxury and amazements that Louis XIV, the Sun King of France, could not have imagined. Billions have been lifted out of poverty while starvation due to scarcity has all but disappeared from the planet.
None of that happened before capitalism. And none of that has happened where capitalism was replaced by socialism — in Russia, Cuba, Venezuela, Vietnam, the Eastern Bloc or China, which has seen its economic boom only after adopting capitalist markets.
But the chill-down-the-spine statement was the last part: capitalism “will not always exist in the world.” A world without capitalism, governed by the socialist elites that always end up at despotic communism, is a truly terrifying goal.
And it is her goal. She is much smarter than her original ignorance belied. (She really needs her money back from Boston College.)
The way to fight Ocasio-Cortez — and she must be fought — is not by mocking her ignorance or calling her stupid. That only strengthens both her personal resolve in pursuing terrible ideas and those backing her and her ideas. The way to fight her is to destroy her ideas with relentless history, facts, data and economics.
Socialism is like Sharia law when it comes to America and the U.S. Constitution. Neither of those brutal doctrines can co-exist for long in the same country with the Constitution. The First Amendment alone is antithetical to socialism, and where it always and inevitably leads is to erasing free speech, freedom of religion, freedom of assembly and so on.
Socialism is simply un-American at its core. Americans used to know that. They don’t so much anymore, and certainly not the younger generation. And Ocasio-Cortez is now the smiling face of that brutal philosophy. Mocking her is a grave error.