Right-Wing Media Can't Stop Making Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Look Awesome
So far -- for me, anyway -- the best part of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's congressional run has been the way in which she has forced certain people to take strong stands against objectively good things, and look like giant assholes in the process.
When she won her primary, Sean Hannity posted this list of items from her platform, in hopes of portraying her as some radical leftist who wants things that no reasonable person could possibly want. You know like women's rights, supporting seniors, jobs, education and health care.
Clearly, that is not what the people want. What the people want is to die of treatable diseases, while homeless and jobless, like good Americans.
Yesterday, the Twitter account for Fox Business pushed this clip of Ocasio-Cortez suggesting that workers should be paid enough to lead a dignified life. Oh man, talk about a socialist hellscape!
And this weekend, intrepid Daily Caller editor Virginia Kruta went to a rally with Ocasio-Cortez, who was appearing with Missouri Democratic congressional hopeful and legit badass Cori Bush. And lo, Kruta was horrified.
Kruta recounted her trauma listening to all the inspiring things Ocasio-Cortez said, and how she could see that other people might be into those things -- if they were not as high-information as she.
But then Ocasio-Cortez spoke, followed by Bush, and I saw something truly terrifying. I saw just how easy it would be, were I less involved and less certain of our nation's founding and its history, to fall for the populist lines they were shouting from that stage.
- I saw how easy it would be, as a parent, to accept the idea that my children deserve healthcare and education.
- I saw how easy it would be, as someone who has struggled to make ends meet, to accept the idea that a "living wage" was a human right.
- Above all, I saw how easy it would be to accept the notion that it was the government's job to make sure that those things were provided.
Ah yes, if only she didn't have strong, American principles, and an understanding that the Founders' greatest dream was to see poor, uneducated people dying of treatable illnesses. It's easy to see why people would want those things, because people do want those things. They are good things. And yes, Virginia, your children do deserve healthcare and education, you do deserve to make a living wage, and it should be the government's job to make sure those basic necessities are provided for. Just as it is the government's job to send firefighters to your house if there is a fire. One could argue that not having your house burn down isn't a "human right," but it sure is better than the alternative.
Kruta didn't take any time at all to explain why this would be so very terrifying, probably because it's not too easy to argue for the joys of misery.
Fox, of course, took a moment to interview Kruta about how very uncomfortable she was during her Margaret Mead-ing of the Cori Bush rally:
The main "bad thing" she could say about it was "Where is this money coming from?" -- which is weird, because Medicaid for All would actually be a lot cheaper than what we are all paying now, and if people have better jobs that pay more, if they're not broke from medical debt and student loans, we will have more money in taxes to pay for these things. We'll even have more money of our own to spend on other things, which will make it easier for people to earn a living wage. Perhaps a rich person here or there might have to settle for a golden toilet seat instead of a platinum one -- but surely they will survive. Which is a lot more than we can say for people who can't afford health insurance.
The truest thing, however, in all of this is that the real fear isn't that people won't want these things, but that they will. That they will like being able to go see a doctor when they need to see a doctor. That they will like not having to worry about paying off student loan debt the rest of their lives, or worry that they won't be able to afford tuition for their kids. That they will like being able to afford basic necessities. Because let's be real -- there are a lot of benefits for politicians and a lot more money for already-rich people in the public not having these things.
Just as an example, health insurance and pharmaceutical lobbies are a major, major source of campaign funding -- mostly for Republicans (about 68% of it).
Payday lenders, by the way, also give their own fair share of campaign contributions. There is a lot of money to be made in keeping people poor, if you are the right kind of asshole.
The fact is, if Medicare for All were ever passed, it would absolutely kneecap the ability of many, many Republicans to get elected. Yes, some Democrats rely on money from health insurance companies too, but not to the same degree, and they could certainly make due without it. Second, once people have a thing, they tend to not want to give it up. You see too many people going around saying "Gee! I sure do wish I didn't have Social Security"? No, you do not. So it would kill both a major source of funding and one of their primary campaign issues. Of course they don't want it. Not to mention that, statistically, the more educated people are, the less likely they are to vote Republican.
I, for one, hope that right-wing media keeps running all of these Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez "hit pieces" -- because all they're doing is making her, and all her supposedly "radical socialist" positions, look real good. Hooray for free advertising!
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Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. In addition to her work at Wonkette, she also has a biweekly column at Dame. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse