I don’t listen to a lot of punditry anymore. It generally makes me a happier person. I do like to listen to people who are honest about their bias and admit it when they get stuff wrong. That means I listen to about four people.
One of them, Ben Shapiro, is a fun guy to follow. He started off as an in-your-face-I-win-debates kind of guy. His tagline, “Facts don’t care about your feelings,” has long been a battle cry for people who attempt to excuse the data for a situation for how they wish the data presented so their narrative would be proven true.
He has taken on some serious topics and shed light where there was previously only gaslight.
In his pursuit for justice, he shines light on the broken data surrounding every pet social activism project of the day, committing to fighting injustice, but also committed to not committing injustice in the process.
Sometimes he misses.
Often, he’s a jerk.
But he is very self-aware and apologizes and analyzes himself to see if he could be better.
In other words, he’s a mensch.
But where Shapiro and many members of the conservative punditry world and much of the right wing news media are going over the skis is over a freshman congresswoman who has become so notorious, she is known, for brevity sake, as AOC.
The notorious Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez was a bartender and then took up to run for office.
AOC is a millennial. Attacks upon her intelligence and passion, whose opportunities are bountiful communicate something more than “dude, check out how dumb this chick sounds when she talks.” AOC is not the first politician to say things out loud before checking them for multiple meanings or lack of intelligence. I once listened to a very old congressman grill a member of the joint chiefs about whether or not one of the Pacific islands upon which we had marines stationed was in danger of capsizing with all of the added materials we brought. To his credit, the Marine general did not laugh in the congressman’s face.
As a millennial, she will have a draw among people her age. Millennials are defined as valuing relationship over ideology and then creating ideology to protect relationships. The more people attack AOC, the more people her age will wonder what their punishment will be for having thoughts out loud in the public sphere. It will make more of a hero of her to people her age who might fundamentally disagree on political matters.
Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez has a lot of microphones around her on the often. She is a rookie politician, which means she is going to, as any rookie of any profession will, replace expertise with passion whenever she needs to build a head of steam. Passion is exciting and attractive. It is not always well spoken. When she gets fact checked after every major media encounter, it lends truth to the statement from Ben Shapiro that she is the foil to President Trump.
Shapiro says that Trump is the id of the Republican Party.
He has since said that AOC is the id of the Democrat Party.
So let’s look back at 2015-2016 and deal with an even hand. Do you remember when all the media did was drool over every terrible statement made by Donald Trump and then twist it to mean whatever nefarious thing they wanted to lob? Do you remember when his controversies sucked all of the air out of the room from the other more qualified, more dignified, more humanistic candidates? Do you remember when many of us found ourselves defending him not because he was a good man but because he was being treated heavy handedly and unfairly?
Well then meet the millennial, female, latinx, socialist Donald Trump.
Let’s calm down with the wall to wall coverage of a person who 18 months ago didn’t do anything more controversial than occasionally mix rum and vodka.
I know that she utters many a phrase that is gossip-news worthy, but other than putting forward legislation that has failed to gain traction as actual legislation in the Green New Deal, she’s not doing anything worth spending all of the time on her.
Frankly, I think we’re wasting a lot of time covering AOC when there are a lot of people who want to be taken seriously for candidacy for the presidency of the United States, but all I hear about is how she sounds like a tantrum throwing four year old when she discovers she’s not popular.
Politically and philosophically, I don’t know that there’s a whole lot of anything that she and I agree upon, but I do know that I would like to actually speak with people who believe like her in person more than I’m hearing about what they believe as though they’re some sort of exotic species.
I’d like to stop wasting time on AOC as a phenomenon and spend more time on the ideas that have made her popular. That means to really stop taking her literally, grade on a curve for passion and seek out the meaning of what she’s actually getting at. I know, that’s special treatment.
Welcome to the human race.
But it’s time to really talk about socialism and communism. It’s time to settle for the next decade whether or not we will pursue it or abandon it as folly. This half-measure where people on the right vilify people who are pro socialism instead of carefully defeating the ideas on merit clouds the conversation. The half measure from the left where socialism is married to the best possible result from people, rather than the worst possible results we have witness over the centuries, and insists that we will be different needs to go and be honest about how to protect our socialism from enslaving and destroying.
We have to love people and debate ideas and not the other way around.
A warning I would like anyone who makes their hay on the reverb of AOC’s words… she will be able to run for President next decade. The more you raise her up as the pinnacle of the people with whom you disagree, the more those people will flock to her for protection. If you think she is unlistening now as a freshman congresswoman full of vimm and vigor, just wait until she is a savvy experienced politician, able to speak more accurately off-the-cuff with zero quarter given for those who opposed her.
Categories: Dear Us,