To no one’s surprise, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-New York endorsed Sen Bernie Sanders, I-Vermont for president. The young, fiery Latina former waitress and the elderly, Jewish curmudgeon are both self-described socialists.
However, Sanders recently released a web ad followed by a tweet that quotes AOC talking about her feelings about the presidential candidate that many found to be just a tad off-putting.
The tweet quoted AOC as saying, “It wasn’t until I heard of a man by the name of Bernie Sanders that I began to question and assert and recognize my inherent value as a human being.”
To be sure that web video added,” that deserves healthcare, housing, education, and a living wage.” There follows a cure exchange between Bernie and AOC about whether or not she would work in a Sanders administration and then a group of ordinary folks singing the praises of AOC as a transformative figure. Sanders is barely mentioned.
The quote, according to Hot Air, fetched a great deal of mockery, especially on the left. A person named Jessica Shortall referred to what AOC said as “weird.” Then she clarified by adding, “I didn’t mean ‘weird’ as in ‘quirky’ or something. It’s gross.”.
Someone whose Twitter handle is “Katrina Los Angeles” was even more direct.
“Statements like that set back women’s equality 80 years. Imagine thinking you had no inherent human worth until you heard a man speak. I imagine members of Manson’s Family and the People’s Temple Cult also made statements like that.”
Other people on social media took up the theme of cults and coltishness. It should be noted that the Manson Family engaged in mass murder and the People’s Temple in a mass suicide. Not exactly a good look for the new socialist revolution.
Hot Air had a stark evaluation.
“Her actual point is that if you have inherent value, things should be given to you for free. And if they aren’t being given to you for free it’s because you’ve failed to recognize your inherent value. That’s the socialist pitch in a nutshell: Government dependency as personal empowerment.”
Creating your own value by paying your own way by work and education, not so much. That, according to the young, millennial socialists is just too hard.
AOC naturally got some shots from the right as well. National Review suggested that she “Try church. Or a therapist.”
Most people get validation from their accomplishments. A parent or teacher praises a child for getting good grades in school. A boss gives an employee a job well done for performing an assignment. A spouse or significant other will hand out validation for a whole host of reasons. Rarely does someone feel a lot of self-worth solely because of what a politician says.
The slavering support that Bernie’s supporters give him contrasts with the reasons people support President Trump. To be sure, some anti-Trumpers on the left and right claim that Trump supporters are motivated by racism or nativism or any of a host of unpleasant isms.
But, writing for the Washington Post, conservative pundit and media personality Hugh Hewitt suggests that it is not Trump giving his supporters validation, but rather his supporters giving the president their validation.
“Critics of President Trump often express bafflement over why his broad support among conservatives is so enduring. Some of this ‘dismay’ is simply manufactured, as many in the ‘Never Trump’ rump have to deny any good has happened on his watch, as it complicates their certainty about Trump. They prefer their extreme rhetoric of denunciation to even the possibility of a mixed record. Others who admit that Trump has got a lot right resist an explicit balancing of good and bad, as it inevitably leads to discussion of Trump’s good policy choices which, when examined closely, are many and enduring.”
In other words, conservatives especially like Trump, not because he gives them validation, but because he is enacting sound, conservative policies. Bernie, as AOC suggests, just makes certain people feel good about themselves.
None of his supporters look very carefully at the soundness of his policies, which are lacking. They just want all of that free stuff because without all that government largess, they feel worthless as human beings.
To put the matter more succinctly, Trump, unlike Bernie, is not Charles Manson or Jim Jones, he is Ronald Reagan, albeit with a blunter, more acerbic style. Trump would never make anyone drink the Kool-Aid. One cannot be too sure about Bernie Sanders or AOC.