The meteoric rise of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) to the forefront of the national discourse and her unwavering dedication to the working people of America has sent unfamiliar shivers of panic down the spines of the privileged elites who for decades have feasted on the shrinking middle class and suddenly are terrified at the thought of having to pay their fair share in taxes.
Apoplectic at the potential resurgence of anything even resembling socialism and the prospect of a more equitable society, the right-wing media smear machine has kicked into overdrive in a desperate effort to discredit and red-scare America into rejecting her and her enormously popular policies.
Which is why the mouthpiece of the 1% and the status quo’s most ardent defenders, the op-ed section of the Wall Street Journal, recently ran another hit piece on her, accusing her of leading young people in her “ignorance” and haughtily dismissing her ideas as “radical.”
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez "leads a generation of young people to take pride in their ignorance—of the laws of nature, of history, of the Constitution, of the eternal battle for freedom—and still succeed." https://t.co/ygb7GiLNRD
— WSJ Editorial Page (@WSJopinion) February 28, 2019
While millions of people agree with her radical ideas—from socialized medicine to abolishing fossil fuels—even more admire her outsize influence in the public debate, to the point that established members of Congress line up behind her and economists analyze her proposals in depth. Land of opportunity, indeed!
The tragedy is that Ms. Ocasio-Cortez has little regard for the system that made it possible for her to be elected to Congress, gain extraordinary influence, have access to millions of dollars to pay staff (at a “living wage” of at least $52,000 a year, so generous is she with taxpayer money), and now with a standard of living far above what her old job could have provided. She leads a generation of young people to take pride in their ignorance—of the laws of nature, of history, of the Constitution, of the eternal battle for freedom—and still succeed.
Of course, hidden at the bottom is the kicker: the piece was written by Grace-Marie Turner, the president of a for-profit healthcare industry think tank funded by right-wing billionaires that churns out tired agitprop warning of the dangers of socialized medicine to the bottom lines of healthcare execs and whose very reason for existence is threatened by the plans of the Democratic left to socialize American healthcare.
The young representative, never one to miss an opportunity for a good clapback, took to Twitter to hammer Turner for her entirely ignoring the rest of Ocasio-Cortez’s platform, which is focused on fighting for justice of all kinds: economic, social, racial, and environmental.
I guess WSJ Editorial Page takes pride in their ignorance of our nation’s history of slavery, Jim Crow, & mass incarceration; willful doubt on the decades of science on climate change; targeting of indigenous peoples, and the classist, punitive agenda targeting working families. https://t.co/pT4hLhSZiX
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) February 28, 2019
Turner’s article is not likely to have much effect in the long run; the usual readers of the Wall Street Journal op-ed section have doubtlessly been forced to continuously purchase new pairs of pants after opening the newspaper and having their cigars fall into their laps in huffy shock at each new report on the wave of p-p-p-p-p-populism and animosity against our abusive upper classes washing over the American electorate and are already set in their convictions that anything that might help regular folks is part of a Marxist scheme.
But it is very illuminating for the rest of us. Turner’s piece shows us how contemptuously the elites and their familiars view public demands for justice and equality in the United States, how dedicated they are to frustrating those noble ambitions — and how shaken they are at the prospect of a charismatic young woman from the Bronx holding any kind of power at all.