Conservatives, I think we might have a problem.
We have a problem with Representative-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. No, it has nothing to do with her incoherent policy proposals, or her obvious inability to explain them. It’s not the fact that she’s pushing for policies that would create a much bigger government while raising taxes sky high.
No, it is not any of those things. Our real problem is the fact that conservative media has developed an unhealthy obsession with the young politician. Indeed, their fixation on Ocasio-Cortez, while entertaining, could be helping her more than harming her.
It may not make sense at first, but as you read through this post, you will see that the young politician is far
Last month, in response to conservative critics, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez tweeted:
🎶 No, no es amor/
Lo que tú sientes, se llama obsesión 🎶 https://t.co/hQOlEbt26t
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@Ocasio2018) November 24, 2018
The tweet, which quotes a popular song, translates to:
“No, it is not love/
What you feel is called obsession”
I’m afraid that Ms. Ocasio-Cortez might be correct when she says that conservatives
are obsessed. Indeed, it seems that a day can’t go by without a conservative blog or news outlet publishing a report mocking her for her apparent lack of knowledge or criticizing her for her wardrobe choices.
Because I am a glutton for punishment, I took a look at three conservative news outlets and their coverage of Ocasio-Cortez since election day. Here is the number of stories each site published on Ocasio-Cortez:
- Daily Wire: 24
- Daily Caller: 32
- Fox News: 19
That’s a total of about 75 news stories all about Ocasio-Cortez over 33 days. This breaks down to about two Ocasio-Cortez stories per day, and this is only from three conservative news sources. Sure, there is some overlap, with different takes on the same story, but even if you break it down by individual publications, you get almost one story each day. For a month.
Now, if Ocasio-Cortez had generated real news every single day, these numbers would make sense. Keep in mind that I’m not saying that we shouldn’t criticize her when she makes ridiculous statements or makes up her own facts. But do we really need to whine about her clothing and her finances? Do we have to melt down over each little gaffe?
Conservative Media Is Giving Ocasio-Cortez Free Publicity
Here’s the thing, when right-leaning media focuses on criticizing Ocasio-Cortez nearly every day, we are giving her something invaluable: Free publicity. In fact, if you look at her Twitter feed, you can see that she is quite adept at using our petty criticism to keep her base engaged. By constantly harping on every silly statement she makes, we’re giving her the ammo she needs to cast herself as the victim, and that just makes her more popular.
Does any of this sound familiar?
It should. It’s why we have President Trump in office. As you already know, the president has come under assault since he first announced his intention to run for the highest office in the land. Unlike other Republican presidents, he didn’t just fight back; he used their constant mockery and insults against them. Remember when the term “fake news” used to be a weapon of the left? Case in point.
When we mock her for wearing designer clothing, it’s about as goofy as the elite media claiming that Trump wants to serve as “president for life” because of a joke he made about China’s president. Silly attacks such as these made many feel as if they needed to defend Trump — even when they didn’t want to — as you can see in the video above. The same principle applies to Ocasio-Cortez.
I’m not the only one warning against conservative’s obsession with the Democrats’ new flavor of the month. In a piece for the Federalist, Conservative commentator Jesse Kelly recently expressed similar sentiments:
She speaks the language President Trump speaks, and she speaks it well. Let’s hope we smarten up and don’t carry her to the White House one day as the left carried Trump.
Ocasio-Cortez may not possess the mastery of persuasion that the president has, but she doesn’t need it. She knows how to resonate with people who view themselves as disaffected. These are people who may not know much about politics, but they know they want a better life, and someone like Ocasio-Cortez, even with her nonsensical ramblings, has managed to connect with these individuals. The more we focus on the little things, the more it will look like our criticism are personal, and not principled.
How To Address Ocasio-Cortez
Some, like podcaster and speaker Ben Shapiro,
ing out that the progressives are the ones that have elevated her and made her the face of their party. He’s absolutely right. But that doesn’t mean that we have to help them make her more famous.
Again, this is not to say that we shouldn’t call out Ocasio-Cortez when she makes statements that are not factual. We shouldn’t stop questioning the veracity of the policies she supports. But it is important that we don’t turn her into the female leftist version of Donald Trump.
Yes, her ideas are dangerous. Her brand of populist identity politics is destructive. These are the reasons why conservatives must oppose her in a way that is productive. Instead of focusing on her asinine comment about Donald Trump Jr. and subpoena power, we should hone in on her faulty economic policies.
Because none of us actually believe that Ocasio-Cortez will be able to use her office to attack Trump Jr., and the whole thing reeks of false outrage. However, many on her side want to expand government to astronomical levels. Which is the graver threat? A stupid piece of hyperbole? Or the propagation of one of the most devastating political ideologies in the world?
Let’s stop making the same mistakes progressives made when opposing Trump. Otherwise, we may find that we did more to promote Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez than we did to repudiate her.