Conservative Media Creating Wave of BS to Defy Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
If you’ve ever heard Ghandi’s maxim: “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.”, you’ve probably figured out that even though it holds some truth, it’s not really a hard rule. There are many people who were ignored, but never made it to the stage where they were laughed at. There are just as many people who made it to the second part, but were laughed right off that stage. Sometimes, the ones that make it to the third part lose the fight. But when it comes to people who are acting in the interest of a greater mission, those who have put the needs and calls to justice of others ahead of themselves, the winning part tends to be imminent.
Yes, this saying sometimes fits people who put their own desires ahead of the people they use to achieve power. Demagogues like Trump can lay some claim to that same maxim: He was ignored, he was laughed at, he was fought, and every ‘win’ he’s had has set back the integrity of the office, undermined our alliances and our institutions, and created a new wave of fear, hatred, and prejudice that is tearing the nation apart. But that fight is still going because Trump is resisting every duty to transparency that no other modern president has so desperately recoiled from. If the nation’s virtue is to be preserved, it’s a fight he will eventually lose.
But here, in a refreshing turn of true American virtue; a smart, working class, civic-minded, and optimistic woman representing the former example of one who acts in the interests of the people has emerged. Meet Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (as if you haven’t seen her already):
“Aww… you brought your Blackberry to a Twitter fight. How cute!”
Ocasio-Cortez took New York’s 14th Congressional District like a friendly hurricane that returned lost dogs, cleaned everyone’s car, and didn’t cause a single bit of property damage. She ran a true grass roots, fire in the belly, feet on the ground, old school campaign to beat out ten-term incumbent Joe Crowley. She understood New Yorkers’ exasperation with the all too pro-corporate, establishment politicians that had done so very little to improve the lives of working class people. She saw clearly that wealthy, corporate interests had commandeered the political instruments of the people for their own benefit, and raised funds from and ran on a platform for the very people who were getting shafted. By the age of 29, Ocasio-Cortez had hit the streets, endured the sleepless nights, bore up under endless campaign events, and went toe-to-toe with an entrenched establishment Democrat, the Vice Chair of the House Democratic Caucus, no less, won, and smiled all the way through it. When have we seen such a great combination of smart,charismatic, and hard as nails before?
“I’ve outlived so many of you bastards.”
Ocasio-Cortez really shook things up, and now with a national platform, she’s pushing reforms to help the working class and preserve the environment that we have depended on for millenia. Naturally, conservatives have been brainwashed to believe those things are ‘bad’ and that somehow they’re going to have to give up their guns, trucks, and Bibles, and forfeit every penny they earn to make the world a better place for themselves and future generations. Of course that’s ridiculous, but it’s what they really believe. So, being true to form, when they see a smart, attractive, capable woman, conservatives and incels alike (yeah, that’s redundant) jump around and screech like school children with spiders in their panties. Ocasio-Cortez is also ‘Hispanic looking’ enough that to them she represents the interests of people they despise, meaning black, Hispanic, LGBTQ, non-Christian people, women, and others. They are afraid of anyone, especially a woman, who might just usher in a new paradigm of universal acceptance for all the people conservatives detest. They can’t stand the idea of losing their white, straight, Christian primacy and having to treat ‘different’ people equally and with respect. Of course, with the exception of the nightmare of having to share equal status with “those people”, they really don’t have to give up any of those things. But their corporate programmers know that any conservative willing to listen and learn (yeah, they don’t really do that) will probably figure that out. As we know, should the working class come to understand who is really shafting them, the billionaires and corporations might have to pay fairer wages and taxes… and they just can’t have that.
So what is the best way the corporate interests have to keep the actual truth from getting through to people? How do they get millions of people to dismiss the message; “You could be doing better.”, out of hand?
They run a character assassination campaign.
For the vast majority of conservatives, argument, debate, logic, reason, and facts are utterly irrelevant so long as they can believe that they don’t have to listen. Which brings us to the reason the manipulative conservative media has launched an all-out ad hominem campaign against AOC. They can’t afford to even take the chance that any of their adherents might listen to her and think, “Well gosh, that might actually be a good idea.”.
Their campaign skipped right past the ‘ignore’ phase of Ghandi’s maxim and went straight on into combining the ‘laugh at’ and ‘fight’ stages with logically fallacious, falsely juxtaposed, deliberately edited graphics, memes, and videos relying on insinuation and straw men to paint Ocasio-Cortez as ‘stupid’, hysterical, and unrealistic. All this to convince their horde to spread derision and animosity over her.
“Okay…. I got it.”
The extent of their fear is mirrored by the sheer scale of the campaign to erect a fake forest of anti-AOC propaganda that rivals Bullshit Mountain itself. There is one they reliably pull out to ‘prove’ she’s ‘stupid’, but as with everything else the right does, it requires ignorance to believe. That one is the audio of AOC seeming to flub the 3 Branches of Government. Have a listen. They claim that she ‘misidentified the 3 branches of government’ because she said ‘all 3 chambers of Congress’ then corrected it, clumsily, to ‘all 3 chambers of government; the presidency, the Senate, and the House’. The clear reason she said ‘chambers of Congress’ was because the House and the Senate are the 2 chambers of Congress. She hastily said ‘government’ because she meant, the House, Senate, and Presidency. She didn’t say ‘branches’ because she wasn’t talking about the ‘branches’. Any honest person would agree she was talking about the seats and office they could win in an election. You can’t ‘win’ the Supreme Court in an election because none of them are running. You have to wait for a justice to retire or die. But they trot this one out at every turn because it’s the only example they can find that they can fool an otherwise thinking individual with.
I could literally spend every day for a year taking apart each and every one of their videos, graphics, and memes, and demonstrate in stark resolution how full of crap they are. But considering that I like sleep and need food and a shower on occasion, I’ll just do three of the ones that best demonstrate the intellectual dishonesty of the campaign and we can safely presume they are representative of the whole.
I’ll start with a simple bit of dishonest manipulation from Mark Dice:
OMG! You can just picture a group of young Girl Scouts getting together in a backyard, acting out mission control, playing the astronauts in the shuttle, counting down the launch together, and then all going “*BOOM!!!!*”, throwing tin cans and styrofoam yoga mats in the air to simulate the debris and then falling down and rolling around in gales of laughter as though it’s the *funniest thing ever*!
That’s pretty much the image this particular graphic is meant to invoke; one of some irreverent, twisted little girls making fun of a tragedy. And that’s exactly what the people who fall for this meme imagine when they spread the graphic to ‘prove’ that she’s somehow ‘crazy’.
But here in reality, the only thing that was ‘twisted’ were her words. What exactly were they? From her Twitter feed:
“@girlscouts is how I first practiced how to change brake fluid, start a fire, practice self-defense, recreate the NASA Challenger mission, and v importantly: learn to teach myself new skills + navigate ambiguity.”
Notice anything ‘dicey’ about the discrepancy between the graphic and her actual words? Yeah, he deliberately changed ‘recreate’ to ‘reenact’ and ‘mission’ to ‘launch’. This was to intentionally give his audience the impression that AOC’s Girl Scouts were ‘acting out’ the final moments of the Challenger’s last flight to create the perception of ‘crazy girls’ as described above. ‘Recreating’ a ‘mission’ seems too inclusive of all the other aspects of the operations that go into a successful mission. He apparently wanted his audience to narrowly focus on just the launch disaster being ‘acted out’ by AOC’s Girl Scout troop. Then he included the parenthetical (She actually said this) to insinuate that ‘no sane person’ would admit to doing something so ‘crazy’. He did it because he knows that crap works on his mentally malleable audience.
The less obvious point of deception of the graphic is what it doesn’t say. One of the most subtle manipulation tactics that people like Dice use is the ‘lie by omission’. Dice didn’t include the fact that the place where AOC’s Girl Scouts, as well as Boy Scouts, children, teens, adults of all ages, and the occasional Wall Street broker in the midst of a midlife crisis go is actually a Space Camp which has programs for giving people a glimpse into the real-life workings of actual space missions.
Why doesn’t ‘Come take a ride in my rocket ship.’ work anymore?
We could believe that Dice left that out because he ‘didn’t know any better’ and that he really is so completely oblivious that he just assumed she meant the ‘Challenger disaster’, but let’s not fool ourselves. He knew that his audience and all the people who would share his graphic would immediately and only think of the Challenger mission that ended in tragedy. It’s a safe bet that not one of them thought, “Well, there were nine other Challenger missions. So maybe it was one of those?”. The website ‘Fact or Fiction’ actually did a breakdown highlighting other details on why this graphic is a crock of space doodie. Not convinced his audience is that stupid? Put on a smock and take a look for yourself.
So anyone who knows about Space Camp programs should look at this graphic and recognize right away that it’s deliberately misleading. They would know that Girl Scouts going to Space Camp is a perfectly normal, highly educational experience. Either that, or they must be of the opinion that everyone who’s ever gone to Space Camp is some kind of a freak. In that case, it drives home the notion that conservatives are averse to anything that requires learning.
The next piece of propaganda also relies on ignorance of the audience and insinuation. Go ahead and watch this video:
So, what horrible, stupid, scary thing did she say there? Can’t figure it out? That’s because you actually watched the video. But thanks to Infowars, Breitbart, and a whole passel of right-wing propagandists, we are told that in that video she makes the unhinged claim that Trump is ‘creating illegal immigrants’, and she states that she ‘doesn’t care if someone is undocumented or not’.
If you’re scratching your head and thinking, “Yeah, but she explained how and why. In context it’s very clear that she understands how Trump’s policies are making it harder for people to become documented, and why it is that she respects everyone’s basic human rights regardless of their status… just like our Forefathers believed.”, then it means you have a functioning brain and again, you actually watched the video.
But the people spreading the video know that conservatives don’t actually think for themselves or arrive at independent opinions. So they splash it all over the web with the headlines: “AOC Claims Trump Creating Illegal Immigrants!”, and “AOC Doesn’t Care if People are Illegal Immigrants!”. They know that conservatives will immediately and unquestioningly believe the worst interpretation of those headlines; “OMG she’s saying Trump is doing the opposite of what he’s really doing! She’s crazy!”. “She wants more illegals in this country because she doesn’t care!”
By then, even if they do watch the video, their horse-blinder strength confirmation bias kicks in and they only hear the words that confirm what they’ve been conditioned to hear.
“This is comfy…”
I’ve actually dealt with these people. They claim some version of the ‘ridiculous/crazy’ thing they were told she said and say “SEE! It’s RIGHT in this video!”. When I point out that she’s referring to Trump’s policies that actually are converting people with legal status to ‘illegal’, and that she’s not saying she doesn’t care that ‘people are here illegally’ but that she believes everyone is entitled to human rights regardless of status, they don’t care. They literally cannot see simple reason.
Now HERE’S a DOOZY:
Can you feel the fear! Stalin! Hitler! Mao! Ocasio-Cortez! The history books one hundred years from now will document the dark wave of communist-socialist-fascist-cubist-ist-ism that took over the nation behind the mad dictator AOC! Ah, Ben Stein.
As we know, fear is the most compelling tool for manipulating conservatives. The moment they read this meme, any notion that many other leaders in different countries campaigned on the same promises and won them without ever so much as a small massacre went MIA, AFK, and GG. If we look at what AOC is actually advocating for; higher wages, a higher top marginal tax rate that’s still lower than what we’ve had before, universal health care, and renewable energy sources (No other bloodthirsty dictator had that one on their list), we can find at least a dozen other countries that managed to pull those off fully or at least to some degree without ever constructing a single concentration camp.
Considering how AOC has consistently and passionately spoken on human rights, we can chalk this up to ‘hyperbole so ridiculous yo’ mama’s Moon-Butt look small’.
I know, I promised I’d only do three, but they’ve created such a target rich environment and I’d love to do the one where they capitalize on their audience’s ignorance of basic economics enough to convince them that paying a $15/hr wage will make the price of a $7 croissant double, but that would REALLY drag things out. So instead I’ll do a quick:
Bonus Meme; from our very own home-grown, pants-shitting (by his own admission), draft-dodging, chickenhawk pedophile:
She. Never. Said that.
There are hundreds of these various ad-hominem memes by now, careening around the conservative blogosphere to create the false impression that AOC is a ‘crazy, stupid, socialist nutjob’ despite all the facts to the contrary. Okay, she is a ‘Democratic socialist’… not that any conservatives can parse the distinction between that and Mao-tse-tung’s communism. I may have only done three examples here (plus a bonus), but rest assured; nearly every single anti-AOC meme out there right now is at least as intellectually dishonest and strictly full of crap. The conservative media propagates, proliferates, and promulgates these memes, graphics and videos for the express purpose of creating a forest of bullshit that the conservative sphere will take, as a whole, as ‘proof’ that she’s ‘stupidcrazydumb’; and therefore never need to exercise the three whole ounces of intellectual diligence to investigate the actual nature of her positions and arrive at their own opinions. The propagandists know this. Their greatest hope is that this landslide of garbage will spread far and wide enough to get a bunch of non-conservative independents and undecideds to believe it too.
Does any of this mean AOC is infallible? Of course not. Just like everyone else she will occasionally misspeak or get her facts wrong. Naturally, the right-wing nuts go ecstatic when she does get something wrong as though that proves them right. It actually proves them right in the same way their stupidity proves vaccines cause brain damage, which is to say; ‘not at all’. In fact, out of all the statements she’s made, Politifact could only find five that were ‘false’ (one of which got ‘Pants on Fire’). Meanwhile, Politifact has found four-hundred and seventy ‘mostly false’ to ‘Pants on Fire’ lies by Trump out of only five-hundred and eighty-nine of his statements. And they still have some catching up to do.
Now, if only today’s conservatives weren’t so steeped in their double standards and actually ignored politicians that said truly stupid things…
(This is not a joke)
(He actually said this)
TLDR because the blog title is a stupid question. Nobody is afraid of AOC.
Indeed! The right has certainly demonstrated they think nothing of her and are ‘Totally Not Afraid™’ through their obsessive need to mischaracterize her, take her statements out of context, and spread disinformation about her. I mean, if she was a real threat, then they’d say nothing at all. [/parallel universe]