by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
In the best of times, the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s annual Costume Institute Gala is a garish affair of elite naval-gazing. Now that the Met has ended its half-century-long custom of offering “suggested” ticket prices to the least privileged and as New York’s economy struggles to overcome the devastation, the ball has evolved from gaudy to galling.
Naturally, socialist superstar Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is in attendance — but not as a protester of the gala, which rakes in $35,000 per ticket and a $250 thousand per table, but as a patron donning a custom-made gown from Brooklyn-based atelier with the slogan “TAX THE RICH.”
The Met Gala, which nets more funds in a single night than almost any other event in New York City, funds the museum’s costume institute chaired by Anna Wintour. The legendarily cruel Vogue boss runs a notoriously tight ship, restricting the gala guest list to only the richest and most famous celebrities.
Another pseudo-populist from New York City, Donald Trump, loved the ostentatious celebration so much he proposed to his third wife (and later the nation’s first lady) Melania at the 2004 gala. To say that it’s a fitting event for AOC to embrace her evolution into a purely transactional politician in pursuit of raw power is a bit of an understatement.
For starters, it’s a bit rich to watch the most privileged people in America throw themselves a party while the rest of the public remains crushed by the economic devastation of the pandemic, the crisis at the border, and inflation wiping away the real purchasing power of stagnating paychecks. It’s cringe-inducing to watch the vice president’s stepdaughter do so while defying the Biden administration’s own indoor mask guidance. It’s something even more nauseating when the self-appointed socialist champion of Congress does so.