by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Charles Cooke of National Review Online explains why he believes New York congressional candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez will thrill many progressive partisans longer after they accept her utter cluelessness.
Speaking to a friendly Trevor Noah, Ocasio-Cortez revealed that she does not know the difference between a one-year and a ten-year budget; confused the recent increase in defense spending with the entire annual cost of the military; implied that the population of the United States was around 800 million strong; and, having been asked to defend her coveted $15 minimum wage, launched into a rambling and inscrutable diatribe about “private equity” firms that would have been a touch too harsh as a parody on South Park. If anything, she was worse this time than she had been during her appearance on Firing Line a few days earlier, on which newly revamped show she demonstrated her obliviousness to the fact that the United States economy exploded during the 1990s, to the manner in which unemployment numbers are calculated, and to even the most obvious facets of the Israel–Palestine question about which she has assured her supporters she is so passionate.
“It’s really weird!” …
… Given the extent of our polarization, it would be premature to assume that Ocasio-Cortez will suffer consequences for her ignorance. Criticize her and you will be met upon the instant with a barrage of righteous indignation. “Er,” her apologists immediately retort, “have you seen the guy in the White House? He’s not exactly Thomas Jefferson.” Which, of course, is not actually a defense of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez — what, on that logic might her slogan be? “I’m ignorant, too, but I’m younger”? — but is certainly a preview of the post-rationalizations that she will come to count on from her fans. “They all lie”; “They are all stupid”; “They’re just saying that because she’s a woman”; “Well, she’s better than the alternative”; ”Here is what she was trying to say” — these are the sentiments that lead us to embrace mediocrity or worse.