Take it from a working-class guy
Last week, socialist Congresswoman-turned internet celebrity Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) embarked on another one of her pathetic Twitter tirades. She could have used the time to set foot in the district she was elected to represent (something she rarely, if ever does), and meet with the thousands of struggling small business owners and restaurant workers legally impacted by Governor Cuomo and Mayor DeBlasio’s draconian lockdown measures. Instead, she decided to direct her anger at unnamed “conservative Senators” whom she alleged do nothing but “sit around on leather chairs all day,” and therefore “don’t seem to understand” that she “actually had a physically difficult working-class job” for the majority of her “adult life.” There’s only one problem with this AOC tweet – her party, for arguably the first time in its nearly two-century history, stands directly in the way of the interests of working people. At the same time, it is the formerly elitist and plutocratic Republicans, who thanks to the populist policies of President Trump, are emerging as the champions of the little guy for perhaps the first time in their history. Irony, sweet irony.
The media has made a point of focusing on AOC’s pre-congressional career as a waitress and bartender. This has caused a few Republicans (mainly the McCain/Romney establishment types – not the new populists) to mock her lack of political experience. AOC herself clarified that this was indeed the cause for her tweetstorm. While I strongly oppose Ocasio-Cortez as a politician and fundamentally detest her entire worldview, I still don’t think it was a good idea that several establishment Republicans decided to mock her previous jobs. They missed an opportunity to highlight why her socialist policies would destroy and bankrupt this nation because they decided it was more important to discuss that she mixed mai tais to earn money instead of blowing it on law school. As a matter of fact, I think that AOC’s rise from bartender to an international leftist icon with ten million-plus Twitter followers is a good thing – it’s evidence that our capitalist system works. The very opportunity we have to work our way up in life is a key part of the American dream and experience. This option is simply not afforded to people in failed socialist and communist countries such as Cuba, Venezuela, and the former Soviet Union. In other words, AOC’s very own personal story proves that her politics are dead wrong.
See, like the far-left congresswoman I have also been shamed online for simply coming from a working-class background. I spent my summers during high school and college doing maintenance work at my town swimming pool. For a year up until this summer, I worked at a grocery store where I served in many roles, including as a cashier, receiver, and the guy responsible for collecting stray shopping carts. Just like AOC, I’ve spent plenty of time in walk-in refrigerators. A Redditor once attempted to discredit one of my previous articles by pointing out my then-grocery job (which I mentioned on my personal blog). As someone who writes about highly controversial political topics, I fully understand that not everyone will like and agree with the content I put out, but where I happened to work had absolutely nothing to do with the topic at hand.
I agree with AOC that we need to end the dangerous stigma of people who perform manual labor and/or service for a living. Perhaps, it’s the only thing I agree with her on – I guess a broken clock is right twice a day. Just like I mentioned in my last article, society’s “expectation” that people must attend college and seek employment in a white-collar or professional field is harmful. This belief is heavily propagated by the political establishment, on both the right and the left. I for one am blessed to have had the opportunity to work in blue-collar jobs. They’ve taught me the true value of the dollar, and what hard work and “paying my dues” actually looks like (hint: it’s not having rich parents or going to a big-name school). However, what AOC completely fails to realize is that Democrats, and especially “socialists” like her do not represent the average, everyday working Americans, but instead, the very entitlement-minded well-off people who ridicule them.
Take Jon Ossoff for example, one of the two Democratic nominees in Georgia’s hotly contested runoff elections that will decide the control of the U.S. Senate next month. Ossoff, an AOC-lite hard leftist has publicly praised Bernie Sanders and supports socialized medicine. He represents an emerging class on the left, what his Republican opponent, Senator David Perdue, termed “trust fund socialists.” These are young scions of incredibly well-off families who, while living off their parents’ hard-earned money, pursue policies that prevent less fortunate people from obtaining the wealth that propelled them to power in the first place. There are more members of this hypocritical band of “woke” millennials than you would think – the New York Times unsurprisingly ran an article about them last month. The fact of the matter is that they are the base that supports AOC and the rest of her socialist “Squad” – not the oppressed downtrodden for whom they claim to stand. On the surface, it might appear confusing that so many “rich kids” would fiercely advocate for redistribution of their own inherited wealth, but it makes perfect sense. Unlike the working class, who are trending sharply to the right, these “trust fund socialists” don’t have to worry about going through the trouble of actually making money, putting food on the table, and a roof over the head of their families. The modern Democrats’ out of touch narratives (such as mandating that small businesses must close) show that as they move farther and farther to the left, they are willing to ditch impoverished workers whose support they have long taken for granted.
If you don’t believe me, take a look at this “Tax the Rich” sweatshirt AOC just started selling on her official website. There’s one major problem with it – it retails for $58, meaning that only rich people can afford it. If AOC’s major supporters were really the working poor, as the media likes to claim, she would not be selling a shirt for more than half a day’s pay on a $15 an hour wage. To add insult to injury, the sweatshirt also ironically happens to be made in the USA, while the Democrats are perfectly okay with manufacturing jobs being shipped to China. Let’s face it: AOC knows full well that her working-class roots are well behind her. Now she is laughing all the way to the bank.
Working-class Americans are rejecting socialist policies that keep them down. They want to move up and are flocking to a new Republican Party that’s embracing pro-worker policies. The GOP’s continuing rebranding as the party of the working class is showing. Many high-profile Republicans responded to AOC’s “leather chairs” remark with vivid descriptions of their own work in blue-collar jobs. Among them was newly re-elected Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA), a “conservative senator” herself. In fact, AOC’s exact word choice couldn’t have been more unfortunate. As the great Ben Shapiro himself beautifully put it, “who has been sitting in a leather chair since 1973? Why, none other than AOC’s own party leader, Joe Biden.”What we are seeing now is nothing short of a massive political realignment. I spoke about this on the first episode of the Pardon our Politics podcast. President Trump has helped transform the Republicans from the party of a wealthy establishment to the party of “nobodies.” Gone are the days when the lily-white country club Republicans ruled the right. The GOP of 2020 is a multiracial coalition of workers and small-business owners, all while the Democrats are the party of virtue-signaling celebrities, billionaires, the elite political class, and the limousine liberals of Jon Ossoff’s ilk. In the end, AOC could rant about refrigerators all she wants, but the working class is waking up to the truth: she is a fraud who wants nothing to do with them.