North Texas Daily

Conservative politicians should stop petty attacks and actually debate policy

Conservative politicians should stop petty attacks and actually debate policy

Conservative politicians should stop petty attacks and actually debate policy
November 30
11:00 2020

For years, Republicans have tried to scare their base from progressivism by characterizing moderate Democrats as socialist or being a part of the “radical left.” What’s striking is that American politics is so skewed to the right that President-elect Joe Biden, for example, would not be considered “radical” in most other developed nations. 

Conservative media outlets thought they hit the jackpot when Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was elected into Congress in 2018. Ocasio-Cortez, a self-identifying democratic socialist, quickly became the lynchpin of Republican attacks. On average, she was mentioned by FOX News 76 times a day in early 2019, according to the Associated Press

Possibly the most attacked policy position AOC supports is the Green New Deal — an effort to significantly cut carbon emissions and transition the economy from its dependence on fossil fuels. At one of her town halls in late 2019, a pro-Trump group hired a woman to harass Ocasio-Cortez by claiming, “we have to eat babies…we only have a few months left,” according to Business Insider

It’s incredible how conservatives mock efforts to prevent an existential crisis and blatantly ignore science. It is ironic for a party that fears big government to support President Trump, who has dictatorial tendencies like alienating his followers from actual media, facts and even other more moderate conservative politicians. 

Their obsession with AOC seemed to continue this election cycle. Conservatives poured millions of dollars into AOC’s opponent who barely had a shot in congressional district NY-14. AOC won her race and raised almost $10 million more than her opponents.

The attacks are largely unfounded. Conservatives seem to struggle in refuting why democratic socialism is innately bad but rather use terms to fear-monger and allude to communism – two deeply different ideas. 

Just last week, Laura Ingraham and other conservatives had a field day after learning AOC wore a $14,000 outfit on her Vanity Fair cover. However, the outfit was borrowed for the photoshoot and they continued to spread the falsehood that with guaranteed healthcare or more taxes on the top 1% we would not have money to spend.

The criticism of her clothing was not the first. AOC received backlash for a designer dress she wore on “The View.” She retorted on Twitter by saying “Sequins are a great accessory to universal healthcare, do you agree?”

AOC noted in her Vanity Fair interview that President Trump’s constant mentions of her have led to numerous death threats. In her beginning years, she would receive stacks of pictures from the FBI each day of people who have made it abundantly clear that they want her dead. 

Though not all of her criticism is that extreme, the sheer amount of it is concerning. For a party that deems Democrats as weak, they seem to be insecure that AOC has garnered large amounts of support. 

Even moderate Democrats seem to oppose the ideals of politicians who embrace a farther left approach like her – Representatives Ilhan Omar, Ayanna Pressley and Rashida Tlaib, collectively known as “The Squad.” 

With the Democrats losing several House seats this election, moderate Democrats like Representative Abigail Spanberger claimed that the loss was caused by the left-wing of the party. Though no Democrat that campaigned on socialism or defunding the police, two ideas Republicans severely misconstrue, lost their election, it seems to be a popular talking point with conservatives. AOC stated in an interview with CNN that the Democrats need to address Republican attacks more effectively. 

But further than AOC, Republican’s petty attacks are rarely based on truth. The first step to this was deeming the news as fake and anything that does not support their beliefs is false. 

Trump loves to claim that all media is biased but hugs FOX News really tight because they perpetuate the same misinformation that he craves. But after they called a Biden victory and on several occasions dismissed his campaign’s claims of voter fraud, it seems as though Trump is keeping his distance from the network

A lot of these attacks are rooted in misinformation and sexism. Something as simple as clothing has largely been a target for conservatives, but you rarely see attacks on men for expensive clothes. A lot of the criticism AOC faces is unfounded claims and petty attacks. Instead of encouraging death threats to a congresswoman, it would be far more beneficial to actually debate the merits of the policy.

Featured Illustration by Miranda Thomas

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Anvitha Reddy

Anvitha Reddy

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