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Work is oppression but tyranny saves lives? Dunk on AOC, but lockdown hypocrisy doesn’t start or stop with her

Nebojsa Malic
Nebojsa Malic

is a Serbian-American journalist, blogger and translator, who wrote a regular column for Antiwar.com from 2000 to 2015, and is now senior writer at RT. Follow him on Twitter @NebojsaMalic

is a Serbian-American journalist, blogger and translator, who wrote a regular column for Antiwar.com from 2000 to 2015, and is now senior writer at RT. Follow him on Twitter @NebojsaMalic

Work is oppression but tyranny saves lives? Dunk on AOC, but lockdown hypocrisy doesn’t start or stop with her
There is a special kind of hypocrisy in advocating for catastrophic unemployment in the same breath as railing against poverty. Yet that’s what novice politician Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez did in demanding Covid-19 lockdowns remain.

“When we talk about this idea of reopening society, you know only in America… when the president tweets about ‘liberation’ does he mean go back to work,” the New York Democrat, commonly known as AOC, said in an interview with VICE TV on Wednesday. 

“When we have this discussion about going back or reopening, I think a lot of people should just say no, we’re not going back to that, we’re not going back to working 70-hour weeks just so that we could put food on the table and not even feel any sort of semblance of security in our lives.”

Her remarks came on the eve of the report that an estimated 26.5 million Americans have been forced into unemployment, not by the Covid-19 pandemic but the stay-at-home orders imposed by their state and local governments for the past five weeks.

What are these people supposed to do, exactly? Well, just days earlier, AOC celebrated the collapse of May oil futures – which she apparently mistook for global oil prices, because she has a degree in economics you see – and said it was the “right time for a worker-led mass investment of green infrastructure to save our planet.”

How exactly are “workers” supposed to “invest” into anything, when they’re not working, and therefore have no money? It’s as if she literally thinks everyone gets paid $180,000 a year from the magic money tree to sit in a posh Washington, DC penthouse and preach Communism in Congress.

Just three weeks ago, AOC was lamenting how the virus “disproportionately” affects “Black [and] Brown communities” and demanded that any relief be “drafted with a lens of reparations.” 

Her continued obsession with identity politics came as Democrats were dragging their feet on approving emergency payments to both individuals and businesses affected by the shutdown, already the proverbial day late and dollar short by that point.

This obvious hypocrisy has earned her criticism from some African-Americans, such as activist Candace Owens and Vernon Jones, a Georgia state representative who just left the Democratic party.

Many conservatives have also criticized AOC for pretending to know anything about anything, having previously only worked as a bartender. That, however, was at least an honest job – unlike what she is doing now. Nor is it entirely fair to single the freshman congresswoman out for criticism. She may pretend to be the moral leader of the Democratic Party, but there are plenty of seasoned, dynastic Democrats who say and do the same things.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-California), for instance, boasted about her well-stocked ice cream freezer on a comedy show even as she held up a bill to refill the depleted small business aid fund. Governor Andrew Cuomo had the gall to tell millions of New Yorkers forced into destitution that they have a responsibility to him to suffer in silence. 

Also on rt.com Cuomo tells protesters economic collapse from Covid-19 lockdown ‘NOT WORSE THAN DEATH’ – and that they have responsibility to HIM

California’s Gavin Newsom, Michigan’s Gretchen Whitmer, Harris County executive Lina Hidalgo in Texas – there is a long list of Democrat state and local officials who have embraced tyranny with uncomfortable zeal in these trying times.

So while AOC is out of touch and her identity politics are almost beyond parody, it is about as naive to focus the derision and scrutiny on the first-term congresswoman while others who should know better get away with filling up skate parks with sand, mandate masks, or ban hunting, fishing and gardening.

Let’s not forget that the original lockdown was supposed to last two weeks, and was put in place to prevent hospital ICUs from getting overwhelmed by coronavirus patients. That was achieved, even in hardest-hit New York City, though the jury is still out on whether it was the lockdown and “social distancing” that did it or something else.

Yet the tyranny of good intentions continues to insist everyone must stay locked up indefinitely anyway, because it’s just not “safe” out there. The goalposts keep shifting, just like the apocalyptic models. It’s enough to make one wonder whether “saving lives” has become an excuse for something else.

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The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.

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