Thiel’s analysis is correct, but it highlights a fundamental flaw with both Trump and AOC’s approaches in public messaging.

Both stoke fear when advocating their respective policies. Trump relies on fearmongering with the imagery of “rapists and murderers” crossing our southern border to outlandishly advocate for fairly commonsense border security. AOC forebodes that “like, the world is gonna end in 12 years,” if we don’t tackle climate change, correctly diagnosing our political sphere’s apathy toward climate change, but ineptly advocating for a Green New Deal that will do nothing to lower greenhouse gas emissions and everything to nationalize vast swaths of the American economy.

I don’t doubt that Trump, a Queens outsider who built his brand to enter the billionaires club, and Ocasio-Cortez, a millennial self-starter who has observed — first-hand — the few failures of the greatest economic system in human history, genuinely feel the need to prove their authority in their positions.

But then they ought to start rising to the occasion. They’re not court jesters, eliciting few moments of truth, bookended by jokes and nonsense. They’re members and cultural leaders of the governing bodies of the free world, and the public and the media, on both sides of the aisles, must hold them to that standard.