Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez endorsed Bernie Sanders on October 19th. Today, the Sanders campaign released a web ad highlighting the endorsement which features AOC praising Sanders as a kind of socialist savior.
“It wasn’t until I heard of a man by the name of Bernie Sanders that I began to question and assert and recognize my inherent value as a human being that deserves healthcare, housing, education, and a living wage,” AOC said. Notice that the tweet itself leaves out the last part of the quote, giving it a more messianic feel.
Her actual point is that if you have inherent value, things should be given to you for free. And if they aren’t being given to you for free it’s because you’ve failed to recognize your inherent value. That’s the socialist pitch in a nutshell: Government dependency as personal empowerment.
The alternative, that adults are expected to create enough actual value to pay their own way rather than expecting someone to hand them everything, doesn’t appeal to Bernie’s people. Speaking of Bernie’s people, why are most of the people featured in this clip praising AOC instead of Sanders?
“I think she’s great because she’s from the people. She is the people,” one excited woman said. That semi-religious tone shouldn’t surprise anyone familiar with the cult of personality that often accompanies democratic socialist governments. Hugo Chavez was the people too. Same for Daniel Ortega and Fidel Castro. You can’t have a socialist revolution without lots of “Dear leader” iconography.
Another man who appears in the clip suggests that the timing of the endorsement, after Sanders’ hearth attack, was critical: “That’s what solidarity is all about.” According to CNN, AOC took her time because she wasn’t sure if she would endorse Warren or Sanders.
The clip ends with a big embrace between Bernie and AOC and then they raise their hands together in victory.
"It wasn’t until I heard of a man by the name of Bernie Sanders that I began to question and assert and recognize my inherent value as a human being." -Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez pic.twitter.com/s1aLTz1mJ2
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) October 31, 2019
Lots of people on Twitter, including many on the left, were mocking the tone of the clip:
Sorry, to clarify: I didn't mean "weird" as in "quirky" or something.
— Jessica Shortall🧂🥴 (@jessicashortall) October 31, 2019
Statements like that set back women's equality 80 years. Imagine thinking you had no inherent human worth until you heard a man speak.
I imagine members of Manson's Family and the People's Temple Cult also made statements like that. pic.twitter.com/wYVz1bOFx7
— Katrina Los Angeles (@KatrinaRulz) October 31, 2019
What? I like Bernie, but we don’t need to get him into office by talking about him like a cult leader. No more cults of personality.
— D. A. Wood 🇺🇸🌊 🇺🇸🌊 🇺🇸🌊 (@piedpenguin) October 31, 2019
This is getting creepy. Stay humble and work for the people. This sounds very cultish.
— SikhPeace (@SatPavanKaur) October 31, 2019
There’s a whole lot more like this.
If you look at the Real Clear Politics average of polling, Biden is still in first place and Warren trails him by about five points. Bernie trails Warren in third place but since Oct. 20th he’s seen a bump while she has continued to slide. At present, Sanders is about four and a half points behind her. Maybe there’s a bit of an AOC bump there? I guess it’s something that he hasn’t faded after having a heart attack, but overtaking Warren seems like a tall order.
Update: People on all sides agree the quote is odd.
This is an … odd quote. https://t.co/dDZXHjrhBa
— Soledad O'Brien (@soledadobrien) October 31, 2019