There are real world consequences for the violent rhetoric that President Donald Trump and other top Republicans push. In recent days, the news broke that Coast Guard Lieutenant Christopher Hasson was plotting domestic terrorism targeting prominent Democrats — including Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), who’s now spoken out about the incident.
She noted that the very same day that news of Hasson’s plot broke, stories began to circulate about the steep cost of where the Congresswoman now lives in D.C., explaining:
‘Journalists are sharing stories about where I live the same day it’s shared that myself + others were targeted by a mass shooter. All this paired w/ amplifying unvetted conspiracy theories. It’s reckless, irresponsible & puts people directly in danger. This isn’t a game.’
Journalists are sharing stories about where I live the same day it’s shared that myself + others were targeted by a mass shooter.
All this paired w/ amplifying unvetted conspiracy theories. It’s reckless, irresponsible & puts people directly in danger.
This isn’t a game. https://t.co/gcJWcKinxI
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) February 21, 2019
She has risen to prominence on democratic socialist ideals, and the area where she lives — which any observant critic could piece together through details media outlets have provided in recent days — does not exactly square up with the idea of opening up opportunities for all, even the poor.
However, that has nothing to do with Ocasio-Cortez. What’s she supposed to do — live in a box on the street corner? It’s not the first time she’s faced similar criticism. After initially beating out incumbent Congressman Joe Crowley in the Democratic primary ahead of the midterm elections, she faced claims that her childhood home didn’t match the stake in low-income issues that she’d claimed for herself.
In fact, Ocasio-Cortez noted in response to one such critic:
‘My mom scrubbed toilets so I could live here & I grew up seeing how the zip code one is born in determines much of their opportunity.’
More recently, she faced a high-profile, disturbing stalking incident in which Republican journalist Eddie Scarry shared a photo someone had sent him of the Congresswoman. Taken from behind, it showed the nice clothes she was wearing, and Scarry used the image to question whether she was as truly a woman “of the people” as she claimed.
Again — what’s she supposed to do? Show up to Congress in potato sacks? When a fellow new female member of Congress (Democratic Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona) arrived for work in something that wasn’t particularly “business style” in the standard sense, she faced a claim from Republican Alabama State Auditor Jim Zeigler that she was “inappropriately attired.” Ziegler says he’s considering launching a bid to unseat Sen. Doug Jones (D-Al.) in 2020, so he’s not a nobody.
This time around, it’s even more serious than normal for Ocasio-Cortez, however. Authorities have shared that the arrested Coast Guard lieutenant’s recent internet searches included “Where in DC do Congress live?” and “Best place in D.C. to see Congress people.”
As the Congresswoman noted, these issues have arisen as the national political conversation continues to get only more inundated with conspiracy theories. Republicans and President Donald Trump in particular have repeatedly pushed the idea that Ocasio-Cortez is dangerous, using utterly false, hyperbolic claims like that she wants to ban air travel to push their agenda.
They continue to of course target other Democrats as well, at times explicitly asserting that they want “open borders” and to turn a blind eye to dangerous criminals, for instance. The real-world consequences keep popping up for that too — Hasson was also targeting Democratic leaders like House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (Calif.), Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (N.Y.) and Sens. Cory Booker (N.J.) and Kamala Harris (Calif.), both of whom are running for president.
Check out Twitter’s response to Ocasio-Cortez…
Featured Image via YouTube screenshot