On Monday, Gov. Huckabee offered a link to a YouTube video hosted by a conservative who calls himself “Mr. Reagan” and titled “The Brains Behind Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.” The Governor neither endorsed it nor condemned it, just cited it as something interesting. I had long assumed there had to be some sort of brains behind AOC, as she didn’t seem to have any inside her head. After watching his video a few times, I have to say that his theory is entirely plausible and worth exploring.
Just how does a 29-year-old bartender become the Democratic nominee for Congress from such a densely populated district as hers (the 14th) in New York? We know it had to be because of an organized and very aggressive strategy by “progressive” (as in, radical socialist) Democrats. “Mr. Reagan” asserts that AOC was recruited to run by a group called the Justice Democrats, which he says has a plan to find the “faces” of the new Progressive movement and run them for office around the country, with the ultimate goal of taking over Congress. He believes that AOC is, essentially, an actress, reciting their talking points.
At this writing, the video has racked up over 800,000 views in just 3 days, and I hope it gets millions more. If you haven’t seen it yet, it’s a must-see. Watch it if you haven’t –- it’s a little over 23 minutes long –- and then we’ll continue.
In my view, there is nothing crazy about what “Mr. Reagan” is saying. In fact, his theory makes perfect sense to me and would explain a lot. The only way he undercuts his argument is by using the word “actress” to describe AOC and the others run by Justice Democrats.
As far as I know, AOC has never worked as an actress per se. She did not study acting, has not appeared in scripted plays or films, does not have a theatrical agent, is not a member of Actors Equity, and does not go on the usual casting calls. Living in New York City, if she really were an actress, she would have been doing these things. (Come to think of it, though, she might also have been bartending.) So if this theory is correct, I would rather call her a “proxy,” a “front,” a “figurehead,” maybe even a new kind of Manchurian candidate –- the kind that doesn’t require brainwashing (which I imagine in her case could be done with a Q-tip) because what brain she’s got has already been washed. She has a bachelor’s degree from Boston University; I believe her major was something like international relations and her minor, we’re told, was in economics. (I would love to see her transcripts. If she made A’s in economics, that school is not the place to study economics.)
So, it’s not as if the Justice Democrats enlisted a talent agent, looked at head shots, set up a casting call, and literally signed contracts with real actors and actresses to play progressive politicians. Rather, it appears that they aggressively sought out young leftists who would appeal to very young and millennial voters. This was a “special” kind of casting call, arranged by political operatives rather than movie directors. With AOC, who apparently was brought to the call by her brother, they hit the jackpot, and she quickly became a star. As you saw in the video, the leader of JD, Alexandra Rojas, freely admits that in 2016, they looked at 10,000 potential candidates and found her. They organized her entire campaign for her.
Trying to get inside their heads, I assume they were –- and are –- looking for energetic young people, preferably of color. Older folks and white people (especially male) need not apply, unless there’s something so irresistibly cool about them (androgyny?) that it makes up for those severe shortcomings. They want good-looking people with fresh faces, eyes spaced wide apart, even features and big, gleaming teeth. They want a variety of ethnicities. They will style these young socialists in hip, expensive designer clothes. In others words, they want people who look like they could appear in a Benetton ad.
Now, here’s a picture of one of the other people “Mr. Reagan” says was “cast” to run in her primary. This is freshman Rep. Ayanna Pressley (great name!) of Massachusetts, who just turned 45; it’s a good thing for her political career that she looks great for her age. She recently made news by endorsing the brilliant idea of lowering the voting age in federal elections from 18 to 16.
So this appears to be the new strategy for old-time radical leftism: put a fresh face on it!
AOC does a fairly good job of parroting their talking points, although when she attempts to go off-script and put things into her own words, she tends to get them wrong or turned around. She did a great job reading scripted questions at the Michael Cohen hearing, though. She looks good and speaks with conviction, and those are the two most important things.
Her campaign manager and now chief of staff, Saikat Chakrabarti, has been in the news lately over serious accusations of mishandling over $1 million in campaign donations. After cutting his teeth on the Bernie Sanders campaign, he appears to be behind AOC’s messaging. Others from the Bernie campaign –- social media experts and radical Saul Alinsky-style organizers –- came on board as well. As “Mr. Reagan” shows through video clips, the Justice Democrats have been very open about finding new, more electable people –- people who fit their “brand” –- to challenge Democratic incumbents, win in their Dem-majority districts and, in the long run, TAKE OVER Congress. What’s after that? “Mr. Reagan” thinks it’s the Presidency.
This kind of thing wouldn’t work unless there were a lot of people who didn’t know beans about history or economics or ANYTHING but who won’t let that stop them from voting. It’s important to them to elect the first twentysomething female Puerto Rican, or the first hijab-wearing female Somali, or the first (fill in the blank). If these candidates look hip, hate Trump, think abortion and even infanticide is great, want to legalize pot, and promise to provide everything for free, they’re in.
I do think this started in earnest with the election of Barack Obama in 2008. Here was someone with huge star power, a dazzling smile and a fine speaking voice who represented an opportunity to elect the first black President. He himself was a community organizer, and the path was quickly cleared for him. But even that wasn’t a first; for example, John Kennedy had the advantage because he was much more appealing than Nixon. There was even a movie called “The Candidate,” in which the people elected a neophyte who looked exactly like Robert Redford.
Incidentally, this is one more reason why I still think Michelle Obama will announce she’s running and will win the nomination. There’s nobody running with her degree of star power, and that’s what they need for the general election. She fits the “brand” and the media love her. Personally, I don’t care if a candidate looks like Mr. or Ms. Potato Head if that person is going to be a good leader, keep our nation strong and defend the Constitution, but that’s just me.
The best way to counteract this strategy, if it's what they’re doing, is to expose it, so pass “Mr. Reagan” around! I really am worried that, thanks to our education system, there are just too many uninformed voters who think “socialism” has something to do with social media and getting stuff for free. To get an idea of their level of discourse, you might check out the following video, a running commentary on “Mr. Reagan’s” presentation. I warn you –- in fact, I REALLY hesitated to link to it at all –- because the language is just relentlessly filthy. (I turned it off at the 9:00 mark.) But this person, with his lame attempt to refute the theory, is “Exhibit A,” making the case that some people are so wretchedly stupid, a scheme to woo the electorate with pretty faces might actually work. If you do have a functioning brain, that realization will scare the wits out of you.