Frantic to deflect our attention away from the malady of Trump and his voluminous crimes, the far-Right has resorted to flinging a ceaseless bombardment of demonstrable falsehoods, hoping they’ll stick. With Hillary Clinton fading into the past, they desperately need a new bogey-woman — and now appear to have found her.
Here’s to exposing their lies with facts and telling the truth….
Why do they lie so much?
That’s the big question I’ve been asking myself since the unexpected and unprecedented rise of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the 29-year-old newly-elected congresswoman from New York who’s made quite the political splash in Washington.
Ocasio-Cortez’s has become so well-known, so fast, she’s now known by a simple three-letter moniker, “AOC.” Her appeal among progressives is well-justified. She’s young. She’s energetic. She’s genuine. She’s fearless.
AOC’s meteoric rise onto the national stage has also made her into an inviting political target. She’s become the victim of outright fabrication. Already, there’s a vast disinformation campaign underway which intends to discredit her. The far-Right’s assembly line of lies has been cranked into action. The hate machine is going full blast. Like a doomsday machine that can’t be shut off once it’s been programmed, this is only the beginning. The deceptive anti-AOC narrative has been artfully crafted. Eventually, it becomes impossible to alter first impressions and change stubborn simple minds. Political disinformation campaigns work.
Take a look at all the activity related to AOC spewed across social media platforms this past week. She’s become the poster girl for extremist Right-wing backlash. Frantic to deflect our attention away from the malady of Donald Trump and his voluminous crimes, the conservative movement has resorted to flinging a ceaseless bombardment of demonstrable falsehoods, desperately hoping they’ll stick. With Hillary Clinton fading into the past, they desperately need a new bogey-woman — and now appear to have found her.
For example, here’s just one of many social media outlets blasting AOC with completely made-up accusations. Some troll calling itself “The Patriot Conservative” somehow has several thousand followers. The Facebook page is percolating with attacks on AOC. Let’s be quite clear — political criticism is certainly fair game. However, complete disregard of the facts and outright fabrication is not.
Check out this deceptive post at “The Patriot Conservative.” It mocks AOC (and several other Democratic congresswomen) for allegedly not standing up during Trump’s State of the Union Address at the instant a 10-year-old girl was introduced to the crowd and lauded for overcoming brain cancer. Here’s a snapshot of the false post:
Falsehoods from the far-Right aren’t the exception. They are now the rule. Their toxicity has gone viral, infecting an army of faithful foot-soldiers. Impressionable followers, numbering in the thousands, are willing to gobble up any lie. Too lazy to fact-check anything, they share this garbage and litter the social media landscape with lies.
Again, here’s clear evidence. Hundreds and perhaps thousands of memes exploded all over Twitter and Facebook in recent days, hammering AOC for “not standing.” Here’s just one of the countless examples of fakery:
The meme looks really bad, doesn’t it? Allegedly, AOC didn’t even stand up nor applaud when the young cancer survivor was recognized by Trump during his speech. The photograph even shows AOC scowling. [Oh, and by the way, the memes can’t even get the girl’s age correct. She’s not 8. She’s 10.]
There’s only one problem.
The meme, the photo, the entire incident — all are demonstrably false. It’s completely made up. It’s garbage.
Don’t take my word for it. Here’s proof.
I went back and carefully watched Trump’s introduction of the young cancer survivor. It took one click on YouTube and about 3o seconds to realize what was being reported was a total lie.
Here’s the screenshot I took of AOC and other Democratic congresswomen (mostly dressed in white, which makes them easy to identify). This image shows AOC at the very instant the young girl is introduced to the crowd:
Note who standing up at the second Trump makes his introduction. In case it’s not clear, that’s AOC in the row behind the table. That’s her — STANDING UP. That’s her — APPLAUDING.
Should you suspect I doctored this photo, or believe it’s from a different part of the State of the Union speech, watch for yourself in real time. Click the short clip below. You can fast-forward to the 2:20 mark, which is when Trump makes his introduction and AOC and the others stand and applaud:
Seriously, do these people have no shame?
What to make of the social media sewer that manufactures this fakery and the willful idiots who spread their lies?
Unfortunately, it’s too late now. Many more people will click and share the false AOC meme than will ever read this column. No one bothers to verify its accuracy. Moreover, this is just one of the countless other examples of grotesque disinformation floating around the internet intended to malign AOC.
This does raise a more poignant question. If AOC’s ideas about economic inequality, universal health care, and global warming are so wrong, why then do they ridicule her appearance, question her patriotism, deride her background from modest economic means, and fabricate bullshit? Why don’t they just stick to the issues?
Is this yet another despicable example of misogyny? Is it racism? Perhaps, somewhat. But I think it’s much deeper than that. The far-Right knows they can’t win on the issues. Their only hope is to demonize the most convenient messenger-target and if necessary, make stuff up. The mudslinging is working. Apparently, about 40 percent of the country swims away with the juicy bait — hook, line, and sinker. They’ve become the pupfishes of political deceit.
Next time you see another anti-AOC meme, ask yourself one simple question — why are they attacking a 29-year-old female congresswoman with relatively little voting power compared to the vast arsenal of political and economic heavyweights who have sewn so much discord? Why do they feel so threatened by this young lady?
Why do they make up lies?