AOC angers GOP by not stating her opposition to baby-eating

An irritated baby.
An irritated baby.
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AOC angers GOP by not stating her opposition to baby-eating

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez attempted to pacify a pro-Trump questioner who proposed eating babies. Guess how Republicans reacted?
October 4, 2019

A pro-Trump activist gave Johnathan Swift a run for his money at Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s town hall in Queens on Thursday evening, when she suggested to the congresswoman that people start “eating babies” to address the climate crisis.

During the question-and-answer portion of the town hall, a woman posing as one of Ocasio-Cortez’s supporters told the Congresswoman that her new campaign slogan should be, “We have got to start eating babies.” 

The woman, who has been identified by Gizmodo as a troll sent by the far-right LaRouche PAC, continued to go on a diatribe about the need to eat children. “I’m so happy that you are really supporting a Green New Deal, but it’s not enough,” the woman said, much to everyone’s confusion. “Even if we were to bomb Russia, we still have too many people, too much pollution. So we have to get rid of the babies. That’s a big problem. Just stopping having babies is not enough. We need to eat the babies.”

Ocasio-Cortez, apparently under the impression that this woman was suffering from a mental illness, attempted to deescalate the situation by softly stating that there are many positive options available to combat the effects of climate change, without commenting directly on the baby-eating suggestion.

The freshman congresswoman also took to Twitter following her town hall in an attempt to protect the woman from mockery.

Hours later, LaRouche PAC took credit for the stunt on Twitter, citing Swift’s famous satire “A Modest Proposal” – which suggested that impoverished Irish families fatten up their children and sell them to wealthy English landowners – as its inspiration, revealing the group’s difficulty understanding what makes for good satire and the science of climate change. (The group’s leader, the late Lyndon LaRouche, was a longtime opponent of environmentalism.) 

Now, members of the Republican Party – including President Donald Trump – and right-wing pundits are calling out Ocasio-Cortez for not immediately shutting down the LaRouche troll and specifying that eating babies is not a viable option. Though Ocasio-Cortez has made it abundantly clear that she was merely trying to mollify the woman who was proposing an obviously outrageous idea. New York State Republican Chairman Nick Langworthy tweeted, “This is AOC’s America on full display!!!!” He has not retracted the tweet or apologized for it since it came out that the woman is in fact a Trump supporter. 

This isn't the first time this week that New York GOP has become enraged by something as seemingly irrelevant to actual policy debates as this. After the NBC show “Saturday Night Live” aired a comedy sketch mocking apple picking on Saturday, the New York GOP slammed “the lame stream media networks or NY's elected officials” for “the snotty, arrogant, and elitist attitude toward rural America.” 

In fairness, this wasn’t a blatant misrepresentation of a political opponent’s stance, as Langworthy’s tweet about Ocasio-Cortez was. On the other hand, the state Republican Party’s assertion that “the silent majority is rising up and fighting back” is an echo of Richard Nixon’s infamous invocation of a “silent majority,” that was fed up by protest movements – so, if one were to attack them as misleadingly as they went after the congresswoman, you could say they just came out for the Vietnam War. 

Amanda Luz Henning Santiago
Amanda Luz Henning Santiago
is City & State's web reporter and social media editor.
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