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Conservatives will always call socialists hypocrites.

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https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/conservatives-will-always-call-socialists-hypocrites-ignore-...

 

Conservatives will always call socialists hypocrites. Ignore them.

 

Shortly after Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a 28-year-old democratic socialist, pulled off a surprise left-flank victory over incumbent Rep. Joseph Crowley in a New York congressional primary last week, pictures of her childhood home began appearing on social media.

 

The grainy image of the small blue cottage was evidently swiped from Google Street View and uploaded to Twitter by conservative television host John Cardillo. The tidy little home, Cardillo tweeted, was in fact “the Yorktown Heights (very nice area) home @Ocasio2018 grew up in before going off to Ivy League Brown University,” he clarified:

 

“A far cry from the Bronx hood upbringing she’s selling.” Got her, in other words: a champagne socialist, after all.

 

Cardillo was wrong. Ocasio-Cortez was born in the Bronx, though her family moved to Yorktown Heights years later in an effort to place her in better public schools. And she went to Boston University, not Brown University, and not Ivy League. But the failure of one set of accusations along these lines usually just leads to another, and it forms an ugly paradox that applies only to the left: If you care about material equality and you aren’t destitute, you’re a hypocrite; if you care about material equality and you are destitute, you’re never going to have a real shot at political engagement to begin with.

 

As more left-flank challengers face off with center-left incumbents and more democratic socialists begin looking toward public office, beware:

 

You will all be called champagne socialists or yacht communists, the ritzier and more radical counterparts of limousine liberals. It doesn’t matter how comparatively humble your background is, or how relatively modest your means in the context of the political class at-large — it’ll always be news if Bernie Sanders wears a $700 coat or buys a house by a lake, because his political position on inequality is so obviously moral that the only way to impeach it is to make him seem dishonest about it.

 

The same goes, and will continue to go, for every other candidate who attempts to advance material equality. This stance is hard to supply a persuasive democratic alternative to, so critics instead claim that its standard-bearers don’t really mean it.

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