What Conservatives Thought about Rep. Cortez’s Dance Video

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What Conservatives Thought about Rep. Cortez’s Dance Video

Photo: thedailybeast.com

Photo: thedailybeast.com

Photo: thedailybeast.com

Photo: thedailybeast.com

Nikhil Chandravel, Staff Writer

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A few days ago, an unwelcome Alexandria Ocasio Cortez (AOC) writhed her way across my laptop screen. Perhaps it was because I was exhausted from reporting my neighbor’s kid’s noisy birthday party, or the fact that the scrawny mutt from across the street did his business on my lawn again, or because my normal supplier had run out of razor blades for me to stuff into Snickers bars (a yearlong process until Halloween), but as I saw that young lady cavort across a rooftop in Boston University, I saw red and spat my Earl Grey Tea onto my country club acceptance letter.

It’s hard to point out what exactly about the video infuriated me, so let me give you a gist of what AOC did in this video. She twists, twirls, and spins several times in the video; at one point, she violently thrashes the air with her hands and collapses on her knees. There’s a lot of shimmying, pointing of fingers, and punching of air.

Wait…  was I supposed to point out the parts of the video that enraged me? Well, to put it delicately, I pulled a fast one on you. I do not, in fact, wile away my time busting loud birthday parties or causing internal bleeding in trick-or-treaters. And I most certainly do not waste my time criticizing college students’ musical productions. Even as a pedantic critic, all I can offer up is that AOC’s moves mostly just involved some kind of rotating, and the thrashing was kind of awkward. But I could find something to criticize in the Gettysburg Address, so take this criticism with a grain of salt. I mean, let’s be real: at least she didn’t dance a hole through the floor to “Mo Bamba.” Overall, it’s endearing, fun, and is of surprisingly high quality.

But even if this enlightened author couldn’t care to mock dancing college students, was the conservative movement smearing and mocking her? Absolutely not!

I surveyed three conservatives of different labels who happened to be conveniently standing within five feet of me during lunch on their thoughts about the video. Nikhil Paul (12) said, “The dance video doesn’t matter, I’d probably do the same thing in college”. Henry Coates (12) said, “I don’t care, she’s just a college kid.” And co-president of the Young Republicans, Joey Mistretta (12) said, “Her rhetoric and policies are damaging enough; the video is irrelevant.” I took these results, graphed them, took the tangent of the hypotenuse one standard deviation from the parabolic loop-di-loop, and came to the astounding conclusion that a whopping *looks at notes* no one in the conservative movement cared about the dance video (+/- 5 points margin of error).

A quick look at conservative media supports my very statistical evidence. Which conservative media outlets mocked AOC? I looked through a whole parade of conservative sources, and found no one. Mainstream conservative magazines like National Review or Washington Examiner? Nope! Conservative blogs like Townhall, Redstate, The Daily Wire, The Daily Caller, or Hot Air? Nope! Fringe populist flamethrowers like Breitbart or InfoWars? Yet again, no one was smearing or mocking. In fact, any mention from these sources about the music video only came after the manufactured outrage from liberal pundits bashing them for criticizing a video they never even saw.

After some digging, I did manage to find the grandmaster of mockery, the big enchilada of political hit jobs, the brain behind this right-wing embarrassment agenda against the saintly martyr Cortez: one villain named AnonymousQ1776. Another, virtually unknown chap named Dan Jordan started the brouha by posting the video on Twitter, but this fictional outrage really started on the back of the big boss AnonymousQ1776 and his army of minion trollers of seven, five of which were bots . And yet, the New York Times, quite pleased with its hard-hitting, investigative journalism, concluded that AnonymousQ1776 represented a “right-wing effort to undermine Ms. Ocasio-Cortez”. USA Today said that the video “made waves in conservative social media spheres”. Rep. Cortez joined in the fun saying that the GOP was scandalized by the dancing. And thousands of AOC fans got to pretend to be oppressed for a day by those fun-hating conservatives. Well, I hate to be the bearer  of bad news, but a single troll and a few of his Twitter minions does not constitute a “right-wing effort” to do anything but share a small Subway Party Platter. The video only came to the attention of conservatives after mainstream media outlets bashed them for hating the aforementioned video. Any waves made in “conservative social media spheres ” wouldn’t tip over stick secured to the ground with a melted mini-marshmallow. And for good measure, no one was scandalized.

But you, dear reader, don’t need to fall victim to certain outlets’ journalistic indiscretions. I gently suggest that you burst your political bubble. Liberals would be well advised to consider branching out to read thoughtful pieces from National Review, Washington Examiner, Hot Air, or the Wall Street Journal. I swear that none of them are Russian fronts. And conservatives would be wise to consider reading a piece or two from The Guardian, or the opinion sections and editorials of The Washington Post and The New York Times. Then, perhaps we can hear what the other side thinks, straight from the source, unclouded by the caricatures, stereotypes, and the bias of our own preferred media outlets.

I’ll be the first to say that this can be hard. Sometimes I’ll see a blatantly partisan headline from the other side and reluctantly read it because I hadn’t considered the other side’s point of view that day. I grimace through the reading, my eyes roll to the back of my eye socket, and I come out of the experience as a more knowledgeable consumer of mass media, even if a bit traumatized. Because just like vaccinations and exercise, growing and learning can hurt. It might be painful to put up with the partisan nonsense for the sake of understanding what people on the other side actually think, but it’s definitely worthwhile.

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