Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Wednesday continued her Twitter campaign to raise awareness of the Trump administration’s “concentration camps,” aka migrant shelters.
In one tweet, Ocasio-Cortez informed her 4.41 million followers that the United States “ran concentration camps before, when we rounded up Japanese people during WWII.”
“It is such a shameful history that we largely ignore it,” she said. “These camps occurs throughout history. Many refuse to learn from that shame, but here we are today.”
However, even as Ocasio-Cortez preached learning the lessons of history, she failed to mention that the man who ordered the internment of Japanese-Americans, and other Japanese in the United States, was a hero of hers: Democratic President Franklin Roosevelt.
Ocasio-Cortez has repeatedly – and sometimes inaccurately – praised Roosevelt as a progressive hero in the past. She even named her signature policy proposal, the Green New Deal, after his famed expansion of the federal government.
Conservative messaging guru Caleb Hull pithily pointed out the contradiction by reposting the congresswoman’s admonition about Japanese internment alongside a tweet from October in which she lauded Roosevelt. Like her, she gushed: “He also believed healthcare, housing, education, and a living wage should be guaranteed rights in the United States of America.”
“You can’t make this stuff up…” Hull commented.
You can’t make this up…
On the left, AOC justifies her “concentration camps” comment by pointing to the U.S. putting Japanese people in concentration camps during WWII
On the right, AOC praises the man who put Japanese people in concentration camps during WWII pic.twitter.com/GOdjjcmMWC
— Caleb Hull (@CalebJHull) June 19, 2019
The Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez-FDR connection
In an Instagram Live rant on Monday night, Ocasio-Cortez implicitly compared the Trump administration to Nazis for detaining migrants, deeming his presidency “fascist” and “authoritarian.” Since then, she has been defiantly defending her comments, winning support from fellow liberals and condemnation from conservatives.
Some on the left have long viewed Trump as a Hitlerian threat, desirous of usurping American democracy and creating a right-wing dystopia. Fantasies range from a white ethno-state to a Christian theocracy a la “The Handmaid’s Tale.”
Meanwhile, the right is more worried about the very real accumulation of power to the administrative state. As conservative commentator Jonah Goldberg wrote in his 2018 book “Suicide of the West”:
It is easy to point at Donald Trump and say the American body politic is rotting from the head down.
But the real rot is systemic. The shadow government of the new class has fortified itself against democratic accountability and is sawing off the ladder to success beneath it.”
- Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y.: Screen grab