Far-left Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) mocked the notion of being self-made in America on Thursday, when she gave commentary on a common expression about “pulling yourself up by your bootstraps.”
Taking a bizarrely literal approach to the expression, AOC repeatedly said that it was “physically impossible” to pull yourself up by your own “bootstraps” or “shoelaces.”
“This idea of a bootstrap,” said Rep. Ocasio-Cortez. “You know this idea, this metaphor of a bootstrap started off as a joke. Because, it’s a physical impossibility to lift yourself up by a bootstrap, by your shoelaces. It’s physically impossible!”
“The whole thing is a joke,” she added.
.@AOC on America’s rags-to-riches ideal: “It’s a physical impossibility to lift yourself up by a bootstrap, by your shoelaces? It’s physically impossible. The whole thing is a joke.” pic.twitter.com/9WNf8UE06T
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) February 6, 2020
The commentary is an echo of former-President Barack Obama’s infamous “you didn’t build that” comment in 2012.
“If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen,” Obama said, prompting backlash from many hardworking Americans across the nation.
Naturally, the backlash was swift against AOC. And, in response, AOC took to social media to post some damage control tweets.
In one tweet, Ocasio-Cortez seemingly suggested that self-made folks who risk their lives by serving in the United States Military are not really self-made, since the U.S. Military is “funded by the gov.” She also suggested, rather confusingly, that folks who take “tax breaks” aren’t really self-made, either.
“What does ‘bootstrapping’ mean to the GOP? That you didn’t go to public school? That you didn’t enlist in the military, which is funded by the gov?” she wrote. “That you never got a tax break for starting a business or buying a home? That your parents never used food assistance to feed you?”
In another damage control tweet, the congresswoman targeted President Donald Trump:
Question for the GOP: Does starting a business with a 60 million dollar loan from your dad count as “bootstrapping?” Does getting a $2 trillion dollar corporate handout from the GOP count as “bootstrapping?” Asking for a corrupt president & his friends.
And, finally, Ocasio-Cortez posted her own impressive journey from bartender to congresswoman. The tweet was seemingly meant to illustrate that her path does not illustrate the sentiment of “pulling yourself up by your bootstraps” because “it would be narcissistic to pretend I ‘bootstrapped’ it alone & [without] others.”
“I worked my butt off to get elected against all odds, without any special connections or money. I worked double shifts and wore through my shoes, outspent 10:1 to get elected,” she said. “Even [with] all that hard work, it would be narcissistic to pretend I ‘bootstrapped’ it alone & [without] others.”
When Ocasio-Cortez made her comments on Thursday, she was seemingly referencing a piece from HuffPost: “Why The Phrase ‘Pull Yourself Up By Your Bootstraps’ Is Nonsense.”
Here’s a portion of that post:
“Pull yourself up by your bootstraps.” It’s a common phrase in American political discourse, particularly present in conservative rhetoric about self-reliance.
The concept is simple: To pull yourself up by your bootstraps means to succeed or elevate yourself without any outside help.
But when you examine this expression and its current meaning, it doesn’t seem to make much sense.
To pull yourself up by your bootstraps is actually physically impossible. In fact, the original meaning of the phrase was more along the lines of “to try to do something completely absurd.”