On Thursday, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), furious that an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal stated that she “leads a generation of young people to take pride in their ignorance—of the laws of nature, of history, of the Constitution, of the eternal battle for freedom,” sneered back on Twitter, writing, “I guess WSJ Editorial Page takes pride in their ignorance of our nation’s history of slavery, Jim Crow, & mass incarceration; willful doubt on the decades of science on climate change; targeting of indigenous peoples, and the classist, punitive agenda targeting working families.”
The author of the op-ed, Grace-Marie Turner, president of the Galen Institute, has credentials that eclipse anything Ocasio-Cortez has yet achieved; she has spoken at Harvard University, the London School of Economics, Oxford University, and the Gregorian University at the Vatican, as well as served on the National Advisory Board for the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and as a member of the Medicaid Commission.
Turner wrote that Ocasio-Cortez “is ignorant of the ways of government. She thought she would be headed to Washington in January to get ‘inaugurated’ and that she’d ‘start signing’ bills immediately, in a Congress with three chambers.” She continued:
The tragedy is that Ms. Ocasio-Cortez has little regard for the system that made it possible for her to be elected to Congress, gain extraordinary influence, have access to millions of dollars to pay staff (at a “living wage” of at least $52,000 a year, so generous is she with taxpayer money), and now with a standard of living far above what her old job could have provided. She leads a generation of young people to take pride in their ignorance—of the laws of nature, of history, of the Constitution, of the eternal battle for freedom—and still succeed.
Turner noted the possibility that Ocasio-Cortez’s own actions might awaken people to her misguided actions: “Perhaps her role in killing 25,000 Amazon jobs in New York will wake people up, or maybe it’ll be the hubris of her recent tweet: ‘If you don’t like the #GreenNewDeal, then come up with your own ambitious, on-scale proposal to address the global climate crisis. Until then, we’re in charge—and you’re just shouting from the cheap seats.’”
Turner concluded, “Ah, democracy! Ms. Ocasio-Cortez has soared because of the freedom and prosperity her policies would destroy. Our attention to her fuels her celebrity and therefore her ideas. Time to get over our fascination and move on.”
Ocasio-Cortez’s tweet attacking Turner was typically redolent with ridiculousness, accusing the WSJ of being ignorant of America’s history. As recently as November, the Journal ran an article championing five books written about American slavery; last April the Journal ran a column from Jared Kushner extolling the idea of prison reform; the Journal ran an op-ed in November titled, “Climate Change Is Affordable,” and in July 2017 the Journal ran an article decrying federal hospitals’ treatment of Native Americans.
When Turner writes of Ocasio-Cortez leading young people to take pride in their ignorance, she need look no further than Ocasio-Cortez’s vitriolic, inaccurate, and highly-ignorant tweet targeting The Wall Street Journal.