Why Fringe Politics Don’t Work

A recent poll taken of Democratic Congresswoman Alexandria Acasio Cortez’s popularity is one of the stronger testaments regarding fringe politics and why they often fail.

Compiled by the Stop the AOC PAC (SAOCP), the poll targeted residents within AOC’s own district in Queens, New York.

The poll found that she has a low 21 percent favorability rating, that just 11 percent believe she has their best interests in mind, and that only 13 percent would vote to reelect her. Among the other key findings were: 51 percent have an unfavorable view of AOC and 33 percent are ready to vote against her.

To be fair, one may argue that the SAOCP poll questions could have been phrased more neutrally. The last inquiry on the list  —“Do you pledge to oppose AOC in our next election?”— was kinda “leading the witness.” Still, the extremely lopsided results are highly indicative that AOC is not the lovable populist that she tries to brand herself as, at least in her own district. Consider: If Cortez was in fact embodying this role for her constituents, a questionnaire that was more or less straightforward could not have produced such negative results.

It was rather appropriate that the SAOCP poll was released at around the same time that Ocasio-Cortez herself released one of her signature social media videos, a piece of content that sheds tremendous light on the freshman lawmaker’s lack of popularity. Earlier this week, AOC filmed herself in a short monologue in which she compared the holding facilities at the U.S.-Mexico border to concentration camps. “That is exactly what they are. They are concentration camps,” Cortez said of migrant holding facilities during a Q&A live-streamed on Instagram. “The fact that concentration camps are now an institutionalized practice in the Home of the Free is extraordinarily disturbing and we need to do something about it.”

Aside from the glaring insult to victims of actual concentration camps this equation puts forth, AOC’s statement is quite telling about a brand of politics that is unfortunately rather rampant today. To our chagrin, neither side of the aisle is immune.

Fringe politicians often fail because in order to deliver their message, they have to jettison all authenticity and intellectual honesty. True, AOC’s popularity in Queens (or lack thereof) and her views on immigration may not be connected conceptually. The main reason people in New York are upset with Ocasio-Cortez seems to be due to her role in nixing a lucrative Amazon deal several months ago. The two are, however, connected in, let’s say…a philosophical way. Someone who is able to compare an American border facility to a concentration camp is fundamentally unhinged from reality, at least as far as their politics go. This will produce courses of action that are not, and cannot be, commensurate with the well being of the citizenry.

The opinions expressed here by contributors are their own and are not the view of OpsLens which seeks to provide a platform for experience-driven commentary on today's trending headlines in the U.S. and around the world. Have a different opinion or something more to add on this topic? Contact us for guidelines on submitting your own experience-driven commentary.
Samuel Siskind

Samuel Siskind studied intelligence research at the American Military University in West Virginia. He served as a squad commander in the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) Corp of Combat Engineers, in the Corps' ground battalions and later in its Intelligence Wing at regional and divisional stations. For the past five years, Samuel has worked as a consultant and researcher on physical and information security issues for private and governmental institutions, in the US, Africa, India, and Israel. He currently lives in Jerusalem.

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