I don’t much like Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. I find her inauthentic. And frankly, I find her very, very annoying. She talks progressive and votes mainstream. She claims victimhood, invariably. I’ve written several articles criticizing AOC, and I expect I’ll write several more. But I can’t get behind the implicit criticism in Fox News’s coverage of a former AOC staffer joining the Communist Party. It’s not news and I just don’t care.
Fox News making a big deal out of nothing
Fox News is gleefully reporting that Justine Medina, who worked for AOC’s 2020 campaign on a $35,000 per year salary, is now a senior official in the New York State Community Party.
“After working for the congresswoman, Medina was named “Co-chair of the New York Communist League” by the People’s World, a publication of the Communist Party,” Fox reported. “The publication now lists Medina as serving on the Executive Committee of the New York State Communist Party who is also active in the Amazon Labor Union at JFK8.”
While working for AOC, Medina was responsible for “organizing and writing policy language with Anti-War Veterans & the Peace Movement.”
Medina was openly communist when she worked for AOC, as demonstrated in an October 2020 tweet. “Haha, well, I *am* a Communist, but work for AOC & helped start Queens DSA’s Electoral WG, so I def see utility in working on the Dem ballot line! But yes we should run third party candidates where it makes sense! And IMPORTANTLY, channel ppl who join thru electoral elsewhere too.”
In another tweet, Medina said that communism was about “equality, democracy, peace, the advancement of workers, the oppressed and humanity in general.”
According to Fox, Medina “ominously added that the path to communism will be ‘unkind’ to those who ‘block progress.’”
Fox continued, explaining that communism “has been the driving force behind many political movements throughout the 20th century, killing upwards of 100 million people.” I’m not a communist and I agree that communist political movements have had devastating effects – but I think the argument Fox is using here could be applied to just about any common ideology.
Fox is grasping at straws
I understand what Fox is trying to do here: if an AOC campaign worker is openly communist, then maybe AOC is secretly communist (or at least sympathetic to communism); or, less sensationally, if a communist is comfortable working for AOC, then AOC must have policies that appeal to communists. Alright, noted, good to know.
Like I said, I just don’t care. AOC is not responsible for each and every campaign worker in her orbit. Neither is any elected official. Holding elected officials responsible for the worldviews of each of their employees is not very practical and is unlikely to yield meaningful insights into the worldview of the official. If you want to criticize AOC, you can take a look at her voting record. You can point out the way AOC votes on funding the war in Ukraine. If you want, you can criticize AOC for her shameless promotion of identity politics – even though she promised on the campaign not to promote identity politics because identity politics are inherently divisive.
There’s plenty to criticize AOC about. But Justine Medina’s current employment is not relevant, is it? I don’t know who Justine Medina is. Does AOC know who Justine Medina is? I doubt it. I think I’ve made my point. It doesn’t matter.
Harrison Kass is the Senior Editor at 19FortyFive. An attorney, pilot, guitarist, and minor pro hockey player, Harrison joined the US Air Force as a Pilot Trainee but was medically discharged. Harrison holds a BA from Lake Forest College, a JD from the University of Oregon, and an MA from New York University. Harrison listens to Dokken.