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AOC Blames Trump for Now-Infamous Photos of Her Grandma's Disgraceful Living Conditions

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In the aftermath of a minor bit of hypocrisy regarding Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York allegedly parking her Tesla illegally outside of a Whole Foods within walking distance of her luxury apartment, podcaster Uzair Younus had a bit of fun with the idea of someone being persnickety about a democratic socialist getting a little bit of money and using it.

“Congresswoman @AOC earns $174,000 a year and uses her salary to buy a Tesla Model 3 and rents an apartment in a building where studios rent for $2,000 a month,” he said in a quote tweet on May 19.

“Oh my! What an absolutely insane scandal! #TeslaGate,” he added, followed by a short line of those generally insufferable contemptibly-laughing-at-your-stupidity emojis.

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I know Twitter is a time-sensitive platform and he who snoozeth loseth. However, when it comes to owning the conservatives regarding how AOC disposes of her wealth, if only Younus had waited exactly two weeks.

On Wednesday, Ocasio-Cortez took to Twitter to post pictures of her grandmother living in squalor back in Puerto Rico because Hurricane Maria damaged her house in 2017 and it hadn’t been repaired — in part, she claimed, because of the post-hurricane recovery package put together by then-President Donald Trump.

When those photos became infamous and many noted that maybe a well-remunerated member of Congress — with the Tesla, the apartment and the Whole Foods, mind you — could have sent her grandmother a little money, AOC countered that her grandmother was fine, that such criticism ignored cultural mores and diminished the fact Puerto Rico was still a “colony.”

In the original tweet, Ocasio-Cortez wrote, “Just over a week ago, my abuela fell ill. I went to Puerto Rico to see her- my 1st time in a year+ bc of COVID. This is her home. Hurricane María relief hasn’t arrived. Trump blocked relief $ for PR. People are being forced to flee ancestral homes, & developers are taking them.”

Included were pictures of a demolished ceiling, buckets on the floor and little furniture to be seen.

“We immediately got to work reaching out to community advocates and leaders and following the money,” Ocasio-Cortez said in a subsequent tweet.

Assuming she’s been down to see her grandmother since she’s been in Congress and no relief has yet arrived for a hurricane in 2017, maybe the time for Ocasio-Cortez to sic the hounds of accountability on the Trump administration wasn’t during the Biden administration.

But I digress, because the congresswoman said she found that “[w]hat’s happening to Puerto Ricans is systemic. Much of it can be traced to La Junta, aka the Wall Street-connected fiscal control board that the US gave power to over the island.”

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“In the aftermath of María, the Trump admin oversaw two key items: handing millions in public $ to unqualified donor pals (ex Whitefish). The other was to impose extremely difficult eligibility rules for Puerto Ricans, which allowed mass rejections of recovery fund applications.”

Ocasio-Cortez went on to call for audits and recovery money while assuring us her grandmother is “doing okay.”

“It’s not about us, but about what’s happening to Puerto Rican’s across the island,” she said.

Which is fine, but, uh — what about your grandmother? Conservatives talk frequently about personal responsibility and why a strong family should be a form of safety net. You may begin to see what we mean when the grandmother of one of the highest-profile legislators in the United States is living in hovel-like conditions and assumedly has been for some time, and said legislator’s reaction upon visiting is (so she makes it sound) to get “to work reaching out to community advocates and leaders and following the money” — but not before taking some pictures.

The Daily Wire’s Matt Walsh was but one of many conservative blue checkmarks who commented on this: “Shameful that you live in luxury while allowing your own grandmother to suffer in these squalid conditions,” he tweeted.

He’s the one who was used by AOC for her retort: “You don’t even have a concept for the role that 1st-gen, first-born daughters play in their families,” she wrote.

“My abuela is okay. But instead of only caring for mine & letting others suffer, I’m calling attention to the systemic injustices you seem totally fine w/ in having a US colony.”

Even if she had wished to explain that first line, it still belies a basic rule of humanity: If one of your family members is suffering and you have the resources to alleviate that suffering, you do it.

Even while letting slide the fact Ocasio-Cortez isn’t a “1st-gen” immigrant (which is what I assume she refers to; her family is from Puerto Rico, a part of the United States), you’re unlikely to win an argument that these cultural strictures can’t be broken in extreme cases like this, particularly when you’re unwilling to explain what those strictures even are.

Should AOC have helped her grandmother before tweeting about this?

And then that part about how, instead of “only caring for mine & letting others suffer, I’m calling attention to the systemic injustices you seem totally fine w/ in having a US colony” — is what she’s arguing that she’s willing to let her own grandmother live in squalor as an example?

That one won’t win many over, either, particularly when the reason the territory of Puerto Rico is referred to as a “colony” is that she and her fellow Democrats want it to have two senatorial votes.

This is, in other words, Ocasio-Cortez’s defense of not giving her grandmother the money to rebuild her home. This isn’t someone’s straw man, reductionist version of her defense. It’s the defense itself.

I’d have been more impressed if she said she didn’t give her grandmother the money because she needed the squalor for a photo op.

So, now that “#TeslaGate” is out of the way, any other thoughts on how AOC disposes of her income, Mr. Younus?

Did you know that The Western Journal now publishes some content in Spanish as well as English, for international audiences? Click here to read this article on The Western Journal en Español!

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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