A new committee aiming to represent both Republicans and Democrats is taking a unique approach to Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's suggestion that supporters of President Donald Trump be documented, potentially to ruin their livelihood in the future.
"Is anyone archiving these Trump sycophants for when they try to downplay or deny their complicity in the future?" Ocasio-Cortez tweeted on Nov. 6. "I foresee decent probability of many deleted Tweets, writings, photos in the future."
Is anyone archiving these Trump sycophants for when they try to downplay or deny their complicity in the future? I foresee decent probability of many deleted Tweets, writings, photos in the future— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) November 6, 2020
The Emergency Committee for America started a campaign allowing the public to email Ocasio-Cortez with their name and the subject line "If you're making an enemies list, include me!" "Tell AOC that we don't do enemies lists in America!" reads the page containing the form. The body of the email reads, in part:
Last week you tweeted that a list should be made of people who supported President Trump so that they can be punished for their political views.
Your request could not be more dangerous.
In a democracy, we debate those who disagree with us. We don't demonize them. And we don't try to ruin their lives.
Like the overwhelming majority of Americans, I oppose enemies lists, cancel culture, and every effort to stifle free and open debate.
If you're coming after your political opponents, then put me on your list!
David Brog, Emergency Committee for America's chairman, explained to CNSNews that he was disturbed by the riots after the death of George Floyd, but suggested that the "silent majority" did not speak out for fear of what the mob could do to their families or jobs.
"We created the Emergency Committee for America to provide the silent majority with a vehicle to more easily speak out against the mob and the cancel culture," said Brog, who also serves as the executive director of the Maccabee Task Force. "We provide safety in numbers so that speaking out won't get anyone singled out or cancelled."
The chairman noted that while cancel culture has thrived on college campuses, he did not think it would come to public life so quickly.
"We now have a rising generation of progressive activists who want to defund the police, teach students a one-sided version of our history and cancel anyone who dares to dissent," he told CNSNews. "More importantly, these people are not a crazy fringe, rejected by all mainstream Democrats. They are the now the base of the party."
"Since Donald Trump came down that escalator, Americans seem to have lost their ability to disagree agreeably. Now if you disagree with someone, you're evil. And if you're evil, there is nothing that we can learn from you. This is how debate dies and hatred grows. We're all impoverished by it."
Brog, who also serves as president of the Edmund Burke Foundation, sent an email to Ocasio-Cortez's office with the template he has made available to the public.
Evyn, a help desk volunteer who did not provide her last name, told Brog that the volunteer team would forward his message to Ocasio-Cortez's staff, but also said:
To be clear, Alexandria's tweet did not mention creating a list, nor did it mention "punishing" anyone for their views.
Alexandria has always defended the right for Americans to have differing opinions and still respect each other -- that's what has made our nation great as we learn to discuss our differences and come up with solutions. Rather, Alexandria was asking voters to remain attentive to those politicians who will downplay their support of President Trump's brand of prejudice and demagoguery when it comes time for them to deal in more moderate terms with a Democratic President and electorate looking for progressive solutions to our systemic problems.
Brog responded on Wednesday morning, suggesting that while Ocasio-Cortez never explicitly called for creation of a list of Trump supporters or punishing them, that was the "overwhelming implication" of her tweet. The Emergency Committee for America chairman asked whether the congresswoman would disavow these tactics in another tweet, but neither Evyn nor any other Ocasio-Cortez representative replied to him and the congresswoman has issued no such tweet in time for press.
Rob Shimshock is the commentary editor at CNSNews.com. He has covered education, culture, media, technology, and politics for a variety of national outlets, hosted the Campus Unmasked YouTube show, and was named to The Washington Examiner's "30 Under 30" list. Shimshock graduated from the University of Virginia with a Bachelor of Arts in English and Media Studies.