The Democrats’ latest heroine might not be quite the early Christmas present they had hoped for as scandal after scandal engulfs the newly elected Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC). People are often judged according to those with whom they associate, and in the case of AOC’s Chief of Staff, Saikat Chakrabarti, the congresswoman-elect may well find herself destined for trouble.
Ask yourself a question: If President Donald Trump hired a person who openly shows support for a Nazi collaborator, how long would that staff member last? And perhaps more importantly, how tarnished would the president’s brand be?
This is the situation AOC may now find herself in. Haven’t read about it in the newspapers? Haven’t seen it on CNN? Let me enlighten you.
Saikat Chakrabarti is a highly motivated, smart guy. A Harvard grad, he founded a web tools company, Mockingbird. He is a founder of Justice Democrats, the PAC set up with The Young Turks’ Cenk Uygur, was instrumental in getting AOC elected, and is presently going through congressional training to learn how to become an effective chief of staff for the Dems’ golden girl.
Based on a recent clothing choice, Chakrabarti might justifiably be considered a Nazi sympathizer. But really? Well, yes. In his latest love-fest video for AOC, Chakrabarti is sporting a tee-shirt that features a portrait of Subhas Chandra Bose. Not familiar with this former Indian head of state? Here a few facts:
- Bose was an ally of Adolf Hitler and met with him personally in 1942.
- Bose founded the Free India Legion (FIL) made up of troops captured by Nazi Field Marshal Rommel’s Afrika Korps.
- The FIL swore an oath to Hitler and was under SS command.
- Bose teamed up with the Japanese in 1943.
- Bose was an admirer of the USSR and sought to implement its authoritarian practices in India.
You get the picture.
What to make of those people who wear of Che Guevara tee-shirts at LGBTQ rallies? The Argentine revolutionary once described homosexuals thusly: “A deviation of that nature clashes with the concept we have of what a militant communist should be.” Not to mention the fact that he set up Cuba’s first concentration camp, or that he thought of black folk as “those magnificent examples of the African race who have maintained their racial purity thanks to their lack of an affinity with bathing.”
Or the folks who espouse communist ideals while wearing Hammer and Sickle flags and talking about the greatness of Stalin’s Russia? Who calls them out on the fact that the Stalinist regime was directly responsible for torture, authoritarianism, and mass murder on a scale never before seen in human history?
Nonetheless, it would be wrong to accuse Chakrabarti of glorifying a fascist and a Nazi collaborator. And by the same token, it would be wrong to accuse AOC of keeping company with those who support Nazi collaborators.
Simply put, it is not for grown-ups to hound, humiliate, denigrate, and ruin the lives of those who make simple mistakes. It has, unfortunately, become almost par for the course to try and have people removed from their positions for either expressing an opinion, receiving the endorsement of an unsavory type, or even having one’s picture taken with the wrong person. And this is by far one of the most detrimental aspects of modern politics.
Live by the Sword
In such a charged and toxic political climate, it is almost impossible for an elected politician or celebrity (not that anyone really cares about celebrities) to not slip up in any way, shape or form. When they do, the left stands poised – ready to pounce.
Those on the right often ignore these types of errors – and this is a good thing. If both sides of the political divide were to descend into the helpless morass of name-calling and social media shaming, there would be not a soul left to govern the nation. For all its ills, America needs a steady hand at the helm, if only to ensure the lunatics aren’t the ones steering the ship.
Time to come full-circle. Remember the reference I made earlier to President Trump? How many of his political opponents could resist taking a shot at the head honcho if such a revelation landed in their laps? Sadly, the answer is too few. Shortly, there will be a new influx of congressmen and women to take the stage and carry the torch of liberty onwards. Will they perform any better, or will they disappoint as much as their predecessors?
Without giving too much credit to House and Senate Republicans, they have at least stayed clear of these levels of vitriol and faux outrage. With so many easy targets around, it is either sensible conduct or historical ignorance that has kept them from lashing out.