Aspiring progressive Democrat candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has rejected a debate offer from conservative commentator Ben Shapiro, even after he offered to donate $10,000 to her campaign or a charity of her choice. Ocasio-Cortez might be an unknown political name but at age of just 28 she defeated seven term incumbent Democratic Congressmen Joe Crowley in the Democratic primary for New York’s 14th congressional district.
Ocasio-Cortez is considered one of the rising stars of the new progressive anti-Trump movement, her primary victory was considered a major upset. She has been a community organiser and is a member of the Democratic Socialists of America. The Democratic National Committee chair Tom Perez described her as ‘the future of our party’. She supports the impeachment of President Trump and open borders, believing the US’ border protection agency the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) should be abolished.
Since her primary victory Ocasio-Cortez’s campaign received much mainstream media attention and hence scrunity. Ben Shapiro recognising this rise in her profile and that her ideas were going unchallenged put out the call on his Daily Wire show The Ben Shapiro Show for her to appear on his Sunday special show for an hour long discussion which he promised would be civil and interesting which included the $10,000 contribution offer.
Hey, @Ocasio2018, what do you say? pic.twitter.com/lKDtmMc8Us
— Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) August 8, 2018
Ocasio-Cortez had previously challenged her primary opponent to a debate, even approaching his office in campaign stunt.
My opponent seems to be avoiding a debate, and isn’t acknowledging me. It’s just the 2 of us.
So weekend I stopped by his office, said hello, & asked for a debate in person.
I am the 1st Congressional challenger in 14 years. The Bronx and Queens deserve to know their options. pic.twitter.com/RPVwXyn3Kc
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@Ocasio2018) May 17, 2018
However her response to Shapiro’s offer of a debate was to equivocate it with catcalling and an unsolicited advance from a man.
Just like catcalling, I don’t owe a response to unsolicited requests from men with bad intentions.
And also like catcalling, for some reason they feel entitled to one. pic.twitter.com/rsD17Oq9qe
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@Ocasio2018) August 10, 2018
Obviously realizing she would look cowardly avoiding a debate with a prominent conservative Ocasio-Cortez thought the best way to weasel out of Shapiro’s offer was to play the gender card and paint Shapiro as being motivated by misogyny. Shapiro would also have been likely to challenge her on her views on the Israeli-Palestine conflict as she has been a critic of the Israeli Defence Force and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s policies towards Palestine.
Shapiro throughout his media career has proved himself an effective debater with many of his speeches going viral online with the title ‘Ben Shapiro Destroys…’ hence going head to head with him is not for the political novice. His Daily Wire website is the fastest growing conservative news website.
The mid-term congressional elections are held on the first Tuesday this November. Democrats are confident they can capitalize on perceived anti-Trump sentiment in the United States and are selecting a number of far-left progressive candidates. Despite victories last November for the Democrats in New Jersey, Virginia, and Alabama this November will be the real test of where the politics of the United States is at. Like it or not to win Ocasio-Cortez and other aspiring Democrats will need to put their ideas to the test.