A common characteristic of the 2019 news cycle is that it is often difficult to distinguish reality from satire. The glitch in the matrix that is 2019 often blends the two together in a way often makes satire seem more real than reality while reality can seem totally unreal. Figures from both sides of the political spectrum are included in this phenomenon, but Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is one of the most prevalent players in today’s surreal news cycle.
Last week, AOC figured prominently is a story that claimed that
climate change alarmists thought it would be necessary to eat babies for
humanity to survive. The “baby-eater”
story turned out to be a hoax, but, not to be topped, AOC returns with a series
of tweets from her personal verified Twitter account in which she advocates “prison
On Monday, AOC tweeted that “mass incarceration” needed to
be replaced by “decarceration & [sic] prison abolition.”
Okay, you may think, we do incarcerate too many people in
this country. But what about the tens of thousands of violent criminals who would
go back to committing violent crime on us ordinary law-abiding citizens if they
Well, AOC has an answer to that, by which I mean that she does not actually
have an answer. “Our lawmaking process means we come to solutions together,”
she tweets, kicking the can down the road.
AOC’s non-solution is reminiscent of Will Rogers’ suggestion in World
War I that the ocean should be boiled to deter German U-boats. When asked how
this could be accomplished, Rogers replied, “I’m just the idea man.”
AOC is evidently just the idea person, leaving the
implementation and practical problems to others.
Allow me to make a suggestion on how to handle decarceration
and prison abolition. In the 1981 film, Escape From New York,
the entire island of Manhattan was converted into a maximum-security prison. While
the movie was considered science fiction at the time, maybe the idea of walling
off large areas and using them as free-range prisons has finally come. We can
quibble over what parts of the country would be best suited for conversion to
prisons, but I submit that New York City has the infrastructure and capacity to
house the nation’s criminals well into the coming decades.
The plan has something to make everyone happy. Conservatives
get to keep violent criminals off the streets (of other towns anyway). Liberals
get more humane conditions without cages. Average Americans get to not have
their streets flooded with drug dealers, rapists, and murderers. Maybe we could
even sweeten the pot by building a wall around the island of Manhattan for
added security. That would help win support from Keynesians and Donald Trump.
There really isn’t a strong argument against turning New York
into a prison. The city is past its prime and crumbling in many areas. The
Statue of Liberty would be outside the prison area and New York residents and
pizza makers could be transplanted to much nicer parts of the country (just NIMBY,
although I will take a New York pizza shop). We could even let AOC keep her old
I know I said before that AOC was a major player in the surreal
news cycle, but maybe she’s on to something here.