Political allies can come in surprising forms.
That’s the lesson Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) shared Friday night when she told a story on Twitter about an earlier encounter with two of her supporters.
She was walking out of her office, she said, when she encountered a man who she believed was with his teenage son. They left a sign of their support on her wall, as her supporters often do. But the message came as a shock.
“Trump supporters for Ocasio-Cortez,” it said:
About an hour ago, I was walking out of my office for the day.
There was a man what I believe was his teenage son hanging a small sign they made outside my office (we let people leave well wishes on our wall).
Astonishingly, his sign read: “Trump supporters for Ocasio-Cortez.” pic.twitter.com/IjVKbvetEI
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) May 10, 2019
She said she was “astonished.”
“We shook hands, he introduced himself, and told me he wanted to show his support,” she wrote.
Then, she explained, she asked the obvious question: “With all respect sir, how do you… manage to support both of us at the same time?”
“I’ve been saying for years that climate change is our most important crisis. You’re one of the only ones who‘s been willing to be decisive on it,” he said, according to her tweets. “I like you. I can tell that you are genuine and fighting for us. You’re real and you get it.”
Her tweet thread concluded: “I thanked him and his family from the bottom of my heart.”
To be honest, my first reaction to the thread was cynicism. Rather than genuine support, this seemed like the sign of a person who is a fan of personality-driven politics and, for whatever reason, he found both Trump and Ocasio-Cortez appealing.
But the point about climate change makes a difference in the story. It’s entirely coherent to support many of the things the Republican Party and Trump stand for while also believing climate change is a pressing issue. All things considered, then, you might feel compelled to support Trump for president — despite disagreeing with him on climate change — but also supporting Ocasio-Cortez and her allies while they fight for real action on issue.
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