AOC's Fake Handcuffs Reveal Politicians Have Become Influencers—and Nothing More
Category: News & PoliticsVia: magicschoolbusdropout • 2 months ago • 77 comments
By: Angie Speaks
Every moment by the "LEFT" in Congress, is now a potential performance for "Applause" !
All "SHOW, NO GO" !
V ideo of Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ilhan Omar went viral on Tuesday which seemed to show the two Congresswomen pretending to be handcuffed as police escorted them away from a pro-abortion protest. Both Representatives were led away peacefully but seemed to be feigning being cuffed, walking with their hands clasped behind their backs, only to raise their fists defiantly a few moments later.
The Congresswomen were indeed arrested, per Capitol Police , alongside 14 other House Democrats , but there were no handcuffs. The arrest consisted of being led by police to a shady area and fined $50, though the dramatic antics and histrionics of the Congresswomen, their staff, and their media sycophants would have you believe that they were under serious duress.
Omar's team even seems to have "confirmed" to one reporter the falsehood that she was handcuffed, while media coverage of the event has so far been intentionally misleading, with photos of the Congresswoman from the front seeming to back up their acting as fact and portraying their actions as heroic, despite them being a clear media stunt.
It would all be quite astonishing—if it weren't quite so commonplace. Performative duress is now a common mode of operation for a new generation of politicians who have been shaped by social media and are armed and ready with the toolkit of the digital influencer. Moments like this serve as a reminder of how the advent of social media and the impact it has had on the attention economy is now enabling our politicians to reframe their political aims in emotional terms, recasting what should be politics as little more than careerist sentimental posturing.
The Congresswomen's antics perfectly encapsulate how the performative conventions of social media—with staples like virtue signaling and self victimization— are infecting the way our politicians conduct and aggrandize themselves in public. Every moment is now a potential performance to an imaginary audience, their hands willingly held behind their backs to perform for the cameras and their fists raised in the air to signal to their fans.
AOC's history of self-victimization, emotional appeals, and confessional style on Instagram are straight out of the influencer handbook and have worked to enhance her power, not only as a political figure but also as a fixture of the media cycle whose influence grows through controversial stunts and emotional exhibitionism.
AOC isn't a politician; she's a polinfluencer, adept at stirring the emotional current of the public using sentimental spectacle. This is precisely why this mode of operation is currently being enthusiastically embraced by those in power who are savvy enough to see its potential.
The collapse of the political into the emotional is great news for people like AOC. Unfortunately, turning constituents into adoring fans means you have little incentive to do anything for them in return but pose.