In a Comedy Central promo, Daily Show host Trevor Noah is shown lecturing Republicans about their opposition to socialism, claiming concerns over the radical left-wing ideology are “all in you mind.” During a recent interview with socialist New York congressional candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Noah dismissed the term as just a political “label.”
The promo began, with Noah proclaiming: “Many Republicans will say they hate socialism. But really, they hate labels.” He then imagined a conversation with a GOP voter:
“Do you think the government should bail out industries if they’ve been crippled by some crisis?” The people would be like, “Yeah, of course, of course.” And you’d be like, “Socialism is what that is.” “Well, I don’t like socialism.”
Noah concluded: “It’s all in your mind. It’s like you go like, ‘Wow, that person’s good looking,’ and he’s like, ‘That’s your cousin.’ ‘Aaagh.’”
Conducting a largely softball interview with Ocasio-Cortez on July 26, Noah hit upon the same theme: “When you look at the power of labels in politics, you understand how powerful a label can be, you know, that’s attached to your name or an idea. Do you ever consider taking ‘socialist’ out of your label?” He explained his thinking this way:
And I ask this as an argument that I saw, it was an interesting idea, where someone said millennials in this generation haven’t been indoctrinated in the same way against socialism as the older generation has....Those ideas, I think most people would agree on, especially if they don’t know the label that they are attached to, you know?
In other words, he was suggesting that the socialist candidate conceal her true ideology in order get elected and then implement her left-wing agenda.
To his credit, Noah did challenge Ocasio-Cortez with a substantive question about how she intended to pay for all of her big government plans:
But then, the pragmatic side of it comes in, as you said. How do you pay for these? You know, you always see people coming in with economic arguments, and they say, “Look, these numbers don’t really add up. You know, in order to get health care for everybody, this is what it would cost. That’s going to be troubling.” Even if you reverse the Republican tax deal, that’s only going to make up for 5% of what we need to pay for Medicare-for-all. You know, how do you pay for education-for-all, how do you pay for all these ideas?
Ocasio-Cortez struggled to answer. Perhaps Republican warnings against socialism aren’t all in the mind after all.