While Democratic Socialist Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has become a darling of the Left, feted in the media and soon in Hollywood, a true American hero, patriot, and conservative freshman lawmaker named Dan Crenshaw is her polar opposite.
The Texas conservative and former Navy SEAL with multiple combat tours has just begun his first term in Congress, the same as New York’s Ocasio-Cortez. And while she cultivates new socialists, he’s out to win converts to the Republican brand.
“Our biggest weakness is messaging, I think … Getting people excited, making conservatism cool again,” Crenshaw, who was wounded on his last tour and nearly lost both eyes, told the Washington Examiner.
“I love digging deep into policy, but then thinking a lot more strategically on how to message that to people my age, people who aren’t generally voting Republican. Somebody besides our base every once in a while,” Crenshaw noted.
“That’s what I think about all the time, and I think that’s where I’ll find my niche on any issues.”
In recent weeks he made an appearance on “Saturday Night Live” after he was insulted by cast member Pete Davidson who made a reference to an eye patch the former SEAL has to wear to cover a lost eye.
In a comedic appearance, the two discussed — lightly — political differences and both pledged to continue reaching out to all Americans, and Davidson apologized.
Since then, Crenshaw has tracked Ocasio-Cortez’s rise in popularity, questioning her policy ideals such as taxing top earners at 70 percent, providing free college, universal health care, and other schemes that he believes — rightly so — are simply unaffordable.
He’s even challenged her to debate her ideas. “I think the proper way to even address someone like Alexandria is to simply ask her the questions that you wish journalists would ask her,” Crenshaw said in an interview with Turning Point USA, a conservative activist group, at a Student Activism Summit in West Palm Beach, Fla., on Wednesday.
“When you’re throwing out such radical ideas, asking for a little bit of explanation is probably the best way to debate them because there is no explanation,” Crenshaw said. “These are not well thought out ideas. I don’t like being hyperbolic in my language, but they’re dangerous. They’re dangerous ideas.”
As for winning conservative converts, Crenshaw, 34, has been active on social media and tells the Washington Examiner he sees parallels with Ocasio-Cortez, 29, but not many.
“I think we both inherently understand how to reach people with wildly different views,” he said. “She’s also much more combative. I try not to be as combative. That’s about where the comparison ends. I don’t like being compared to her.”
He also tries to lead by example, as a good Navy officer would. In recent days he wrote to congressional paymasters to inform them he could not “in good conscience” accept a paycheck while part of the government is shut down and federal workers are not getting one.
I cannot in good conscience get paid while federal employees’ financial futures hang in the balance because of this partial government shutdown. I’ve asked the Chief Administrative Officer to withhold my pay until we have come to an agreement to adequately fund border security. pic.twitter.com/2g37vAAtx2
— Rep. Dan Crenshaw (@RepDanCrenshaw) January 10, 2019
He was criticized by another freshman Leftist many believe is anti-Semitic, Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), who accused him of “virtue signaling.” Interestingly, her close friend, Ocasio-Cortez, recommended the same thing as Crenshaw — but Omar didn’t accuse her.
Next time we have a gov shutdown, Congressional salaries should be furloughed as well.
It’s completely unacceptable that members of Congress can force a government shutdown on partisan lines & then have Congressional salaries exempt from that decision.
Have some integrity. https://t.co/BgueNNjf0f
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) December 22, 2018
Crenshaw has also impressed party leaders.
“I am big Crenshaw fan. [He has a] very good on head on his shoulders,” House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said recently, adding he’s in the political game “for all the right reasons.”
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