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*Deep Sigh.* Okay, Let’s Talk About Why “Eat the Babies” Is Trending.

It’s one of those days where you wake up, pull up Twitter, see “EatTheBabies” is trending, and know you’re going to spend the rest of the day wondering if it’s too early to start drinking/crying in public. You know, typical Friday stuff.

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Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was in her home district of Queens, New York for a town hall Thursday, when a woman claiming to be a supporter and constituent expressed her extreme concerns about climate change.

“I’m so happy that you are really supporting a Green New Deal, but it’s not enough,” she told the congresswoman. “Even if we were to bomb Russia, we still have too many people, too much pollution. So we have to get rid of the babies. That’s a big problem. Just stopping having babies is not enough. We need to eat the babies.”

She removed her jacket to reveal a t-shirt echoing this plan: “Save the Planet, Eat the Children,” it read.

The woman, as it turned out, was not a climate activist, nor did she (likely) believe in eating babies. She was a plant from the extreme, cult-like political movement based around the ideology of the late Lyndon LaRouche.

I remember seeing LaRouchies outside of my own college campus. They would hound students waiting for buses or at crosswalk stoplights. I never really understood what they stood for, which makes sense, because while they ostensibly started as a far-left group aiming for economic overhaul, over the years, they’ve morphed to the point where they’re now staunchly pro-Trump, pro-Putin, and pro-conspiracy theory.

It’s not clear what exactly the group’s goal was with this staged scene, but they got the rightwing headlines they probably wanted. Ocasio-Cortez listened calmly to the woman, presumably because the person appeared to have serious mental health issues. After the woman had been calmed down, AOC expertly redirected her comment to talk about the core issue, saying, “We need to treat the climate crisis with the urgency it does present.”

But according to the far-rightwing news, AOC’s refusal to denounce this obviously ridiculous idea means she’s open to the Swiftian concept of consuming children.

Even Donald Trump felt the need to chime in.

She fired back at that one, by the way.

Because AOC put out a statement asking people not to “mock or make a spectacle,” those same outlets are spinning it as her trying to hide something.

How hard is it see AOC’s response for what it was: an empathetic reaction to someone who appeared to be extremely troubled?

(image: screencap)

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Vivian Kane
Vivian Kane (she/her) is the Senior News Editor at The Mary Sue, where she's been writing about politics and entertainment (and all the ways in which the two overlap) since the dark days of late 2016. Born in San Francisco and radicalized in Los Angeles, she now lives in Kansas City, Missouri, where she gets to put her MFA to use covering the local theatre scene. She is the co-owner of The Pitch, Kansas City’s alt news and culture magazine, alongside her husband, Brock Wilbur, with whom she also shares many cats.

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