When it comes to discussing left-wing politics, conservatives never hesitate before jumping straight to absurd hyperbole. Every reasonable proposal to help improve ordinary people’s lives and raise their standard of living to that enjoyed by the rest of the developed world is immediately condemned by right-wingers an attempt to install Stalinism and will immediately turn the United States into a wasteland of empty stores and breadlines.
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) attempted to mock democratic socialists Bernie Sanders and Rashida Tlaib for holding a media appearance at a food pantry, with the camera revealing empty shelves behind him. Without a second thought, the insufferable and remarkably uncreative Texas Senator immediately took to Twitter to go AHA! See! Empty shelves for socialism!
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) October 29, 2019
Of course, his “argument” about the wonders of capitalism was contradicted by the picture itself. Sanders and Tlaib were at a food pantry in the city of Detroit, which was very much in the capitalist United States the last time we checked.
Artificial scarcity of food is a feature, not a bug, of modern capitalism, and is the reason that food pantries exist at all. Thanks to Republicans like Ted Cruz and the complicity of right-wing “Democrats,” wages in America have remained stagnant for decades while the cost of living soars. Almost half of all Americans can’t afford to pay for basic needs like food and shelter. 13 million American kids live in food-insecure households.
While Ted Cruz loves to tout the wonders of capitalism and brags about how people can’t eat under socialism, the reality is that 23.5 million Americans live in “food deserts,” which are areas where you literally cannot buy fresh fruits and vegetables because grocery stores are more than ten miles away.
There is no reason that should be the case in one of the world’s richest countries. But it’s not profitable for grocery stores to provide fresh food to low-income people, and so in Ted Cruz’s America, poor people don’t deserve and don’t get a healthy diet. Progressives like Sen. Bernie Sanders and Rep. Rashida Tlaib believe there’s something fundamentally wrong with that, which is why Sanders is running for president.
To see a supposed “Christian” like Ted Cruz mock them for it is just beyond despicable.
Social media immediately erupted in outrage over the right-wing extremist’s poorly considered attack:
Bernie Sanders and Rashida Tlaib giving you a preview of socialism by showing you *looks down at notes* an empty food bank shelf that exists under a capitalism worshiping Republican administration
— joe biden (zombie) (@knight69420) October 29, 2019
a food pantry is a place specifically designed to address the failure of capitalism to feed people
— abolish ICE, save glaciers (@very___cool) October 30, 2019
Colin Taylor is the editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.