In his 1945 book “Animal Farm,” author George Orwell wrote, “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.” The line was in reference to the powerful communist leaders of the Soviet Union, but is equally applicable to some current members of the U.S. Congress.
Case in point is Democratic New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the self-described socialist who ran for office on the promise of going to Washington D.C. to fight on behalf of the average working-class American.
The Washington Examiner noted that one of Ocasio-Cortez’s main campaign promises was to ensure that all Americans had access to “Safe, affordable, adequate housing” for everyone, a promise she most certainly reiterated and included in her recent pie-in-the-sky “Green New Deal” proposal.
Yet, that repeatedly expressed concern for a lack of affordable housing for many Americans is at odds with her own housing situation. The young congresswoman has reportedly moved into a new luxury apartment complex in D.C’s Navy Yard area that exclusively caters to powerful and wealthy residents.
Recall for a moment how Ocasio-Cortez complained after the 2018 election that she might be unable to afford a place to live in D.C. prior to her receiving her first portion of her $174,000 salary. Apparently, that concern is no longer an issue.
Indeed, the newly-built apartment complex in the Navy Yard area was specifically built to get around a D.C.-area mandate on providing affordable housing. The D.C. government was even sued in 2018 over claims that the construction and development in the Navy Yard area constituted “gentrification” that was driving out poor minorities in the area in favor of more affluent residents who could afford the high rents.
The Examiner noted that the apartment complex — which they have not named — has prominently boasted of its exclusivity and “luxury apartment living,” and is jam-packed with all sorts of amenities that the average working-class American can only dream about it.
According to Apartment List, tiny 440-square foot studio apartment rents for $1,840 per month, while a much larger three-bedroom apartment can run as much as $5,200 per month. For comparison, the average rent in the D.C. area for small one-bedroom apartments is $1,340, while the average two-bedroom apartment costs about $1,550 per month … meaning Ocasio-Cortez is living well above the means of the folks she claims to be fighting for.
Some of the luxurious accommodations offered by the complex include private saunas and massage rooms that feature hydro-therapy beds, a 25-meter indoor pool and rooftop infinity pool with a view of the Capitol, a massive community kitchen with wood-fired pizza oven, a fireside lounge with Steinway piano and even a special cycling studio with more than a dozen advanced (and quite pricey) Peloton workout bikes.
Ironically, the complex also boasts a state-of-the-art PGA-grade golf simulator of the sort that President Donald Trump recently installed in the White House. While Trump was savagely criticized over the simulator, what was left out of most of the criticism was that he used his own money to upgrade a golf simulator that his predecessor Obama installed at taxpayer expense.
Speaking of Trump, and with an eye toward his history as a real estate developer and businessman, Ocasio-Cortez has repeatedly criticized real estate developers in general. She claims that their buildings serve only to enrich themselves while driving up rent prices and pushing low-income, working-class residents out of the developed neighborhoods.
In March 2018, Ocasio-Cortez tweeted, “Skyrocketing cost of living is a national crisis that CAN be addressed. It’s not just an NYC issue – it’s happening in every US metro area. We need to kick luxury real estate lobbyists to the curb and defend working people’s way of life.”
Similarly, just a month later, she tweeted again about “skyrocketing” rents and increasing homelessness, and wrote, “It’s time we stand up to the luxury developer lobby. Every official is too scared to do it – except me.”
Except, it would appear that rather than confront the luxury real estate developers, she instead handed over cash and signed on the dotted line to rent an apartment from one, proving once again that she is duplicitous and hypocritical and falls into the “do as I say, not as I do” category of politician.
Were Ocasio-Cortez truly the champion of the working-class as she claims to be, devoted to the fight against luxury real estate developers and corporate interests, she would have found a cheap apartment in an affordable complex and would live alongside the working-class residents she claims to stand up for.
Alas, she has merely proven the eternal wisdom of Orwell’s quip that, yes indeed, some animals are more equal than others.