To listen to American progressives discuss in 2021 is to picture the Democratic party as Luke Skywalker battling the mind-boggling force of the Death Star.

Inspite of liberals dominating American tradition in the media, amusement, paperwork and training (as Shadi Hamid not too long ago pointed out in the Deseret Information), the David vs. Goliath narrative is so entrenched in their identity that it would be tricky for them to at any time certainly grapple with the truth of the position quo.

Which brings us to the strange saga of the Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez gown at the Fulfilled Gala.

The New York representative wore a costume emblazoned with the terms “Tax the Rich” to the most glamorous American cultural function. Ocasio-Cortez, possibly the savviest politician-influencer doing the job currently, certainly recognized the hypocrisy and probable calculated it for utmost coverage. And she did so with wonderful good results. (Right here I am still conversing about it.)

But probably unexpectedly she was fulfilled with backlash not just from conservatives, but also from numerous on the still left.

This criticism from the still left may occur as a surprise for some. Obtaining a New York City congressional consultant seem at a fundraiser for their community artwork museum is barely controversial. And sharing the concept “Tax the Rich” at an celebration with lots of of these exact same prosperous attendees could be framed as talking truth to electric power, which was the tact taken by a handful of progressive commentators.

Experienced the remaining been interested in defending Ocasio-Cortez’s gown, they undoubtedly had the ballast to do so. So why did not they? Mainly because the costume disclosed not hypocrisy (which was virtually the level) but the fragility at the heart of the progressive underdog narrative.

The purpose why Democrats have pushed back again versus the gown isn’t the hypocrisy per se, but due to the fact the stunt unveiled that there is in fact a humbug pulling the levers at the rear of the curtain, and that humbug is a Democrat.

Democrats can not moderately explain them selves as cultural outsiders when the political messages at the country’s premier cultural events are “Tax the Rich” and “Equal Legal rights for Ladies.” And just one just can’t argue this is a message to the rich and effective when these same leaders operate organizations toeing the progressive get together line.

No, this gown was most plainly a message from the abundant and potent, all way too satisfied to line up for photos with the capitalistically prudent advantage signaling on the dress.

The loaded want you to see them subsequent to a “Tax the Rich” billboard or gown for the reason that it’s superior for their manufacturer. But while it’s fantastic for the elite’s picture, it’s poison for the progressive narrative that they are freedom fighters locked out from an oppressive culture.

Ocasio-Cortez skilled her political ascendancy in a cultural atmosphere so naturally owned by progressives that maybe she skipped the cues that this was a single of the tranquil elements you weren’t intended to say out loud.

So as you test and have an understanding of the pushback she is obtaining from the remaining, just know it possible has very little to do with the obvious hypocrisy and a lot a lot more to do with undermining a main, but untrue, narrative at the coronary heart of progressive identification.

Christopher D. Cunningham is the controlling editor of General public Sq. Magazine.