Meghan McCain has a jealousy problem. Sadly, it is turning her into one of those mean girls we all left behind back in junior high. It’s painful to watch McCain who vacillates between being the “jealous mean girl” and the “we are all better than our pettiness” that was her father’s best trait. For all her political acumen and legacy, Meghan is losing the battle to a woman who is far better suited to John McCain’s legacy than his own daughter is.
That woman, of course, is the source of all of Meghan McCain’s ire of late: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Meghan insists, almost daily, that her problem with AOC is that she is a “radical progressive”. Meghan claims that it’s not Alexandria that she has a problem with, it’s her politics. Yet, Meghan McCain lacks any credibility when she tries that tatic. It’s the old “Me thinks thou dost protest too much.”
Here are some of AOC’s ideas:
- Universal health care. AOC
- The Senate record will show that John McCain supported that.
- College Tuition for all. AOC
- When he was running for president, John McCain wanted to make financial aid more streamlined, easier to access. He felt that many people didn’t avail themselves to monies for college because the process was too onerous. So, yeah, John McCain was in favor of helping students have access to federal monies for college. That sure sounds progressive, but I don’t know if it fits Meghan McCain’s idea of “radical.”
- Gun control might be the primary issue where Meghan McCain takes issue with AOC. As she makes clear almost daily from her perch on the The View, Meghan is a gun-owner. She is an outspoken member of the far-right militant NRA. (To borrow some of Meghan’s own inflammatory rhetoric.)
- AOC believes a country, in which mass murders are not an uncommon occurrence, needs tougher gun laws. Meghan McCain is militant about the 2nd Amendment, which btw never ensured anyone’s right to own AR-15s. That’s simply a far-right militlant’s interpretation of the 2nd Amendment.
Like most mean girls, Meghan McCain never misses an opportunity to take a swipe at AOC. When Ocasio-Cortez won the seat that landed her in Congress, Meghan McCain launched into a typical mean girl rant on The View, declaring that AOC was trying to bring socialism to America. Calling the Congressional freshman a “Democratic Socialist” is Meghan’s attempt at slut-shaming Ocasio-Cortez. The goal is to make others not like the girl she doesn’t like. It is the equivalent of the blonde cheerleader trying to make all the other cheerleaders not like the new girl with brown skin.
I’m not the only one who has observed Meghan’s mean girl tendencies toward Ocasio-Cortez. Consider how The Guardian summed up one of Meghan’s rants about AOC:
“It took McCain, whose parents are worth more than $200m, a fortune that is largely inherited, 20 seconds to bring up Venezuela as an example of why socialism is bad and capitalism is good. To bolster her argument, she quoted Margaret Thatcher, saying: “At a certain point, you run out of spending other people’s money.” McCain, who has benefited from unearned wealth all her life, concluded her rant by stating: “It’s petrifying to me that [socialism] is being normalised! Some of us do not want socialism normalised in this country.”
Reduced to it’s primary number, this is simple “us” and “them” rhetoric. The cheerleader’s call that you are either on her team or the other team, which is it? In the best mean girl fashion, Meghan is suggesting that AOC can’t be a real patriot because real patriots don’t believe in getting free handouts like Universal healthcare and affordable higher education. The irony that this particular paradigm is lost on no one. Meghan hasn’t had one day’s worry about money her entire life. She doesn’t need universal healthcare. She didn’t need financial help with college tuition.
Mean girl syndrome is a real thing. We only have to look to the National Women’s March to see how serious it is. Women have been acculturated in this society to be jealous of one another, to tear each other down, to find a way to one-up the other. It begins early in a young girl’s life. As the mother of three girls, I worked hard at trying to teach my girls to be each other’s biggest cheerleader. I wanted them to understand what it meant to be a sister. Not just to each other, but to other women. I wanted to build a bond of solidarity.
I’ve been fortunate throughout my life to have lifelong girlfriends. I cherish those relationships. I want every girl to know what it means to belong, to be supported, to be cheered forward, to have a host of people in their lives who want nothing but the best for them. I love it when women who come from very different backgrounds and values find a way to cheer on others.
I wish that instead of berating Ocasio-Cortez, Meghan McCain would invite her out for meal. I wish these two intelligent young women would share a bottle of wine together. I wish they would talk about authors they love, books they’ve read, women who have inspired them. I wish they would talk about their families, their husbands, their mothers. I wish they would go on a long hike together, maybe even go trap shooting together.
But in order for that to happen, Meghan needs to channel some of her father’s bipartisanship. She needs to turn away from her mean girl tendencies, put aside her petty jealousies, and realize that Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is the same firebrand that John McCain once was.
In reality, Ocasio-Cortez may very well end up embodying the spirit of John McCain better than anyone else in Congress.
You’d think that would be something Meghan McCain could cheer about.
Karen Spears Zacharias is author of After the Flag Has Been Folded, (HarperCollins).