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A dastardly personal attack

I thought it was a photoshop prank when I first read Matt Walsh’s tweet, but this does appear to be a genuine Independent headline: “Rightwing blogger launches gofundme for AOC’s Puerto Rico grandmother in latest personal attack”

In an attempt to shame Ms Ocasio-Cortez, Mr Walsh then started a gofundme to raise money for the congresswoman’s grandmother’s home repairs, paying just under $500 into the fundraiser himself.

Ben Shaprio, another conservative commenter who regularly attacks the congresswoman, also donated $499 and called on other conservative media personalities to do the same.

The fundraiser’s goal of just under $50,000 was met and exceeded by Friday afternoon, currently sitting at just under $60,000.

“Hi @AOC, we are raising money to help your abuela. It’s been inspiring to see the response so far. Can you send me a DM so that I can get the necessary information to ensure that this money makes it to your grandmother? Thank you!” he wrote on Twitter.

So long as the money is transferred as promised, and is transferred without strings attached so that Ms Ocasio-Cortez’s grandmother can turn right round and give it to her granddaughter’s re-election campaign if she wants to, I felt that the Independent‘s description of this as an “attack” was… incomplete.

Just as a discussion point for the libertarian argufiers out there: in what circumstances would giving someone money, or giving their relatives money, actually violate the non-aggression principle?

27 comments to A dastardly personal attack

  • Only if the money was gained through aggression, such as mugging or taxation.

  • “Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head.” (Romans 12:20)

    I daresay Matt Walsh, Ben Shapiro hope for some coals-of-fire effect but their intent, like that of this verse, is to debate in a less confrontational manner – to give people who ignore rival arguments a positive reason to engage with them.

    The Independent is clearly resisting this invitation.

  • bobby b

    Handing a sack of gold coins to someone walking the plank?

  • William H. Stoddard

    If you don’t allow them to refuse it. Setting conditions for their acceptance isn’t aggression; if it were, every job offer would be aggression.

  • Dave R

    I wish I were personally attacked with $100,000. Please send those kind of personal attacks to [my home address]

  • Handing a sack of gold coins to someone walking the plank? (bobby b, June 5, 2021 at 8:35 pm)

    That is one answer to Natalie’s closing question (“in what circumstances would giving someone money actually violate the non-aggression principle?”) but I take it you are imagining the gold being not just handed to but tied to the pirates’ victim.

    It is said that captured Roman general Crassus died by the Parthians pouring melted gold into his mouth, to mock his notorious avarice.

    In Dorothy Sayer’s “Have His Carcase”, the murderers are unwittingly helped because the victim was carrying 300 gold sovereigns, so his tide-taken body does not float and only the chance it was seen before being washed away causes it to be dragged for.

  • Lee Moore

    Movie spoiler alert

    I would offer the ending of Charley Varrick, an excellent 1970s bank heist movie. The said Charley (Walter Matthau) a small time bank robber has – unbeknownst to him until it’s too late – robbed a small bank when it just happens to be hold a very large stack of mafia money. So Charley is pursued by a mafia hitman hired by the local mafia middle manager, Maynard Boyle.

    Charley’s plan is to fake his own death, and arrange for the deaths of Boyle and hitman, in circumstances in which it will look like all three of them died, and there will be some of the stolen money found burnt. So the mafia will assume that they’ve lost their money, but all of the loose ends will have been tidied up.

    Charley’s scheme involves framing Boyle so that the hitman will kill Boyle. This Charley does by calling Boyle and arranging a meet at a small desert airstrip, so that he can give the money back. But he also slyly arranges for the hitman to learn about the meeting.

    When Boyle shows up Charley hugs him like an old friend, leaps about laughing and shouts “we did it ! we did it !” Boyle has no idea what’s going on, but he finds out soon enough as the hitman – fooled by Charley’s trick into thinking Boyle is Charley’s accomplice, and must have set up the robbery for just the right time – emerges from hiding and kills Boyle. To be brutally honest, I can’t remember whether in amongst all the leaping about and laughing Charley actually thrusts money into Boyle’s pockets – but even if not, that’s what he’s doing figuratively. In substance, he’s stuffing Boyle’s pockets with money, to get him killed.

    Charley then tidies away the hitman elegantly and escapes presumed dead, with most of the money.

    He doesn’t apply any violence to Boyle. He just deliberately creates a misunderstanding in the mind of the hitman.

  • Lee Moore

    And another one – George Papadopoulos’s story about the $10,000 (which I am sorry to say I seriously doubt, as IMHO ol’ Georgie seems to be as much of a fantasist as Christopher Steele)

    In a nutshell, you (ie the Feds) give a chap $10,000 in cash outside the US, in the hope and expectation that he will fail to declare the cash on arrival in the US. So that you can then arrest him, for not declaring the $10,000, ha ha !

    Though in Georgie’s telling, the wicked plot failed because he didn’t bring the $10,000 to the US. But they arrested him anyway.

    But for practical purposes, George can stand for any case in which the cops frame you by planting money or valuables on you.

  • Dalben

    It’s a personal attack because it’s an insult, not because the money is harmful.

    The attack is, ‘Look, AOC can’t take care of her owm grandmother. Her ememies easily raised the money to help her grandmother, but sbe didn’t bother.”

  • bobby b

    Niall, I was thinking more of the monkey trap scenario. Like the monkey with a fist full of rice unwilling to let go, he can’t let go of the bag – it’s a sack of gold! – until it’s too late to come back up for air.

    The “force” component of the NAP is weak here, I know. But the offer one can’t refuse does otherwise fit the scenario.

  • bobby b

    June 6, 2021 at 2:15 am

    It’s a personal attack because it’s an insult, not because the money is harmful.

    In an era in which speech is violence, this works.

  • Stonyground

    Could it be that the problem for the Independent is that “right wingers” are evil, all of them, all of the time? Therefore everything that they do has to be evil by definition, even an obvious act of altruism.

  • Contrary to Dalben (June 6, 2021 at 2:15 am), and following on from bobby b’s reply (June 6, 2021 at 3:00 am) to Dalben, I present the following argument.

    AoC says the political principles of Matt Walsh, Ben Shapiro and other right-wingers are selfish (amongst many other things) and claims that hers are by contrast kind and charitable. She does not separate character from politics but says emphatically that they are vile people, and she is admirable.

    It is therefore very appropriate indeed for them to defend themselves against her accusation by raising money for a particular unselfish cause that (it would appear) AoC should have attended to herself, but did not.

  • Yes, it is a (rather artful) personal attack. So?

  • Nicholas (Unlicensed Joker) Gray

    How about if I collect $499 in lose change, in one bag, and throw it at her?

  • APL

    Dalben:”Look, AOC can’t take care of her owm grandmother. Her ememies easily raised the money to help her grandmother, but sbe didn’t bother.”

    You are wrong in one particular, it’s not AoC can’t, it’s that she hasn’t bothered to.

    Niall Kilartin: “It is therefore very appropriate indeed for them to defend themselves against her accusation by raising money for a particular unselfish cause..”

    They’ve still given money to their ideological enemies, not clever. They might just as well gone around the doorsteps canvassing for the Democrats. Assuming, the old paradyne where voter turnout mattered.

  • TDK

    Apparently she or AOC has refused the money, in which case, the money will be refunded to the original donors.

  • Kevin B

    Perhaps missing from the conversation so far is how we know about grannie’s leaky roof. AOC tweeted pics of it and moaned about how those wicked far right republicans had failed to pay for it to be fixed after a hurricane had damaged it.

    The response from the wicked far right was, ‘You’re rich. Why don’t you pay for it to be fixed.’ And when AOC demurred they passed the plate round to show how easy it is.

    Of course this dastardly attack had the effect of pointing up the difference between socialist and conservative ways of approaching a problem. And also showing which way works best.

    i.e if you wait for the government to solve your problems it will take a long time, they’ll do a bad job and it’ll cost a whole lot more.

  • Snorri Godhi

    Matt Walsh:

    Was it trolling? Was it a stunt? Was it charitable? Was it proving a point? Was it trying to solve a problem? Was it a sincere attempt to raise money for a cause? Was it mean? Was it nice? Was it hilarious?


    H/T The Blaze & Instapundit.

    Also, what W.H. Stoddard said.

  • Dr. Chaotica

    “They’ve still given money to their ideological enemies, not clever.”

    Seems pretty clever to me. AOC’s grandmother is not their enemy, and by attempting to help her, they have exposed AOC’s hypocrisy, while showing themselves to be kind and generous. That’s effective psychological warfare.

  • Paul Marks

    The “Independent” also left out a few other things.

    “AOC” used photographs of her grandmother’s poverty as a political ploy – blaming it on President Donald Trump.

    This is odd for several reasons.

    Firstly “AOC” supports the rigged election of November 2020 (the election fraud) – so, according to AOC, Donald John Trump is NOT the President of the United States – so how can he be to blame for the poverty of AOC’s grandmother (who lives in Puerto Rico – which is not even under the direct rule of the United States anyway – having had autonomy for many decades).

    Also vast amounts of American government money (taxpayer money – people in Puerto Rico do not pay American taxes) was sent to Puerto Rico after the natural disaster – this money was stolen by local political leftists (i.e. people like AOC herself – people with the same political position).

    Lastly – AOC is rich, why does it not occur to her to help her own grandmother?

    I suppose for the same reason that Barack Obama (a very very man) allowed close relatives to live in poverty.

    As for Puerto Rico – surely it is time for it to be given full independence? Why should it have any connection at all with the United States. Then AOC, and her followers, could go to the island that she loves – and the lady could stand for election.

    I wish such an independent country every success.

  • Nicholas (Unlicensed Joker) Gray

    What is a ‘very very man’? Perhaps you meant a very rich man?

  • APL

    “Niall Kilartin:”

    Apologies Niall, for careless spelling. My rather old Logitec keyboard seems to have something stuck under the ‘m’ key. And, I’m a lousy proof reader.

    Dr. Chaotica: “Seems pretty clever to me. AOC’s grandmother is not their enemy, and by attempting to help her, they have exposed AOC’s hypocrisy, while showing themselves to be kind and generous.”

    It seems pretty clever to me too, and it might be an effective strategy if your opponent had any principles or scruples.

    But hypocracy is a ruling tenet of Left wing ideology, so emphasizing their hyprocracy, confirms the preconceived ideas of Left leaning folk held by those on the Right, but it’s water off a ducks back for those already on the Left, they actually are shameless.

    For example:-

    Joe Biden, all women should be believed when scrutinizing the Presidents Supreme court nominee, sotto voce except when eight of the pesky blighters accuses him.

    Bill Clinton; “I did not have sexual relations with that woman”. Drawing the definition of sexual relations so narrowly around penis in vagina that it excludes penis in mouth. The man is a deviant sexual abuser and rapist, the Left are OK with that.

    It is a mistake to believe the ‘Left’ hold any principles or anything approaching a common standard as we on the Right understand it. But, it also goes some way to explains why the Left have advanced their cause over the 20th century and the Right have retreated.

  • APL (June 7, 2021 at 8:59 am), no problem over “Niall Kilartin” – we all make typos and you got the first name right (it is the one people more usually get wrong in spelling and/or pronunciation 🙂 ).

    While I agree with you that those committed to the left’s power project will not be embarrassed, Matt’s specific response to AoC’s anti-Republicans claim is the kind of thing that can influence distant fellow-travellers and those who merely overhear the debate, plus every such incident has the potential to be the “initial doubt that spirals out of control” for someone – and the gentleness and sideways nature of this approach means it could be for several.

  • Paul Marks

    Yes – I meant a very rich man. A very rich man, Barack Obama, who allowed close relatives to live in poverty – because he believes that individuals have no moral responsibilities, only GOVERNMENT has.

  • iowaan

    The money (more than $100,000) has been refused by someone in AOC’s family and will be returned to the donors.
    AOC has not commented.

  • John Mumaw

    File under the heading of “Republicans Pounce”.