Right-wing pundit Kurt Schlichter claims that progressive members of Congress like Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and so-called “socialists” who are campaigning for things like universal healthcare and the Green New Deal want to take away people’s cars and feed them “vegan nightmare food.”
In a video uploaded to YouTube yesterday by far-right Canadian outlet Rebel Media, Schlichter argues that if socialists are able to gain power, they will subject the public to a low quality of life while enjoying the best society has to offer. During that rant, Schlichter claimed that socialists want to take away people’s hamburgers and replace them with vegan food—a talking point percolating throughout the right; Ocasio-Cortez’s calls for the factory farming industry to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions have been misconstrued by right-wing figures from Schlichter to President Trump to falsely allege that she wants to deprive Americans of their sweet, sweet hamburgers.
“You know, when they talk about universal healthcare, the healthcare for you is going to be a long line at a doctor, seven-month wait to get somebody to look at your ingrown toenail. But for the socialists—the people in charge—their medical care will be just fine. There will be no expense spared,” Schlichter said.
He continued, “They will fly on jets. You will not. They will have cars. You won’t. They will eat hamburgers. You will eat some sort of vegan nightmare food.”
Schlichter joins a chorus of voices on the right seeking to employ red-baiting tactics to categorize popular policy proposals regarding healthcare and environmental protections (in addition to anything else that they dislike) as socialist, Marxist, or communist. This was made explicitly clear at this year’s Conservative Political Action Conference, where speakers railed against supposed “creeping socialism.” Former White House aide Sebastian Gorka went as far to assert that Joseph Stalin dreamt of taking hamburgers away from the public but could never achieve it.