Like it or not, fundraising is something every political figure needs to do in order to best serve their constituents. Most opt for a combination of methods like canvasing for donors, fundraising dinners, and selling merchandise.
Like many, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has an online shop attached to her website. Recently, she came under fire for the price of a long-sleeved crewneck sweatshirt that says "Tax The Rich" across the front.
Conservatives found the price, originally $65 but reduced to $58, ridiculous.
So much so that some even defended the idea of sweatshops.
@AOC $65 to buy a sweatshirt that says "Tax the Rich" is this satire ?— NonVoting Felon 🐬💤 (@NonVoting Felon 🐬💤)1606948736.0
@FoxNews She could care less. These people have no shame, no ability to feel embarrassment.— Tricky_Rick (@Tricky_Rick)1607021299.0
@AOC I don’t know. I might feel like a huge hypocrite walking around in a $58 sweatshirt that says “Tax the Rich.”… https://t.co/e2IplBSA45— Amy 🦜 (@Amy 🦜)1607008830.0
@AOC Good. Let the poor in Bangladesh starve. We need the money more here.— Adam Locke (@Adam Locke)1606949108.0
@michmarquezz @AdamLocke76 @AOC Well I’d say that working for a few cents a day beats no job at all. I’m not a fan… https://t.co/70iak6Eehk— 9/12 Party (@9/12 Party)1606994250.0
Their critiques didn't exactly go over well.
Hypocrisy was high on the list of reasons people found the criticism laughable. Outlet Pink News outlined one example in an article about the subject.
They explained that conservatives criticized the price:
"...despite Fox News selling a $23.20 "Proud American Hat" that bears the American flag on it. Although, it has five rows of five stars and four rows of four stars - totaling 41 stars."
Incorrectly made American Flag hats that normally would have failed basic quality control inspections aren't the only things conservatives are fine selling at high prices.
The Trump Store got brought up more than a few times.
@SaraCarterDC @AOC @TheBabylonBee Sara, just stop. https://t.co/KPDEEEDiAN https://t.co/YhzQm21gAU— Mary Murphy (@Mary Murphy)1607004627.0
@LisaMarieBoothe You're right, anyone charging more than that is a crook. https://t.co/K7zi29NRE8— Becca (@Becca)1607009703.0
@SaraCarterDC @AOC @TheBabylonBee Trump charges the same and his aren’t made in USA so there’s that https://t.co/c1BryVtKC0— achooo (@achooo)1607017126.0
elegirl04 / Twitter
Far more important, however, was the reason the shirt was priced that way to begin with. AOC explained why when she originally posted about the items:
As always, made in the US with dignified, union jobs paying living wages ✨— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez)1606949010.0
Many conservative outlets opted to leave that information out of their coverage of the issue - so people reminded them and brought up some related points worth discussing.
@SaraCarterDC @AOC @TheBabylonBee The apparel is around the same price as Trump's, but they're made in the USA and… https://t.co/SrAwcD66dr— The New Musician (@The New Musician)1607013824.0
the tax the rich sweatshirt...ppl are like not ready for the reality that fair wages for garments (& sustainability… https://t.co/OCxIkfsaBc— #3 sisterwife but #1 in his heart (@#3 sisterwife but #1 in his heart)1607025200.0
I want one of the AOC’s tax the rich sweatshirts. 58 dollars for a Unionized American sweatshirt isn’t expensive JF… https://t.co/xx0ufzhXNm— Jacqueline🌹🏳️🌈 🇫🇷🇺🇸 (@Jacqueline🌹🏳️🌈 🇫🇷🇺🇸)1607222165.0
the way conservatives are getting on aoc for having a $58 US union made sweatshirt that says “tax the rich” is so funny— zoë ❆ (@zoë ❆)1607271225.0
TY, @AOC. These hypocrites want to claim they’re “patriots”, but only as long as it doesn’t cost them. Yeah, I… https://t.co/yqHZa7CzVG— @MartiniDude (@@MartiniDude)1607291576.0
Everyone: @AOC is selling a "tax the rich" sweatshirt for $58! That's way too expensive. Me, a former mass market… https://t.co/3YrvUxIUoR— Stephen Punwasi (@Stephen Punwasi)1607007858.0
AOC herself eventually responded to the complaints. She did so with her trademark combination of intellect and humor.
First she educated:
Republicans are freaking out bc we don’t use slave-wage labor for merch that funds grassroots organizing. But what… https://t.co/99BdNA9Cyp— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez)1607014877.0
And then took a witty jab.
The first line of the product description now reads "as complained about on Fox News."
I wasn’t gonna buy @AOC’s Tax the Rich sweatshirt until I saw the first line of the product description https://t.co/hStvSK9YK9— 🎄ndrew (@🎄ndrew)1607089240.0
The pre-order on this shirt and most of the fundraising items in her shop are already sold out.