Van Parys: A reader fact-check of Webber’s perspective of America’s future

The times, they are a changing.

It is a rare occurrence that I am rendered speechless, it is even more rare when I am rendered such by an op-ed.

Tanner Van Parys

I was presented with just such a situation when I came across Mr. Webber’s article in my local paper. In his article, Mr. Webber is openly flummoxed by the attention being received by the youngest woman ever elected to congress in our nation’s history.

For some reason he notes that she is ineligible to run for president, an irrelevant fact for a sitting member of the House of Representatives, but more than that he criticizes her wardrobe choice in the same sentence as he scrutinizes her personal wealth.

Now, I’m not sure if Mr. Webber has taken an 8th grade civics class, but if he were to review the curriculum, he would find that our lower, and most populous, governmental chamber is known as the people’s house.

Formed with the intent for the common person to run, win, and affect change for their constituencies. Exactly what Ms. Ocasio-Cortez has accomplished.

Thus far in his op-ed, Mr. Webber just seems merely taken aback by the proficiency with which Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, AOC, has conducted herself as a politician. As he and I surely agree, it is no easy feat to defeat a 10 term incumbent in the upper echelon’s of a major political party.

Where this op-ed takes a turn is when Mr. Webber invokes this nation’s home grown terrorist organization, the Ku Klux Klan, and charges that AOC and other democratic women, many of whom are women of color, resemble the KKK. Lest Mr. Webber forgets another lesson from his grade school civics class, the KKK was an organization developed by white men to preserve and conserve the “good ol’ days,” by the Conservative party at the time, the democrats.

The same party that has now elected more women to congress than at any point in its history, nominated and elected the first African American president, and is currently running the most diverse presidential primary field in the history of our nation.

His invocation of such a charged epithet should be directed to the ideological owners of the KKK, the conservatives of the late 19th century, and not the progressive party of today.

Additionally, Mr. Webber weirdly insinuates less than cordial the intentions behind Senator Marky (D-OR), and AOC teaming up to introduce Roosevelt style legislation to mobilize the nation into a set of programs meant to jumpstart the economy, preserve our air and water, and transform our energy infrastructure while, at the same time, guaranteeing a job for each and every person who wishes to pull themselves up by their bootstraps.

Mr. Webber goes as far to call this a “socialist manifesto,” another troubling sign that Mr. Webber must have missed a vast majority of that eighth grade civics class I keep talking about, because if he hadn’t he would know what socialism is, and be able to recognize that this is, clearly, not socialism.

Yet another claim Mr. Webber makes is his pronouncement that climate change is not only not happening, but that science also posits that it is such. Now, Mr. Webber, I am not a scientist, but I’ll eat my left foot before I allow anyone to get away with such a clear and blatant lie that science does not conclude that climate change is not only real, but humans are contributing to it in a significant way, and we have only the next decade to fix it, before we face crisis’ the likes of which we have never seen. (Also, unlike Mr. Webber, I have sources to support my claims, as they are fact, for further reading, please reference the findings of scientists from the United Nation’s)

Mr. Webber goes on to, incorrectly, state that the plan would eliminate cars, boats, and planes; a conclusion not only found literally no where in the legislation, but neither is it found in any realm of reality. He comments that the bill aims to stop cattle from farting, and that it will turn farms into “communes.”

Further proving his lack of fluency on this subject, Mr. Webber acknowledges that he has no idea how climate change could affect people from the disabled, minority, and low-income communities. The connections to which are easily found, and researchable, if only one exercises a bit of proactive thought.

Mr. Webber says of lot of things in this op-ed, most of which are the by-product of a lazy thought process and sheer will power to remain uneducated about the topics on which he is speaking. One thing about him, has been made clear to me by reading his nonsensical musings; Change can be frightening.

I have no doubt in my mind that Mr. Webber has genuine concerns for the nation, he and I are fellow Arizonans and fellow Americans. We simply are from two different times.

He is a man, mature in his years, having lived a life full of stories and experiences, likely, he is enjoying retirement and realistically has two or three decades to do it, and I hope your cup runneth over in the spoils of a long life.

I am a man, merely 23; by the time I have children and they have graduated high school, Mr. Webber will be gone, and my children and I will be facing a world where New Orleans will not exist due to rising sea levels. Mass extinctions of mammalian, aquatic, and insectile life are occurring as I type this, the consequences of which are dire for everyone who lives on this planet, again, a claim you can easily research in scientific journals and see that I have evidence and the scientific community to back me up.

Change is scary, but we needn’t stick our heads in the mud and make accusations based on what sounds scary but is demonstrably untrue, because those actions do not address the issue.

The movement of anti-intellectualism, and demonization of those who think different from us will be a not insignificant part of the undoing of this nation we all love. We must work together, for the good of our neighbors, our children, and their children after them, to ensure that each generation is better than the last.

Mr. Webber is a prime example of how the generation before my own, has failed spectacularly in that endeavor, and how it demonizes new leaders in their pursuit to fix it.

Mr. Webber, I merely wrote this to fact check your own op-ed, and provide context for those who saw it and were as alarmed as I was by how divorced from reality the claims in it are. While, clearly, you and I don’t agree politically I hope we both can take pride in the common bond we share as Americans, and that you understand I simply want to do what I feel is right and responsible, just as you do.

Editor’s Note: Tanner Van Perys is a Scottsdale resident.

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