Billionaire Beach Villain Vinod Khosla has a thought concerning Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Vinod Khosla is a Silicon Valley venture capitalist who chose to define his legacy through a spectacular legal battle to block access to the public part of a beach area he owns in California.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) is the youngest woman ever elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, whose openly progressive positions (especially a proposal to tax rich people's incomes at 70% after the first $10,000,000 a year) have shocked conservatives into an all-consuming hysteria. Moreover, she's very good at Twitter.

Political analyst Anand Giridharadas remarked, this weekend, that the right's condescension and sneering at "AOC" threatened to expose its parochial instincts:

"If you think a freshman congresswoman who actually connects with people and actually understands new technology is the problem with America," Giridharadas wrote, "it may be that you are the problem with America."

Vinod Khosla, however, doubled down on the condescension.

"That is assuming she understands basic economics, actual humans and technology. I doubt if any of those are true."

This would be an unremarkable sentiment if its author had 22 followers and an 8-digit number in their Twitter handle. But in this case it's one of America's richest men. It's so wrong at each turn it only illustrates the hapless self-regard for which The New York Times mocked him as the "beach villain" this generation deserves—and an obvious proxy for the Valley's broader culture.

That is assuming she understands basic economics

Ocasio-Cortez holds a degree in Economics from Boston University and worked 18 hours a day to fend off a bank's attempt to foreclose on her family home. Khosla has a plan to 3D-print little houses for homeless people.

, actual humans

Ocasio-Cortez deposed the leader-in-waiting of the Democratic Party, was elected the youngest congresswoman in history, and instantly became America's second-most discussed politician. Khosla struggles to understand why blocking access to a popular public beach has made him unpopular.

, technology

Khosla is a successful tech investor, but his public endgame encompasses Twitter rants about the Times, defending his trade's record on sexual harassment, and saying mean things about women and "liberal bigots". AOC quotes Alan Moore to the men who say she should be reined in and crafts the laws that govern us. In this is a generational distiction – technology as a road, technology as abode. Who, here, lives with technology?

I doubt if any of those are true.

“Our doubts are traitors,
and make us lose the good we oft might win,
by fearing to attempt.”
— William Shakespeare, Measure for Measure

Photo: Shutterstock

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