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Conservatives try to rebrand Green New Deal as the next Fyre Fest

Rep. Mark Walker/Twitter

It features inaccurate, misleading information about the resolution.

Republicans today launched a new attack on the Green New Deal, in the form of a video parody of the Fyre Festival.

The video, named “The Green New Deal is on Fyre,” was tweeted out by Rep. Mark Walker (R-N.C.) this morning, who wrote, “After the success of the Fyre Festival, we bring you the Green New Deal. #GNDisFyre,” implying that the effort to combat climate change is a scam. 

The Green New Deal—introduced by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.)—is a series of aggressive proposals intended to fight and reverse the effects of climate change and environmental degradation, as well as reduce income inequality, enhance worker protections, and create millions of jobs. Believing it unpopular with voters, in spite of polling data to the contrary, Republicans have been eager to get Democrats on record supporting it. 

The 2017 Fyre Festival was promoted as a “luxury music festival,” but turned out to be a Lord of the Flies-esque nightmare for attendees harpooned on an island without adequate shelter or sustenance, never mind the promised hot models and A-list celebrities. Since then, it has become a cultural touchstone often compared to other epic fails.

The slick, professionally-produced parody begins with scenes of an island paradise with a male voiceover saying, “The actual experience exceeds all expectations and is something that’s hard to put to words.

Music plays as text on the screen welcomes the viewer to the Green New Deal, “a socialist utopia” that will “ban all airplanes,” and provide “paychecks for the unwilling to work.”

The chords turn more sinister as the video shows a young, attractive man in business dress swimming underwater. Text flashes by over more tropical scenes, clubbers partying, pretty girls laughing, and a couple of cows. Lines include: “Kill off all the cows,” “No more gas powered cars,” and “We’ll just print more money.”

It concludes, “The Green New Deal is paradise. Green New Deal. Trust us,” as the man from the prior scene crawls onto the shoreline and dies.

The actual Green New Deal, which is currently a non-binding resolution, does not include any of these mandates or goals. For example, rather than paychecks for the unemployed, it aspires to create jobs for people who are willing to work; it does not advocate killing livestock, instead seeking to work with farmers and ranchers to reduce greenhouse gas emissions “as much as is technologically feasible,” by “investing in sustainable farming and land use practices” and building a “more sustainable food system.”

The only line in the video that does seem to come from the resolution itself is a promise of “access to nature.”

Some were impressed by the parody, with one person tweeting in response, “George Orwell all over again, welcome to the new world of radical liberals.” But, by and large, most panned the video as inaccurate and misleading.

Unlike the Green New Deal, which enjoys broad bipartisan support, Walker’s push to make #GNDisFyre a thing has received all of two tweets endorsing the hashtag. 

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Claire Goforth

Claire Goforth

Claire Goforth is a Jacksonville, Florida-based journalist covering politics, culture, justice, and unicorns. Her work has appeared in publications ranging from regional alt-weeklies to Al Jazeera.