Michael Knowles wears a lot of hats. The 28 year old New York native is an actor, a political commentator, and an author; he’s also a very visible presence on social media, where he often takes aim at leftist ideologies. In recent months, Knowles has been in frequent spats with the Democratic Socialist politician Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Ocasio-Cortez has accused Knowles of “mansplaining” and of trying to “take away my Bronx.” Here’s what you need to know:
1. Knowles Said Ocasio-Cortez Lied About Her ‘Working Class’ Background & She Accused Him of ‘Mansplaining’ Her Childhood
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez appears to be a favorite target for conservatives; the Democratic Socialist has been the subject of satires and take-downs from a number of conservative commentators. She’s been accused of lying about her bank account, of wearing expensive clothes, and of not knowing basic facts about how the US government works.
Most recently, a number of commentators have piled on Ocasio Cortez for allegedly lying about her upbringing. Ocasio Cortez describes herself as being from the Bronx, one of the poorest counties in the United States. She talks about how her mother cleaned toilets and describes an impoverished childhood. But Ocasio Cortez’s critics say that in fact, she grew up in an affluent Westchester suburb and went to “excellent schools” before she started pretending that she had grown up in The Bronx.
Plenty of conservatives have been talking about Ocasio Cortez’s upbringing, but Knowles has been especially active on social media, trying to draw attention to the fact that she apparently changed her official biography after questions came up about where she went to school. After Knowles accused Ocasio-Cortez of lying about her upbringing, she snapped, “In which a Republican literally tries to mansplaining *my own childhood* and life to me. And in true mansplaining form, he’s doing it wrong with an great degree of confidence. It begs the question: is the GOP really “sending us their best?” She also accused her critics of “trying to take the Bronx away from me” and said that one of her critics was trying to “birther” her, an apparent reference to the rumors spread about Barack Obama being born outside of the US.
2. Knowles Says Ocasio Cortez is a ‘Shrewd Politician’ & the Right Shouldn’t Underestimate Her
In a recent interview with the Daily Wire, Michael Knowles talked about Ocasio-Cortez’s strengths as a political strategist. He acknowledged that some of what she’s said appears silly or laughable to many on the Right — but he cautioned his fellow conservatives not to dismiss her as a light-weight.
Knowles said, “She’s become a darling of the Democratic Party. She constantly attracts press to herself. She’s a fundraiser now for the party. She’s even been a threat to Nancy Pelosi. One of her first acts going to Congress was to go protest in Nancy Pelosi’s office. She’s a shrewd politician, and we’re all laughing at her. We shouldn’t underestimate this woman.”
3. Knowles Is a Practicing Catholic & Says Christianity Makes Him More Politically ‘Optimistic’
Knowles grew up a Catholic in New York City and then briefly lost his faith as a young man. He says that he rediscovered his faith as a student in Yale University, where he read GK Chesterton and CS Lewis, among others. Knowles also talks about the importance of religion in public life, where it can shape politicians’ morality and outlook. For himself, Knowles says that religion makes him a more optimistic man. In an interview with Those Catholic Men, Knowles said that he believes it’s important for all politicians to worship “the right God:”
“A society that worships money will be more materialistic; a society that worships sex will be more lecherous. A politician who ignores God is likely to become a narcissistic grotesque because a man wrapped up in himself makes a small package indeed. A politician who looks toward God may accomplish great and good things, but he must take care to worship the right one.”
4. Knowles Is the Author of a Mostly-Blank Book Called ‘Reasons to Vote for Democrats’
Knowles’ book, “Reasons to Vote for Democrats: A Comprehensive Guide” is available on Amazon, where it was one of the top-sellers in 2017. The book won the endorsement of President Trump, who called it “a grewt book for your reading enjoyment.” But there’s not much “reading enjoyment” in the book, which is a parody. Its 266 pages are almost all blank, apparently because the author doesn’t think there are any reasons to vote for Democrats. There are chapter headings like “Economics,” “Foreign Policy,” “Immigration,” and “Values.” But the pages after the headings are largely empty.
Here’s the description of the book, as shown on Amazon: “Read the book that President Donald Trump called “a great book for your reading enjoyment!” The most exhaustively researched and coherently argued Democrat Party apologia to date, Reasons to Vote for Democrats: A Comprehensive Guide is a political treatise sure to stand the test of time. A must-have addition to any political observer’s coffee table.
*** Lefty lawyers require that we state the book is mostly blank and contains precisely 1,235 words.”
5. Knowles Is an Actor Who Appeared in an Ad for Ted Cruz for President
Knowles lives in Los Angeles, where he works as an actor. He has a long list of credits in film, theater, and television. He also appeared in an ad for Ted Cruz’s presidential campaign; you can see that above. The ad featured a group of political strategists working for a blond woman, presumably a stand-in for Hillary Clinton. The strategists go through a list of problems with Donald Trump before finally concluding that the best candidate is not Hillary Clinton but Ted Cruz. “How can we stop him?” one of the aides asks. “I don’t think we can,” replies another.