Article by Guest Editor Alexandra Shiels“Her policies are so far from the mainstream, her election in November would make it harder for Congress to stop fighting and start fixing problems.”
“Meteors fizz out.”
“If we as a Democratic Party are going to move from a minority at every level that is dedicated to resistance, to a majority that is capable of governing, we have got to move from grievance to optimism…and we’ve got to abandon a politics of anxiety that is characterized by wild-eyed proposals and instead deliver ideas and practical solutions.”
These cutting remarks aimed at Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez (quoted from Joe Liberman, Alcee Hastings, and Chris Coons, respectively) aren’t being slung from Republicans, but from her fellow Democrats.
Ocasio-Cortez historic win, combined with her youth and outspokenness should galvanize the Democratic party or at the very least, not be met with this kind of insider sniping. Ocasio’s bio is the stuff of American dreams. She was born in the Bronx and still lives there in a modest one-bedroom. She comes from a Puerto Rican family who sacrificed everything for their daughter’s education.
And she produced a soulful, viral campaign video which led to her Democratic primary win in New York’s 14th congressional district in June 2018. This win showed us that voters (not just liberal ones) are ready for politicians who don’t just speak in stale talking points who never had to work a job in retail or the service industry (like Ocasio-Cortez). Her working-class background combined with her fear in calling out corporatism is what we need if we want our party to represent (and perceived as) champions of the working class again.
Her platform is in-line with what many of us believed in: single-payer health care, equal rights for women, POC, gay, and trans people, justice system, immigration, and campaign finance reform. She’s even pushing for a New Green Deal to combat climate change.
Ocasio-Ortiz has electrified the Democratic party. Like her or not, she’s pushing out ideas and a platform that mainstream Democrats are too afraid or unwilling to vocal about. By pushing our party out of its complacency, she’s doing her job. If we consider ourselves the party of progress, we must be less resistant to those who challenge us to change.