AOC says Democrats don’t always have the cojones to fight for what’s right. And Republicans hate her because she’s a young and outspoken woman of color with social media star power.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) gave a candid assessment of her growing power inside the Democratic Party and her increasing role as a lightning rod in the national culture wars in a new interview with the New Yorker.
“I wish the Democratic Party had more stones,” AOC said. “I wish our party was capable of truly supporting bold leadership that can address root causes.”
The 32-year-old Bronx native said she’s everything that a Republican Party dominated by older white men loves to hate.
“There’s just some surface-level stuff…. I’m young, I’m a woman, I’m a woman of color,” she said. “I’m everything that they need. I’m the red meat for their base.”
AOC’s wide-ranging interview with New Yorker editor David Remnick went live on Monday.
The progressive firebrand mixed plainspoken observations about her role in American political culture to diplomatic understatements about potential clashes on the horizon with fellow Democrats and Republicans alike.
Ocasio-Cortez frankly admitted that her role as a political pop cultural figure can drive reactions to her from both the right and left.
For example, she admits that some on the progressive left cringed at her appearance at the 2021 Met Gala in a figure-hugging dress emblazoned with the slogan “Tax the Rich.”
But she insists that attention-grabbing stunts give her a stronger platform to fight for her base among working people.
“Sometimes you just need to give a little Bronx jeer to the rich and to the spectacle. You need to puncture the façade,” she said. “Sometimes you just need to have that moment.”
AOC has said she feels uncomfortable with some of her “creepy” older male colleagues like Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.), who posted an anime fantasy video depicting him killing her.
Ocasio-Cortez refused to take the bait when it comes to the futures of President Biden, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi or Democrats’ aging leadership team in Congress.
“I believe that, at the end of the day, there’s going to be a generational change in our leadership,” AOC said. “That is just a simple fact. Now, when that particular moment happens? I think it’s a larger question of conditions and circumstance.”
AOC also spoke frankly about how she balances her idealism — the “big, beautiful Nobel Prize-winning” stuff like fighting for action on climate change — with the in-the-trenches work of negotiating legislation and strategy with a Congress that is overwhelmingly older and more pragmatic.
“The day-to-day of my day job is frustrating. So is everyone else’s,” she said. “I ate s— when I was a waitress and a bartender, and I eat s— as a member of Congress. It’s called a job, you know?
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