New York Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said that the upcoming US Presidential elections are not “about a decision between two candidates,” but rather “a decision between two countries,” in an interview with Vanity Fair.
Speaking about her constituents, most of whom are Latinx, Asian and Black, Ocasio-Cortez said that if US President Donald Trump is elected, “I cannot honestly look [my constituents] in the eye and tell them that they will be safe.”
Ocasio-Cortez calls Trump the “racist visionary” whose vision is carried out by other Republican politicians.
Ocasio-Cortez doesn’t think that Trump’s presidency is an anomaly, and says that is significant change is not made in America, similar candidates will materialize. “You know how many Trumps there are in waiting?” Ocasio-Cortez asked while contemplating what will happen in the case that Nominee Joe Biden is elected and does not govern effectively.
When talking about the recent New York Times report of Trump’s taxes, Ocasio-Cortez expressed her anger at the fact that Trump reportedly paid only $750 a year in taxes.
“These are the same people saying that we can’t have tuition-free public colleges because there’s no money […] when these motherf*****s are only paying $750 a year in taxes.”
Even in the event of a Biden victory, Ocasio-Cortez thinks that Americans are “still in a lot of trouble,” and it is important that the lives of working class people improve under the next president.
Ocasio-Cortez spoke about the death threats and hate that she is faced with as she navigates her first term saying “there was a time where the volume of threats had gotten so high that I didn’t even know if I was going to live to my next term.”
Some of the threats seem to correspond to when Trump, who has called the congresswoman a “poor student” and a “wack job”, makes comments about Ocasio-Cortez, according to Vanity Fair.
When Trump speaks about Ocasio-Cortez, her office often receives emails, calls and voicemails all echoing what he says.
Ocasio-Cortez spoke about how her experiences with poverty and the health care systems that failed her make her a better representative of her constituents, whose experiences she can understand. Ocasio-Cortez says this experience “makes me better at my job than 90 percent of Republicans, because I’ve actually worked for a living.”
“The main reason why I feel comfortable saying that the ACA has failed is because it failed me and it failed everyone that I worked with in a restaurant,” said Ocasio-Cortez who had reportedly not been to see a doctor or dentist for years before becoming a congresswoman.
Ocasio-Cortez said she does not believe incremental change is enough and will offer the relief many Americans need.
She does not think that “bulls**t little 10 percent tax cuts,” are sufficient. “I think, honestly, a lot of my dissent within the Democratic Party comes from my lived experience. It’s not just that we can be better, it’s that we have to be better. We’re not good enough right now.”
The congresswoman also touched on the difficulties of being a young woman in Congress. “I’m sitting here, I’m like, Do I freeze my eggs? Can I afford to do that?” said Ocasio-Cortez.
“It’s legitimately hard being a first-generation woman…and being working class, trying to navigate a professional environment,” she said touching on the lack of experience she has with the nuance of looking like a congresswoman.
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