A month ago I watched Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez post a live video on Instagram explaining exactly what it felt like for her during the Capital riots on January 6th. It was a deeply brave and moving video, but I couldn’t fully appreciate it at the time. I was too busy imagining the backlash that would inevitably come.
When she started getting emotional, I knew conservatives would call her hysterical. When she mentioned being a sexual assault survivor, I knew they would accuse her of lying, of manipulatively using sexual assault as a shameless political tactic. I knew, watching her video, how conservatives would misrepresent her words, exaggerating her claims and then bashing her for exaggerating. I knew that her mention of sexual assault would be the big focus when mainstream news covered this, just as I knew these media organizations would completely fail to push back against the bad-faith conservative smears in any meaningful way.
I knew, as she gave this powerful, heartbreaking speech to her Instagram followers, that she was in for yet another round of vicious attacks from conservatives, along with the usual wave of smug dismissal from moderates and establishment liberals. I know that as a young, latina congresswoman who is upfront about her left-wing political beliefs and wears her heart on her sleeve, this country is going to try its hardest to eat her alive.
The exciting and scary thing about Ocasio-Cortez is that her career in politics is only just beginning. I hope she runs for a Senate seat the next time there’s an opening and runs for President sometime after that. Or maybe she’ll gradually grow enough influence within the party to eventually become Speaker of the House. She’s so young, by congressional standards, that she can spend the next twenty years padding up her resume before running for president and she’d still only be fifty years old. Imagine a candidate about as young as Obama in 2008, but with over fifteen years more congressional experience on her resume.
If the response in conservative circles is any indication, I’m not the only one who is picking up on this. Fox News has been obsessed with AOC since the…