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"Don't hate me cause you ain't me, fellas." Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez-Cortez wrote on Twitter after another faux scandal erupted around her (more on that later). The freshmen representative from the Bronx is not an average politician and is shaking things up in a way that has upset a great deal of people that have been around longer and think they know better. There is an effort underway to get AOC, as she is known on Twitter, under control and to follow the protocol. Another goal may be to dull the influence that she has, but nothing has worked and hopefully, it never does.
In the span of one weekend, there were a half dozen think pieces written about AOC. Almost all of them contained some urgency that she needed to "settle down" and toe the Democratic party line, or else see her political future disappear faster than Trump's promise to unite the country. The writers of these pieces were breathless when they talked about how even bright stars burn out without oxygen. Apparently, the Democratic party is the oxygen in that metaphor.
What these people are missing is one important fact. AOC did not beat Joseph Crowley because her constituents want the status quo. They had that option with Crowley and could have easily chosen him but they didn't. The argument that she should shut up, listen and play the good girl who is happy to be in Washington is as outdated and antiquated as the belief that dancing is scandalous and women should be barefoot and pregnant at home.
Sadly, the dancing scandal is real. Some conservative politico or Russian robot (is there a difference at this point?) found a video of AOC dancing in college and blasted it all over the internet. The sexism and misogyny that was revealed in the aftermath of the video being shared was eye-opening, but sadly not shocking in the least. Alas, for those that had hoped to sink AOC and push her to the edge of Congress, only to be replaced by a rich white man in the next election cycle, they failed. AOC's many fans came to her defense but they needn't worry about their girl. She had it handled. After posting a new video of her dancing into her office, AOC let the world know that she is no shrinking violet and is not ashamed of her past.
So the operatives went back to work and learned how to use photoshop! Finally, a skill that they can actually use unless they hired someone on Fiverr, which is probably what they did. They published fake naked pictures of AOC and waited with bated breath hoping that this would teach her the lesson that she should not speak out against them or their demagogue, who is holding the government hostage with his demands for a wall. In true feisty fashion, AOC dealt with the situation head-on. She shamed the Daily Mail for sharing the picture and not addressing how it was a fake. She also called out the GOP for "frothing at the mouth" over a young woman actually being successful and having influence. Maybe they think only overgrown toddlers should use Twitter to change people's minds?
It's not just the right though. Some Democrats, according to CNN, are not particularly happy with their new colleague. Some "rank and file" Democrats believe that AOC needs to tone down her messaging and fall in line with the centrists. There are certainly other Democrats who believe this too, and they all need to be reminded of one thing: That's not why she won the election. AOC is a pupil of Bernie Sanders, who despite a lot of hand wringing on the part of yours truly, is one of the most popular political figures around. He energized a segment of the Democratic party that had largely been ignored because the people who had power wanted to continue to be centrists. This led to the election of Trump, who for all of his faults appealed to a contingent of the Republican party that had also gone unheard for years. While there is no comparing those who want to make sure every citizen has insurance to those who are so racist they can't even see different colored crayons without cringing, there is something to be said for hearing what the people want.
AOC is listening to what the people want and is forming plans to make sure she delivers on her promise. She's not pulling Democrats to the left as has been suggested, she is doing something much more important. She's allowing voices to be heard that the lobbyist and those who take bribes from them, would rather silence. Change doesn't happen by sitting on the sidelines, it happens when radicals make voices heard. Just ask some very important men to this country, the founding fathers.