Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is Congress’s biggest celebrity. Despite being a junior member of the House, AOC has a fervent cultural following – and a fervent group of dissidents; AOC is uniquely polarizing.
Still, AOC’s celebrity has boosted her name into the presidential conversation – remarkable given her brief tenure and how little she has accomplished.
In a culture where youth and celebrity rule, AOC is being discussed as a serious presidential candidate if Biden chooses not to run or to challenge him from the left.
A shame, given that she is more of a social influencer than a politician.
AOC for President in 2024 seems highly unlikely given Biden’s stubbornness and AOC’s inexperience – but AOC is only 32; she has decades to run for president.
Bold Claims by AOC
Although, in a recent cover story for GQ, AOC expressed pessimism about becoming president.
“My experience here has given me a front-row seat to how deeply and unconsciously, as well as consciously, so many people in this country hate women. And they hate women of color,” AOC said, Summoning her Sterling K. Brown-like ability to cry on demand, AOC added, with tears in her eyes, “It’s very difficult for me to talk about.”
Politically speaking, AOC’s statement is on-brand; she’s an expert, rivaled only by Donald Trump, at framing herself as the victim. But with respect to logic, or reality, AOC’s statement is absurd.
For one, the majority of Americans, 50.52 percent, are women. Further, 66 million people voted for a woman, Hillary Clinton, in the 2016 presidential election. Indeed, Hillary won the popular vote, earning about three million more votes than the man in the race, Donald Trump.
And right now, a woman of color, Kamala Harris, is currently serving as vice president – and is commonly understood to be Biden’s most likely successor.
AOC’s own experience offers a counterpoint to her claim that she’s unelectable because “people in this country hate women.”
AOC’s statements are especially ironic; GQ – one of the most popular magazines in the world – put her on the cover and asked her about her presidential ambitions.
But the absurdity of the statement, the irony of the circumstances, they all tie-in closely with AOC’s default framing and her greatest talent: making herself the victim and getting people to talk about her, respectively.
Hell, I’m talking (writing) about AOC right now.
Concerning framing herself as the victim, there’s not really a situation AOC can’t spin into making about how she was wronged somehow. Consider AOC’s past endorsement of Nancy Pelosi as Speaker of the House. During her initial campaign, she promised not to endorse Pelosi. Once elected, she began her tenure by endorsing Pelosi. When AOC was criticized for pulling a 180 on a campaign promise just a few days into her tenure, she played the victim card.
“Over 200 members voted for Nancy Pelosi today, yet the GOP only booed on: me,” AOC tweeted. “Don’t hate me cause you ain’t me, fellas.” The left, who should have been upset with AOC for breaking a campaign promise, ate it up, agreeing that AOC was in fact, somehow, the victim. AOC never looked back.
Take the Israeli example. During AOC’s campaign, she was critical of America’s unconditional support for Israel. AOC, believing that Israel has committed human rights violations against the Palestinians, vowed not to endorse unconditional aid to Israel. Of course, when the time came to vote on aid to Israel, in the form of a $1 billion gift for Iron Dome missile defense funding, AOC gave it a thumbs-up. Then, immediately, expertly, AOC framed herself as the victim, weeping in full view of the cameras.
“Yes, I wept,” AOC said, “I wept at the complete lack of care for the human beings that are impacted by these decisions, I wept at an institution choosing a path of maximum volatility and minimum consideration for its own political convenience.”
And of course, AOC was explicit about how she was the victim in her decision to send unconditional aid to Israel after saying she would not send unconditional aid to Israel, blaming her vote on “hateful targeting,” “death threats,” and “dangerous vitriol.” Imagine if Abraham Lincoln, Franklin D. Roosevelt, or Lyndon B. Johnson had cowed to “hateful targeting” and “dangerous vitriol” while trying to pass the 13th Amendment, the New Deal, or the Civil Rights Act, respectively.
And that right there is why AOC won’t be president – not because “Americans hate women” – but because she’s not a serious politician and she’s not a serious reformer. Her primary pursuit is not progressivism but the accumulation of social capital. Recent degradations aside, AOC is not worthy of the office.
Harrison Kass is the Senior Defense Editor at 19FortyFive. An attorney, pilot, guitarist, and minor pro hockey player, he joined the US Air Force as a Pilot Trainee but was medically discharged. Harrison holds a BA from Lake Forest College, a JD from the University of Oregon, and an MA from New York University. He lives in Oregon and listens to Dokken. Follow him on Twitter @harrison_kass.