Have You Had Enough of AOC Yet?: Love her, hate her, ignore her, or tolerate her, Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio Cortez has become a household name and a force in Democratic politics.
She is young, spirited, and telegenic, with a huge social media presence consisting of millions followers on Twitter.
But critics point out that she says controversial things, hogs the limelight instead of helping constituents, needles other Democrats, and plays the Washington game rather than passing original legislation for her home district.
Political Prodigy Gets Upset Win
AOC burst on the political scene after running for Congress as a long shot against incumbent Joe Crowley in the 2018 Democrat primary for her New York seat representing parts of the Bronx, Queens, and Rikers Island.
She took office at age 29 after winning a stunning 57 percent of the vote in the primary.
More Political Experience Than She Is Given Credit For
AOC developed her political chops working on Senator Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign in 2016.
She had previously served as an intern for Senator Ted Kennedy.
She gained experience on the national scene during protests in Standing Rock, South Dakota in opposition to a new pipeline.
She made ends meet by serving as a waitress and bartender and often points to that experience as evidence that she has blue collar roots.
Ambitious Legislative Agenda
She is known for introducing legislation to create a Green New Deal – a total remake of the United States’ economy to fight climate change by transitioning to a complete alternative energy ecosystem that would create millions of high-paying jobs and successfully fight climate change, supporters claim.
AOC has sponsored or co-sponsored dozens of pieces of diverse progressive legislation and has passed some amendments but not entire pieces of legislation.
Is She Hypocritical?
AOC often falls into the trap of politicians from both parties. Her actions do not always match her back story, convictions, policy stances, and speeches.
She grew up in Connecticut. She went to a wealthy, private university. She owns an expensive Tesla car. She attended a gala in a $30,000 dress.
AOC can also has lost some battles when going up against people like Elon Musk on Twitter. She fashions herself as an enemy to billionaires, yet some Americans love people who have been successful in business and prefer entrepreneurs to career politicians.
The Ethics Investigation Could Take Her Down a Notch
The progressive firebrand is the target of a House ethics committee investigation for unrevealed offenses that could violate ethics guidelines in Congress.
It’s All Downhill from Here
Could AOC have peaked too early politically?
Her rise is a popular and distinctively American story, but just as much as the legacy media enjoys a meteoric rise, they can also bring politicians down to earth. AOC has her House seat wrapped up for as long as she wants to serve, but what about greater ambitions?
Is She Old News?
Her youth is a great advantage. Despite the difficulty in getting elected to the senate, she has her political life in front of her should she desire higher office. But an ethics slip up would give fodder to her critics and lower her national approval rating. She excels at social media and her comments are often frontpage headlines that can drive the day’s events. But AOC may become old news. She is not likely to pass any new legislation when the Republicans take control of the House in January. House members are at a distinct disadvantage when in the minority.
Changing With Age
AOC may get bored with Congressional politics. She may want to have children someday and that could change her views about the advancement of her career. She is also becoming an establishment politician that some are already tired of.
Her underdog and insurgent act is becoming staler the longer she serves in Washington.
She Is a Socialist Afterall
This ideology may play well in her New York district, but it would never pass muster in the heartland. She has made enemies too, not only among Conservatives, but also in her own party for endorsing left-wing primary challengers against establishment and moderate Democrats.
As I have mentioned before, AOC may have peaked too early. Is she committed enough to serve in Congress for another 20 to 30 years? Does she have presidential ambitions? Will she become more moderate with age to achieve crossover appeal? Does she want to settle down and start a family?
These are questions that will be answered in the coming years should AOC continue her political career.
But the country may have developed “AOC fatigue” by then. Stay tuned.
Author Expertise and Experience
Serving as 19FortyFive’s Defense and National Security Editor, Dr. Brent M. Eastwood is the author of Humans, Machines, and Data: Future Trends in Warfare. He is an Emerging Threats expert and former U.S. Army Infantry officer. You can follow him on Twitter @BMEastwood. He holds a Ph.D. in Political Science and Foreign Policy/ International Relations.