I don’t know if I’ve ever been more intrigued with a New York congressional primary winner than I am right now. No, let me restate that—there’s no doubt that I’ve never been more intrigued with what’s going on in New York politics than I am today. I don’t mean that as an antagonism toward New York. It’s just that who won such a primary never mattered much to my life, so in good-ole American fashion I never really cared enough to pay any attention. So, when I first heard Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez had beat the deeply established incumbent this week, it barely raised a blip on my screen. It was interesting, but didn’t mean much.
My focus is really on November, after all. I figure it’s probably the single most important voting season of my lifetime. And I’m actually optimistic about it. Or at least cautiously hopeful. I mean it’s almost impossible to watch the young people of our country going to the streets in the millions to talk about women’s rights and gun control and immigration without being a bit excited. But I’m also filled with dread because it seems clear that a bad outcome in November will serve to set the most chilling and horrific things going on right now into stone that could take a very long time to make right—if it ever is. The country is already going to struggle to right itself from the damage Trump’s carousing is doing. Republicans walking away with majorities in November will have devastating consequences.
Anyway, that was my thinking. New York’s district is already Democratic. So shrug.
But on a bit of a whim last night I watched a video of one of her interviews. Then another. And another. Then a story about her. Then another. Then her campaign ad. Then another. I probably spent two hours on it.
To be blunt: I know now exactly why Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez won.
This is a woman who communicates clearly, quickly, and with a sense of determined passion that you can’t miss. A woman who took zero dollars from any corporation. A sharp minded, educated person who’s clearly from the working class and just as clearly focused on the working people of her district—but capable of translating that message into what’s happening across the country.
Yes, I get it. She’s got a long way to go. Yes, she’s got to prove she can get things done once the voting is finished. The difference between campaigning and governing is the difference between critic and artist, after all.
But I suggest you could do worse things with your time than paying her some attention right now.
I mean, this is an interesting person.