This article was written for and features in The C Word Mag.
Who is AOC?
If you haven’t heard of American politician Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez yet…where have you been?
She is the representative for New York’s 14th district, and has enraged Democrats and Republicans alike with her unapologetic presence in the House. Now known simply by her initials, AOC has gained an ever-growing fanbase in spite of this hostile response, thanks to her sassy confidence, progressive policies, clever use of social media and modern approach to being a politician.
With her recent re-election – thankfully along with the rest of ‘The Squad’ – we thought we’d take a look back at 10 reasons why we have been crushing on AOC since day one, and why you should start crushing too.
- She is the youngest woman ever to serve in the United States Congress.
Though 31 years old now, AOC made history at just 29 when she took office.
Even more impressive, she only really decided to run just eighteen months earlier, and casually unseated a popular 20-year incumbent along the way.
- Before she had even assumed office, AOC rocked the boat by participating in a Climate Change protest right outside Nancy Pelosi’s office.
A bold move for anyone to pull off, but AOC did that.
The protest was organised by the progressive environmentalist movement Sunrise, with the hopes of getting Democrats to act more decisively on climate change.
AOC was seen thanking the protestors in her speech, “I just want to let you all know how proud I am of each and every single one of you for putting yourselves and your bodies and everything on the line to make sure that we save our planet, our generation and our future”.
- She is LGBTQ+ friendly, and proves it with her policies.
Policies such as making PrEP widely available, tackling disproportionate levels of homelessness amongst LGBTQ+ youth, ensuring protections against Transgender people in police custody, and many more.
With numerous people in power simply donning a Pride flag in an attempt to prove their support of the LGBTQ+ community, AOC demonstrates time after time that hers isn’t just a façade.
- Her Green New Deal.
The set of policies – that could effectively save the human race – is uploaded as a Google Doc so that everyone has a chance to read it and even propose edits to AOC herself.
Many have asked what the benefits of this deal are, and if saving the planet alone isn’t good enough, such a transition would also help eliminate the tens of thousands of lives lost every year to air pollution, and the World would save around $3 trillion a year thanks to U.S. emissions being reduced.
- She got into politics because of her father’s death.
A bartender at the time, Ocasio-Cortez was flung into a long probate battle after her dad passed without a will. She told the Intercept that the experience helped her learn “first-hand how attorneys appointed by the court to administer an estate can enrich themselves at the expense of the families struggling to make sense of the bureaucracy”.
Events like this one are what make AOC a great politician for ‘ordinary’ people. She knows what struggles the average citizen can face, unlike disconnected-from-society politicians that struggle to guess the price of a loaf of bread (David Cameron we’re looking at you).
- Her interview/interrogation skills are legendary.
It isn’t often the internet gets excited for congressional hearings, but when they do, it’s usually because AOC is at the helm.
From getting Michael Cohen to imply that Trump had committed tax fraud to her famous grilling of Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook Ads, there’s no denying AOC has a knack for transforming dreary hearings into viral videos.
She’s so good in fact, that she was once asked why she didn’t become a lawyer; her response, “I couldn’t afford it”.
- Her response to her first ‘drama’ was adorable (and petty in the best way).
When Republicans criticised Ocasio-Cortez for – shock horror – DANCING in a video back in college, AOC swiftly struck back with the now-famous clip of her dancing into her new office.
In one short video she showed us all the greatest way to respond when people try to knock you down – with a smile, a twirl, and maybe a finger gun for good measure.
- She is a huge supporter of forgiving student loans and ensuring college is tuition free.
When discussing the bill to eliminate student debt, AOC said, “It was literally easier for me to become the youngest woman in American history elected to Congress than it is to pay off my student loan debt”.
If you listen closely, you can hear the millions of students praying she runs for president one day.
- She knows her way around social media.
Twitter has crowned their Queen, and it is most definitely AOC.
Unlike many politicians, Ocasio-Cortez is a digital-savvy Millennial, and is not shy to use social media to her advantage. She is known on Twitter for her fast wit and fact-checking replies to all your favourite Republicans, even knocking down Trump himself on more than one occasion.
I wouldn’t expect to see signs of AOC’s internet presence slowing down now he’s out of office though, she’s apparently teaching others in her party how to use Twitter like she does!
- She refuses to be the stereotypical one-dimensional woman.
AOC has gone out of her way to show the world that women are not confined to one aspect of their lives. The age-old ‘beauty or brains, but never both’, has meant that if us women demonstrate we have one we are typically believed to not possess the other. Ocasio-Cortez has triggered many by constantly proving she, just like all women, can easily have both.
She is hardly ever seen without her statement red lip, she frequently discusses her make up and skincare routines over on Instagram, and tends to do so whilst usually also being the smartest and most professional person in the room.
Need we say more?
(We could, this was merely a handful plucked from the wide ocean of reasons to love AOC!)