Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

Ocasio-Cortez sets new standards

What congress should look like
(Flickr Creative Commons: Dimitri Rodriguez

A few months ago, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez beat out incumbent Joseph Crowley in a resounding victory, making her one of the youngest women to ever be elected to Congress. Crowley was one of the most powerful Democrats in the House of Representatives. Crowley represented Queens County and seemed the ideal democratic choice and one of the top fundraisers in office. Despite all of that, Ocasio-Cortez won in a landslide victory, a result Crowley’s polls did not see coming.

The win was believed to be the beginning of a generational change in voters. Although Crowley had gone almost two decades running unopposed, Ocasio-Cortez’s campaign brought out a new wave of voters who often didn’t find the hassle of voting worth it. Young people and elderly people alike were inspired by the message Ocasio-Cortez put forward and her promise of change and proper representation. Her campaign was run by volunteers and public fundraising where she was able to get the funds together to produce a two-minute campaign video called “The courage to change.” The video features clips of her interacting with the public, volunteering at schools, giving speeches and taking the subway home. The video has racked up over 800,000 views since it was originally posted. In the video, Ocasio-Cortez states, “it’s time we acknowledge not all Democrats are the same, that a Democrat who takes corporate money, profits off foreclosure, who doesn’t live here, doesn’t send his kids here, doesn’t drink our water or breathe our air, cannot possible represent us.” It’s an “us for them” mentality, they have money, but we can have the power as long as we reach out and take it. Ocasio-Cortez is a breath of fresh air for the underrepresented people who are tired of the backwards antics of politics.

Of course, it helps that Crowley hardly took Ocasio-Cortez seriously, allowing her to gain more admiration as he relied too heavily on his long-standing presence in office. Crowley failed to show up to the first two debates with Ocasio-Cortez, letting an empty chair with just his nametag and New York City lawmaker Annabel Palmer to represent him. It wasn’t until the third debate that he bothered to show up and even then, he hardly took her seriously. Nevertheless, she hit him with question after question and made sure to explain her own plan. The victor was clear by the end of the debate.

Ocasio-Cortez is a rare breed of politician in several ways. She refuses to accept corporate money, she believes in Medicare for everyone, tuition-free public colleges and a strong stance on immigration rights. She’s a politician for the people, something that’s unfortunately, not seen often anymore. She also resonates with millennials and the younger generation allowing her to utilize skills such as social media to her utmost advantage; her Twitter feed alone has 3.2 million followers. The other day, for example, she was a guest on Stephen Colbert’s Late Night Show where he asked her “on a scale from zero to some, how many f—’s do you give about such comments,” referring to a previous comment made by fellow Democrats who told her to “ ‘wait your turn, go slow, don’t ask for so much so fast right now.” Ocasio-Cortez responded, “I think zero.” The next day headlines for the Hill read “Ocasio-Cortez: I give zero f—’s about pushback from other Democrats.” Ocasio-Cortez responded to the headline by tweeting “I actually didn’t say this, so while I know ‘brown women cursing’ drives clicks, maybe you accurately quote the whole exchange instead of manipulating people into thinking I said this sentence instead of just the word ‘zero.’” The New York Post also ran a similar headline and included an angry photo of her on the show backing up their depicted image of her as an angry minority woman. She made sure to set the record straight on Twitter once again tweeting “….This is how news hysteria develops out of nothing at all.” Ocasio-Cortez’s ability to use social media in this day and age gives her a powerful tool and gives news outlets printing false information a formidable opponent.

It’s not only her social media image that gives her a unique perspective in politics but her socialist outlooks and passion for particular issues. One stance she’s particularly passionate about is global warming and the green deal. Ocasio-Cortez, along with the Sunrise movement and Justice Democrats, “put together a new deal for achieving net zero-carbon emissions by 2030 guaranteeing everyone a good job and providing target investments in low income communities and communities of color. That means upgrading every building and mode of transportation in this country and upgrading our entire power grid to achieve maximal energy efficiency.” This is the best plan for global warming to ever be put forth in this country.

Ocasio-Cortez has risen above and beyond her call of work. She called out corrupt politicians, has taken a stance against corporate America, proposed deals to help the environment and broken barriers for who is “supposed to run for Congress.” She was a hard-working woman from the Bronx who used her intellect, education and community to force change and is totally and unapologetically herself. That’s why Congress needs more people like her filling its seats.

Chloe Lindahl is a Collegian columnist and can be reached at [email protected].

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  • F

    Fuller EricaFeb 24, 2019 at 8:02 am

    Great article! She brings optimism to much of the public that has been appalled by the system and current lawmakers. Hopefully AOC will change the paradigm and prove all these naysayers wrong.

  • A

    AlexisFeb 22, 2019 at 6:53 pm

    Ignore the haters your doing great sweaty!!!

  • S

    SittingBullFeb 20, 2019 at 1:18 pm

    So a shitty district in Queens voted in an idiot bartender, who promptly succeeded in driving out Amazon. Democrats are delighted that she will serve as cannon-fodder to see how far the nonsense can go before a grown-up has to step back in and take charge. If this really is the new type of politician, and judging by the last election, she may represent exactly that – America is doomed. It’s like the icebergs melting faster than scientists believed. Similarly, the US is melting down exponentially. This is what happens when you let dumb people from another country come in and tell you that your amazing society sucks and must be torn down to replicate the third world. I hope I die before things become too terrible but it’s time to open a Cayman Islands bank account.

  • P

    Peter mostFeb 20, 2019 at 12:20 pm

    Am I the only one who laughed out loud at the headline?

    Let’s ignore her repeated mistakes and stupidities including not getting basic information right like the separations of government, elementary political science knowledge you gain in middle school.

    What was the total cost of her ‘green new deal’, 30 trillion dollars? I don’t even think a liberal, left economist at umass(that isn’t a communist) would be able to state such a plan is feasible.

    Also the new deal was for the benefit of Europeans, Ortiz’ new deal plan is racist and apparently designed to benefit ‘communities of color’. That is instantly divisive, it should be for ‘everyone’ or ‘all Americans’ and shouldn’t make any distinction based on color or race. Not to mention that would likely violate the civil rights act, which makes any racism including against white people illegal.

    She doesn’t set a standard, she is a joke. She has accomplished nothing in terms of policy, Eminem has more followers on twitter and he is a washed up rapper and what radicals like her are likely doing is turning off independents,moderates and long-established democrats and independents make up the majority of the vote. This is why they lost in 2016, Americans by and large are neither socialist or radical. In 2020 democrats will likely lose the presidency and continue to suffer party losses or sustain them.

    While it’s endlessly paraded that democrats have the house, they have no other form of political power, the majority governors, state legislatures, senate and presidency is controlled by republicans. Soon the majority of federal judges will be republican. Let’s not forget either how radical obama lost democrats over a 1,000 seats.

    The left excels at something I will coin as the ‘liberal delusion bubble’ or you could call it the ‘liberal distortion field'(props to steve jobs) ; They excel at convincing themselves and through the media, propaganda and other practices making themselves seem much more powerful, bigger and supported than they are in reality. This is an illusion which in some ways makes itself come true because people believe it is but ultimately it doesn’t change reality.

  • N

    NITZAKHONFeb 20, 2019 at 9:52 am

    Socialism is a religion; it’s tenents have been applied time and time and time again. People who have fled Socialist states warn about it.

    A smart person learns from their mistakes; a wise person learns from the mistakes of others.

    Socialism as a Millennial religion

    Hope you enjoy eating rat; it’s going to be the only meat left after the zoo animals are gone:

    Socialism is for suckers!

    And one last thing: She grew up in Westchester County, one of the COUNTRY’S WEATHLIEST. The median income is $96,413 – nearly double the average for New York State. You’d think that someone writing for a newspaper would, you know, do some basic research first.

    I predict a bright career for you at the Very Fake News Network.

  • N

    NITZAKHONFeb 20, 2019 at 9:40 am

    There are about 550 billionaires in America. If you confiscated – and you’d do it by force! – every penny, you’d have enough to run the government for less than a year.


    Alexandra Occasional-Cortex’s affinity for Socialism, and yours, has the same result time after time after time: STARVATION AND DEATH.

    My wife’s ethnic group was starved by Stalin; 1/3 of her people were starved to death to help create the great Socialist state. Let me repeat that: STARVED TO DEATH.

    So, 100 million+ dead in the 20th century wasn’t enough for you?

    The Black Book of Communism: Crimes, Terror, Repression

  • B

    Brian StumpFeb 20, 2019 at 1:11 am

    Actually, most of us are appalled by her ignorance and childish behavior.

    OK, we also laugh occasionally.