The congresswoman just perfectly summed up the big problem with American politics.
There is – and perhaps will always be – a dedicated group of people who don’t know Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez personally, and nonetheless hate her. And frankly, to borrow parlance from another villainized woman: they need to calm down.
And yet, if we have learned anything about Ocasio-Cortez – or, as she is now universally known, AOC – during her two years in office, it’s that the New York congresswoman can hold her own under pressure. So, we were hardly surprised when she provided an impressively unflinching response after being quizzed on why a certain population of the internet finds her so offensive.
During an appearance on The View this week, Ocasio-Cortez was asked to offer up an explanation as to why she tends to “trigger people”. Host Joy Behar asked, “You trigger people. Why do you think you do that, and how does it manifest?”
Ocasio-Cortez responded: “I think there’s a couple of reasons. One, before people even knew who I was, like five minutes after I won my primary, it was the apocalypse on Fox News.” She continued, “I think it’s because our political system is not designed for people like us. They’re not designed for working people to succeed, for young people, for women, for people of colour.”
She added, “It’s not particularly welcoming, and historically, to have someone like that ascend, especially when I was running against someone who was the antithesis of those things. It’s upending but also I think it’s because our entire political system revolves, frankly, around rich men and rich men are not the center of my universe. Working families are. I think that is controversial.”
Ocasio-Cortez also defended Bernie Sanders, the Democratic candidate she has backed in the 2020 presidential race, against claims he had not done enough to combat the online abuse of the so-called “Bernie bros”, a group of Sanders’ supporters who have been criticised for online behaviour and harassment.
In response, Ocasio-Cortez pointed to issues with “internet culture” as a whole. “I think internet culture can often be very toxic, and whether we are cognisant of it or not, it nearly always concentrates on women, people of colour, queer people,” she said. “I think to a certain extent we have to always reject hate, reject vitriol and denounce that kind of behaviour.”