No, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Does Not Have to Choose Between Being a Lawmaker and a Twitter Star
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY)’s media stardom and anti-establishment ideology may be rubbing some of her Democratic peers the wrong way, but it is the reason she’s winning and they’re not.
According to a Friday morningPolitico report, nearly 20 Democratic lawmakers feel “annoyed” with the young congresswoman, and as a result, are ostensibly trying to bring her down. One House Democrat says the young congresswoman “needs to decide: Does she want to be an effective legislator or just continue being a Twitter star?”
The answer is simple and obvious: No, Ocasio-Cortez does not need to cap her social stardom in order to be a successful politician, and anybody who says otherwise is either jealous or lying to themselves.
Here’s the thing: I can’t stand Democratic policies, let alone democratic socialist policies like those advocated by Ocasio-Cortez. I have no skin in the game when it comes to how she runs her campaign because nobody who runs in my political circles runs in her circles, and nobody that I would ever vote for would even think of voting for her.
But the 29-year-old bartender-turned-politician’s fiery tactics have made her far more successful in less than a year than most of her senior colleagues have been in their entire lifetimes. Her Twitter page has attracted more than 2.2 million followers in the past seven months.
Sure, you’ve often got stuffy old legislators making comments like, “Twitter isn’t real life,” or “Hollywood celebs should stay in their lane” in an attempt to squash more likable, relatable competition. But think about the people making those comments: are they seeing results?
Have you ever heard of a congressman named Kurt Schrader (D-OR) until he commented for this Politico report? He said that Ocasio-Cortez is “new here, feeling her way around. She doesn’t understand how the place works yet.” Charming.
Perhaps you’ve heard of Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO), who says his caucus doesn’t “need sniping” suggesting that Ocasio-Cortez is apparently sabotaging?
In today’s world of immediate digital communications, social likability wins the game. Historically, many of the most successful political campaigns were won by media stars.
President Donald Trump never stopped being a Twitter celebrity and reality star even after he won a historic election in 2016. Ronald Reagan never stopped being a celebrity even after taking office. Even a study shows Barack Obama, the first black president and arguably the most politically far-left thus far, spent more time on Twitter than some of the world’s most influential contemporary leaders.
However controversial Ocasio-Cortez may be ideologically, she knows exactly how to win a political landscape dominated by older, more educated, conventional-type folk.
And it’s scaring the bejeezus out of them.
This is an opinion piece. The views expressed in this article are those of just the author.