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Why People Are Talking About AOC

AOC–– an acronym you’ve probably heard as of late, unless you’ve been off the grid for the past few months. No, it is not a new slang term abbreviation–– she is actually making history and inspiring young people all across the nation.

    Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, commonly known as “AOC”, is a 31-year-old American politician representing New York’s 14th Congressional District. The former bartender, and currently the youngest woman to be elected to Congress, was born and raised in The Bronx, New York. She is affiliated with the Democratic Party, though she is also a member of Democratic-Socialists of America and embraces that label as a part of her political identity. AOC’s career isn’t completely new–– she has experience as an intern for Senator Ted Kennedy’s office during college, and she used to volunteer for Senator Bernie Sanders’ campaign in 2016. Though, her rise in popularity surged in July 2020. 

 

What Caught People’s Eye: “I am someone’s daughter, too.”

Representative Cortez has faced several hardships throughout her career that many women can relate to. During one of her first jobs out of school, she had successfully beat a colleague for a promotion. In response, her colleague, who happened to be a male, called her a “bitch” in front of the staff. At the time, no one had come to her defense, and she was at a loss for words herself. Later on, she promised herself to not have a repeat of this incident.

In late July, the history-making New York congresswoman was bombarded by derogatory words and phrases by Representative Ted Yoho while at the U.S. Capitol. Permeated and angered by Cortez’s earlier comments linking crime with poverty, Representative Yoho spewed out a series of insults, calling her “crazy,” “disgusting,” and “a fucking bitch.”

When confronted about this, the Florida republican barely gave an apology. He apologized for “the abrupt manner of conversation”, but he and his office denied the vulgar comments he made. He further claimed that he is a man of his word, having been married for 45 years and raising two daughters. 

“Having a daughter does not make a man decent,” was part of AOC’s response in her refusal of Representative Yoho’s half-hearted apology. She went on to thank him for “showing the world that you can be a powerful man and accost women.” 

She further referenced his statement, saying, “Mr. Yoho mentioned that he has a wife and two daughters. I am two years younger than Mr. Yoho’s youngest daughter. I am someone’s daughter, too.”

Finally, in a sentence that grasped the hearts of many across the United States–– feminists, young people, children of immigrants, etc, Representative Cortez emphasized, “I am here because I have to show my parents that I am their daughter and that they did not raise me to accept abuse from men.”

 

Her Stances on Issues

After this incident, Cortez had several eyes on her and a mass of searches for her website. People wanted to know her stance on relevant issues apparent in the country today. Here are some of them:

  1. Criminal Justice Reform– One of her goals is to dismantle the system of mass incarceration and the school-to-prison pipeline

  2. Economic Inequality– She strives to enforce that no one should be “too poor to live.”

  3. Gun Control– She has called for a federal ban on assault weapons, high capacity magazines, and bump stocks in order to push her goal of eliminating gun violence.

  4. Immigration– She is committed to have a just and empathetic immigration reform.

  5. LGBT+ Rights– She is devoted to preventing discrimination based on sexual orientation and/or gender identity.

  6. Reproductive Justice– She believes that every person has a right to bodily autonomy; thus, she is pro-choice.

 

AOC for President 2024?

Due to her progressive views on prominent United States issues, as well as her outspoken nature, AOC has accumulated the support of several people from the younger generations. Young people especially appreciate her humble, down-to-Earth attitude, coupled with her strong, take-no-shit frame of mind. She has proven herself countless times as someone who is not to be undermined, though has also shown her eccentric and fun side–– especially when she joined Youtube creators, such as Corpse Husband, during a Twitch Livestream in which they played the popular video game “Among Us”. 

As a result, there is strong demand for her to run in the next presidential election. If she does run for president in 2024, this will make her the youngest candidate running for president. Article II of the U.S. Constitution (which was written over 200 years ago–– in 1787, thereby garnering controversy on its own on whether or not it is outdated) states that candidates must be 35 years old to take office as president. AOC would be 34 year old for the duration of the 2024 presidential race and would have just turned 35 on October 13th, close to election day. Thus, as she did just make the cut, there is a possibility that she could serve as the 47th U.S. president, making history yet again.

 

Sources: 

https://www.insider.com/alexandria-ocasio-cortez-biography-2019-1 

https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2020/10/becoming-aoc-cover-story-2020 

https://www.cnn.com/2020/07/23/politics/aoc-ted-yoho-response/index.html 

https://ocasio-cortez.house.gov/issues 

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-10-30/alexandria-ocasio-cortez-president-donald-trump-us-election/12818468  

 

Zaheen is a sophomore Neuroscience major on the pre-med track. She is passionate about healthcare equity, mental health, writing, and the arts.
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