Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez achieved a historic win last week, so naturally, it’s time for the backlash to pour in. First, Sean Hannity warned Americans about the horrors in her platform—Medicare for All, women’s rights, a federal jobs bill, and housing as a human right are a far cry from the current American platform of kidnapped migrant baby cages, after all. Now, conservative TV host John Cardillo has jumped in:
A cursory Google search, like the one I did to find out Cardillo’s best known for tweeting a photo of himself with a gun in response to 2015's #BlackBrunchNYC protest, quickly produces several articles discussing how Ocasio-Cortez’s family moved to Westchester County suburb Yorktown Heights when she was around 5, so that she could attend better public schools. The rest of her extended family stayed in the Bronx, giving her a firsthand look at the detrimental effects of income inequality. “My cousins had different schools, quality of life, different air than me, because of the ZIP Codes where we [lived],” she told Huffpost last month, ahead of last week’s primary. “I know what it’s like to access the privilege of a ZIP Code but also be born in one that could have destined me to something else.
A Google also reveals that Ocasio-Cortez went to Boston University (not Brown), on a partial scholarship from Intel. She is also still paying off her college loans, according to an interview she did with Elite Daily. But why not try to pour cold water on a powerful win?
Note that this phenomenon of folks running scared over Ocasio-Cortez does not just apply to white men, though it is fun to specifically call the Bad ones out on it. A number of high-ranking Democrats, including, according to The Hill, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Illinois Senator Tammy Duckworth, have been quick to claim Ocasio-Cortez’s election doesn’t indicate that the rest of the party needs to move farther to the left, though my Twitter feed would argue otherwise. “I think that you can’t win the White House without the Midwest and I don’t think you can go too far to the left and still win the Midwest,” Duckworth told Jake Tapper on State of the Union on Sunday, conveniently forgetting that in the primaries Bernie Sanders won Michigan and Wisconsin, two states the more centrist Hillary Clinton lost in the general.
So, certainly, Ocasio-Cortez’s win is a scary one for establishment Democrats of all genders, but it is also generally a warning shot for men in power. On Friday, The Cut published a Rebecca Traister piece titled, “Summer of Rage,” which dug into how America’s white men, who’ve long held almost exclusive power, are a minority population in the United States. “The hold that the minority has on every realm of power — economic, social, sexual — is so pervasive and assumed that we don’t even notice when the few oppress the many,” Traister argues, hence, she says, why even powerful women seem to work to protect powerful men.
But when a majority population does start to pay attention to the numbers, and does start to see how a nation works to protect and preserve the power of that small ruling group, well, that’s when change happens. “The reason the anger of a majority gets suppressed is because it has the power to imperil the rule of the minority,” Traister says.
So, yeah, you should be fucking scared.