I’ll admit, I haven’t followed Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez that much – despite it literally being my job to follow all the trends and big stories in politics, I honestly have limited time and, more relevantly, attention span – but I generally have a good impression. Her quick political rise has been impressive and clearly the result of los of hard work and an alternative perspective that is appealing for many, in addition to coming along at the right time. I kinda love the branding – Democratic Socialists of America, Justice Democrats (It would be awesome for the left to go full superhero in the next election, costumes and all), and while I am not a super big fan of socialism in general (although I think it’s likely a good idea for certain things, like HEALTHCARE!!!), but I appreciate people like AOC (is this three initial thing a thing now? I keep hearing my new role model Hasan Minhaj say MSB and DJT) and Bernie Sanders (or “Couch Pennies”, as my daughters have always affectionately called him) (wait, are we still allowed to like Bernie? Again, I haven’t been keeping up) for pushing the conversation toward actually caring about working class and, dare we say it, poor people. And having spent time in DC in addition to living in Boston, I appreciate her struggles to find a decent apartment without spending two arms, a leg and half a spleen.
And now that she’s making headlines based on what I can reasonably and definitively declare the dumbest non-controversy in the history of modern or ancient politics – old video of her dancing on the roof of a building while a student at Boston University (the greatest university on earth for which I am currently employed) – I hope that AOc starts a revolution. Not a socialist revolution (not a big fan of those, having read history and all), but a dance revolution. A dance, dance revolution, if you will. Let’s have more political dancing. Candidates should post their best “In My Feelings Challenge” videos (has anyone found out if Ki Ki loves Drake or not?). Newly elected legislators should be required to appear on Ellen (sorry, Ellen, whether you like it or not, you are the dancing talk show host). Congress should enter the legislative chambers through Soul Train lines. Diplomacy with hostile nations can be handled Guardians of the Galaxy style.
I jest, mostly, but while politics is serious business and all that, or so I tell people to justify my own job studying it, some levity isn’t a bad thing. The fact that detractors of Ocasio-Cortez are attempting to shame her for such a non-issue is frustrating, but I hope that she leans into and embraces the attention (edited to add: she’s leaning into indeed), which is already backfiring on social media (is there an AOC challenge on Youtube yet?). If Representative Ocasio-Cortez can strike the right balance of legislative substance and personability/relatability, she can not only have a long and bright career but, more importantly, be an effective champion for segments of our population that are usually underrepresented in Washington.
Also, if we let President Donald Trump and returned Speaker Nancy Pelosi settle this government shutdown through a dance off (I’m thinking popping and locking), I am fully convinced that Pelosi would win, hands down.