After a recently elected democratic socialist politician suddenly began using authoritarian, elitist-sounding language mere weeks after getting her first whiff of power, every single person in the country who’s never read a history book expressed their shock and surprise at the sudden transformation.
The woman, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, tweeted “We’re in charge” in the context of a proposed sweeping government takeover of the economy, saying her critics who haven’t proposed an alternative were “shouting from the cheap seats.” She also declared “I’m the boss, how about that?” in a recent video interview. The statements shocked certain groups of people across the country, namely, those who haven’t been in the same room as a history book anytime in the past few decades.
“Wow, a socialist who was elected on her promises to work ‘for the people’ is suddenly telling everyone she’s in charge and they have to listen to her? That’s really weird,” said one man in Portland who dropped his world history class in high school. “I would have thought socialists never suddenly transform into power-hungry maniacs as soon as they get their first high from telling people what to do.”
“It’s just, I’ve never heard of that happening in the past, say, 100 years or so,” he added before he had to return to his Starbucks shift, wrapping his work apron around his hammer and sickle T-shirt.
Sheâ€™s the Democratic Partyâ€™s Manic Pixie Dream Girl.
Once you see it, you canâ€™t unsee it. AOC is an MPDG, and if we had political satirists worthy of the name, NBC would already have brought in Zooey Deschanel to play her on Saturday Night Live.
The Manic Pixie Dream Girl is a stock character first classified by Nathan Rabin in a 2007 review of Elizabethtown, a film he described as â€œThe Bataan Death March of Whimsy.â€ â€œThe Manic Pixie Dream Girl,â€ he wrote, â€œexists solely in the fevered imaginations of sensitive writer-directors to teach broodingly soulful young men to embrace life and its infinite mysteries and adventures.â€
In my youth, this sort of character was usually played by Julia Roberts, often opposite Richard Gere. More recently, the trope has been associated with the kind of chirpingly quirky free spirit, chock full of precious hipster mannerisms, often played by Zooey Deschanel (and widely parodied). You get the idea: strumming a ukulele, dancing in the rain, riding an old-fashioned bicycle in a sundress. The Manic Pixie Dream Girl is the vibrant, attractive young woman who, by the sheer force of her joie de vivre and childlike enthusiasm, rescues the brooding male lead from his cynicism or malaise.
The Democratic party certainly needs this sort of thing right now as it struggles to break free from the funk of defeat and the grey, hopeless compromises of Clintonism. So of course they were eager to idolize a slender, attractive young champion, with her flowing dark hair, improbably big eyes, and wide, toothy smileâ€”many of the qualities, come to think of it, that qualified Julia Roberts for this role on the big screen.
The real reason that neither cameras nor citizens can look away is, of course: sex. The woman exudes a wild kind of sex appeal. She is hugely mediagenic. Her thin, lanky body, with the attention grabbing, erâ€¦ rack; the expressive face; the crazy eyes and large, invariably red lipsticked mouthâ€”any casting director could have predicted her ability to grab attention.
To use the Hollywood term of art, young Alexandria is, â€œfuckable.â€ That is a rare quality among political women, possibly never previously seen in any elected female Congresswoman or Senator. (Though Harry Reid thought that Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D, N.Y.) had it early on, when he called her â€œthe hottest Senator.â€) Remember how the extremely hot Sarah Palin disrupted the political landscape, and we learned the acronym MILF? This attribute explains why there are so many politically conservative men telling the world that they would â€œdoâ€ her, while complaining about her â€œstupidity,â€ and irritating voice. Men are obsessed, despite the fact (or because of it?) that she is a clear candidate for the top right corner of the Hot-Crazy matrix.
Meryl Streep first publicized this Hollywood casting criterion in a now scrubbed NPR interview. Asked how it was that she had been given all of the serious female roles in her generation, Streep responded, and I paraphrase, â€œIn Hollywood they decided early on that I wasnâ€™t â€˜fuckable.â€™ So I got to be interesting instead.â€ Amy Schumer and Julia Louis-Dreyfus elaborated on the concept in a sketch known to all millenials.
Lest you think I am insulting the looks of all women previously elected to Congress, please note that the opposite of â€œfuckableâ€ is not unattractive. It is â€œserious.â€ Serious in the manner of women who wish to be taken seriously in the serious endeavor of making the nationâ€™s laws and policies. Serious so that citizens trust them, as we must. Itâ€™s not an accident that the women who have held the most powerâ€”Margaret Thatcher, Patricia May, Indira Gandhi, Golda Meirâ€¦. everyone except Benazir Bhutto and Evita, were post-menopausal. Even Hillary Clinton, no sexpot, had to be â€œa certain age,â€ to be plausible as president. No one trusts a womanâ€”or manâ€”who radiates sexuality as a primary calling card, and excites it in others. This is true in real life, though not on TV, where the implausibly attractive imitate the serious.
For the record, this attribute of AOCâ€™s is the major reason anyoneâ€”anyoneâ€”takes her â€œideasâ€ seriously. Thereâ€™s no there, there. To be sure, the Socialism she spouts is a threat. But all those old people running for the Democratic nomination apparently believe that she is the ticket to eternal life, or at least to the millennial vote, because of her vibe, not her thinking.
Fascinating as it has been to watch, this AOC dumpster fire of sexuality in Congress is terrible precedentâ€”for our political culture, and for women in politics. Charismaâ€”the ability to charmâ€”is tough enough for the admirably substantive to beat.
She’s one of the most prominent undergraduate dancers in this currently-going-viral video promoting Boston University.
Republican officials should pay attention. What if we got some hot ultra-conservative GOP chick to run against a fat elderly greasy democrat in an inner city district? I bet we could pull off some surprise wins, too.
Daniel Bonthius, actor and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez supporter.
Politico finds a watershed moment for the Democrat Party in New York’s widely-reported defeat of long-term incumbent congressman Joe Crowley by 28-year-old bartender Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
Young, affluent, miseducated Dummer Junger representatives of the community of fashion are out-voting the older working class and minority democratic party constituencies and driving the party way farther to the Left.
Daniel Bonthius was never much interested in politics before Donald Trump came along. Both his parents are involved in the labor movement, but he earned a musical theater degree in Boston and moved to New York City to make it as an actor. Like many of the cityâ€™s aspiring actors, Bonthius, 33, was waiting tables and working for an event plannerâ€”and had been doing it for most of a decade when Donald Trump obliterated the political system in 2016.
After the election, a shocked Bonthius invited friends over to his home in Sunnyside, Queens, a one-time Irish enclave that has seen an influx of new residents. â€œI just wanted to talk out what happened with people who felt the same way I did,â€ he says. That gathering eventually morphed into an Indivisible group, a grass-roots left-wing answer to the Tea Party, and in early 2017 it hosted a new candidate for Congress the first time she met with an organized group of voters: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
â€œIt just seemed like she is a real person running for office,â€ says Bonthius, who ended up volunteering for her campaign and now works for her. â€œEverybody in the room, we are all the same generation, the same generation she is, and there is just this comfort level, like, you are one of us. You are going to be fighting for us.â€
Indivisible was mostly dedicated to flipping Republican seats to Democrats, or at least nudging moderate Democrats to the left. Bonthiusâ€™ district, however, was already represented by a liberal Democrat, Joe Crowley, a 10-term incumbent who served as the powerful head of the Queens Democratic Party and who was thought by many to be a potential speaker of the House. Crowley, whose family has deep roots in Queens, owns a home in Woodside, another Irish enclave next to Sunnyside that has likewise undergone rapid gentrification over the past several years. But by the time 2016 came along, Crowley was spending most of his time in Washington, or flying around the country to stump for Democratic candidates.
â€œI think most voters were pretty happy with him. There wasnâ€™t a specific vote or issue where we could get up in our representativeâ€™s face or have a sit-in in his office,â€ Bonthius says. â€œWe figured she didnâ€™t have a chance, but that it would at least push Crowley to the left.â€
A year later, Ocasio-Cortez pulled off one of the most shocking upsets in a generation, sending Crowley packing by a 15-point margin. The results were widely portrayed as a victory for a new and empowered Democratic grass-roots constituency.
New York’s 14th Congressional District is more than 70 percent people of color, and 50 percent Hispanic. Ocasio-Cortez, who was born in the Bronx to a Puerto Rican mother, fit the districtâ€™s changing demographics, and neatly fit a larger narrative of a national Democratic Party in which increasing progressivism and diversity go hand and hand.
But a closer examination of the data tells a different story. Ocasio-Cortezâ€™s best precincts were places like the neighborhood where Bonthius and his friends live: highly educated, whiter and richer than the district as a whole. In those neighborhoods, Ocasio-Cortez clobbered Crowley by 70 percent or more. Crowleyâ€™s best precincts, meanwhile, were the working-class African-American enclave of LeFrak City, where he got more than 60 percent of the vote, and portions of heavily Hispanic Corona. He pulled some of his best numbers in Ocasio-Cortezâ€™s heavily Latino and African-American neighborhood of Parkchester, in the Bronxâ€”beating her by more than 25 points on her home turf.
Earlier this year, in a New York district with a growing non-white population, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a then-28-year-old bartender and former Bernie Sanders organizer, dethroned Rep. Joseph Crowley, the fourth highest-ranking Democrat in the House, by running up huge numbers in white, gentrifying neighborhoods. Crowley might have been the head of the Queens Democratic Party, but his foot soldiers didnâ€™t turn out the votes to match Ocasio-Cortezâ€™s of-the-moment progressive energy. …
Ocasio-Cortez, the young Latina who proudly identifies as a democratic socialist, hadnâ€™t been all but vaulted into Congress by the partyâ€™s diversity, or a blue-collar base looking to even the playing field. She won because she had galvanized the college-educated gentrifiers who are displacing those people. â€œIt was the Bernie Bros,â€ one top Crowley adviser said as he surveyed the wreckage the day after the election. â€œThey killed us.â€