Will AOC Give Up Politics for Good?

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Posted: Nov 08, 2020 9:55 PM
Will AOC Give Up Politics for Good?

Source: AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin

Progressive darling Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) diagnosed the Democratic Party's issues during an interview with the New York Times. AOC said she believes the "hostility" coming from establishment Democrats to progressive insurgent candidates has been difficult. But her main takeaway from Tuesday night's results was that the Democratic Party doesn't know how to run an effective election operation, including using progressive voices like hers.

“Before the election, I offered to help every single swing district Democrat with their operation. And every single one of them, but five, refused my help,” Ocasio-Cortez explained. “And all five of the vulnerable or swing district people that I helped secured victory or are on a path to secure victory. And every single one that rejected my help is losing. And now they’re blaming us for their loss.”

“So I need my colleagues to understand that we are not the enemy. And that their base is not the enemy. That the Movement for Black Lives is not the enemy, that Medicare for all is not the enemy," she said. "This isn’t even just about winning an argument. It’s that if they keep going after the wrong thing, I mean, they’re just setting up their own obsolescence."

The other issues the progressive outsider has is the way organizations like the DCCC spends money and fails to utilize the internet and social media effectively.

"If you’re not door-knocking, if you’re not on the internet, if your main points of reliance are TV and mail, then you’re not running a campaign on all cylinders. I just don’t see how anyone could be making ideological claims when they didn’t run a full-fledged campaign," she explained.

In order to move forward in a positive direction, AOC wants the party to do an "honest post-mortem" about the reason for the losses. That's especially true in the House where Democrats were expecting a "Blue Wave."

"Because before we even had any data yet in a lot of these races, there was already finger-pointing that this was progressives’ fault and that this was the fault of the Movement for Black Lives," she explained. "I’ve already started looking into the actual functioning of these campaigns. And the thing is, I’ve been unseating Democrats for two years. I have been defeating D.C.C.C.-run campaigns for two years. That’s how I got to Congress. That’s how we elected Ayanna Pressley. That’s how Jamaal Bowman won. That’s how Cori Bush won. And so we know about extreme vulnerabilities in how Democrats run campaigns."

Interestingly enough, AOC has contemplated leaving politics because of the internal hostility she feels from her own party. 

"I genuinely don’t know," she said when asked if she'd potentially run for the Senate down the road. "I don’t even know if I want to be in politics. You know, for real, in the first six months of my term, I didn’t even know if I was going to run for re-election this year."

The reason she decided to run for re-election was to prove establishment Democrats wrong.

"I chose to run for re-election because I felt like I had to prove that this is real. That this movement was real. That I wasn’t a fluke. That people really want guaranteed health care and that people really want the Democratic Party to fight for them," Ocasio-Cortez explained. 

The odds of her running for higher office or going about her life in a quiet manner are "probably the same."