In the midterm elections, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) became the youngest woman elected to Congress at age 29. As a proud progressive millennial, she's electrified liberals, who see her as the future of the Democratic party. At the same time, she's terrified Republicans with spooky ideas like universal health care (no!), tuition-free college (NO!) and a Green New Deal (NOOOOOOO!). Oh, and she's also pro-dancing, which could cost her the coveted 'geezers from Footloose' vote.
However, Ocasio-Cortez has ruffled a few feathers among senior party members. Politico reports that "exasperated" Democrats have tried to "reign in" the rookie Congresswoman. With over 2.5 followers on Twitter and 2 million followers on Instagram, her savage clapbacks and candid words carry a lot of power. "There’s almost an outstanding rule: Don’t attack your own people,'" stated Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.). "We just don’t need sniping in our Democratic Caucus."
On Monday night, Ocasio-Cortez appeared on The Late Show, and Stephen Colbert asked her about the pushback from establishment Democrats. They think she shouldn't make waves, and she's stirring up tsunamis. "On a scale from zero to some, how many f***s do you give?" asked Colbert. After thinking about for a second, the Bronx native replied, "I think it's zero."
When asked if she values party unity, AOC replied that it's "how we choose to interpret events and things like activism and advocacy." "If you think activism is inherently divisive," she continued, "Today is Martin Luther King Day. And people called Martin Luther King divisive in his time. We forget he was wildly unpopular when advocating for the Civil Rights Act. I think that what we need to realize is that social movements should be the moral compass of our politics."
Thanks to President Trump's government shutdown, which is currently in its 32nd day, Ocasio-Cortez said she and her fellow Congressmen "can’t start doing the work we’re elected to do." However, she did recently teach other Democrats how to effectively use social media platforms such as Twitter and Instagram.
“Rule No. 1 is to be authentic, to be yourself and don’t try to be anyone that you’re not," she told Colbert. “So don’t try to talk like a young kid if you’re not a young kid. Don’t post a meme if you don’t know what a meme is - that was literally my advice, and I said don’t talk like the Founding Fathers on Twitter."
In the second part of the interview, Ocasio-Cortez debunked myths about her "radical" proposal to raise the marginal tax rate to 70 percent. When people hear that, they may think that rate extends to everyone, or that she's planning to snatch 70 cents out of every dollar a rich person makes. However, that's not true - under AOC's plan, that rate only applies to income made after $10 million in one year. (Also, the proposal isn't that "radical," since the marginal tax rate was 70 percent or higher before the 1980's.)
As one of those super rich people, Colbert feigned concern while asking about the plan. "This is something we often see too, with Fox News,” she said with a laugh. "It’s like, ‘They want to take all your money!' And when we talk about a 70 percent marginal tax rate, it's not on all of your income... After you make ten million dollars in one year, your dollars after that start to get progressively taxed at a much higher rate."
“At what level are we really just living in excess," she asked. "And what kind of society do we want to live in?" (Well, preferably one where I make more than ten million dollars in a year, but, uh, not quite there yet.)