Who the Hell is AOC?

AOC or Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has made a giant splash in politics and in the media lately, but what is she all about? She’s a 29 year-old democrat. She’s a NY official in the House of Representatives, but what does that mean? What can she do? What does she do? Why is she so important? A major component of our interest in her today is because of her “fresh” identity: she’s a young, hispanic woman. Every oppressed group that the Democratic Party wants to include in it’s ranks could relate to her vibe. Lawful, empowered, and vocal.

So yes, she’s a perfect face for the Democratic Party’s cause, but what about her voice? What does she say that is so great? Is she just the physical opposite of the status quo: older, white male? Her most recent acclaim is the Green New Deal. If you haven’t heard of it, it’s a proposal dealing with goals based on fighting climate change including the economic changes she believes the country should go through in order to improve equity. Lofty ideals but these ideas are proving themselves extreme and unrealistic, especially in the timeframe and plans she offers. Ideas like the termination of all commercial and private air travel, and replacing planes with high speed trains are just a few ways to make our nation “green.” These would drastically change American day to day lives forever. But she does not explain how she plans on converting this into reality or with whose money.

The least talked about aspect of her goals, are the actual benefits of the programs she is advocating for: the decarbonization of the whole nation of the United States. Decarbonization is the elimination of all fossil fuels which would result in no cars, no planes, and nothing that adds carbon to the atmosphere. Okay. So think it about it, even if America goes 100% green, there would be this extreme trade off: it would be harder to get around, but the air and water would be cleaner. Then what? Her solution does not solve the problem, it might just create more.

Joining the Green New Deal would align the US to The Paris Agreement, a set of environmental plans, which involves similar goals on a global scale. America, however, produces only 15% of the greenhouse emissions (according to David Wallace-Wells Uninhabitable Earth). We are only a small percentage of earth’s population of almost 8 billion. “Setting an example” is not going to make a huge impact when it comes to the overall health of our planet. The increased industrial work in China affects us just as much as the progress right here in NYC does. Can you see a carless America where everybody is just walking, biking or staying at home? What would that mean to business and travel? The Green New Deal isn’t going to save us and seems completely impossible, but that doesn’t mean AOC is wrong for bringing it up.

Ms. Ocasio- Cortes is right about one thing: something has to be done. No matter how impossible the goals seem, someone has to say “Hey we need to make a change so my children don’t have to suffer the consequences.” (No, she is not married and does not have children as of this article.)There are so many environmental issues that will fall onto future generations shoulders already. The pollution of our oceans, depleting fish populations, and killing aquatic ecosystems. Deforestation destroying millions of habitats. Which are just a fewtangible eco-problems the world faces immediately. Not to mention what’s being caused by global warming, the dying polar bears, civilizations drowning, increasing natural disasters frequency and intensity. The point is that someone needs to start somewhere. Someone needs to have some idea taken seriously enough that people make change happen now. Not when it is beyond too late.

I don’t think her way of going about her cause is headed in the direction she’s expecting. I hope that she’s smarter than what’s portrayed and she’s using the Green New Deal as a way to make more political officials open to compromises on climate change and the other topics discussed. But if that’s the case, then it has totally backfired so far. Even leftists, the political groups she is most aligned with, are baffled by the goals she has in place. The holes in logic and the lack of funding for planning and projections gives Republicans all the more reason to mock these types of propositions. I feel like it’s this type of extremist thinking that scares people and sends them fleeing to the other side.

She has quickly been able to become the image of the entire Democratic Party within a few months. Her name is in every newsfeed and her face is on the TV everyday. Why? She’s loud, she has opinions, and says them loud enough for the whole nation to hear. She wasn’t handed the reigns, she earned and took them. She prides herself on leading this change because even if she’s going about it wrong, no one else knows how to go about it right, and if they do, they aren’t proving it.

Why is every criticism of her either love or hate? She’s either your hero or your enemy and there seems to be no in-between. But what about her makes these opinions so strong?

I’m not here to just repeat everything the media has already covered, even though it is important for this information to be spread, especially to the youth of this country that will be voting by the time she’s eligible to run for office in a couple of years. Ms. Ocasio-Cortez still has more than 18 months to serve out her term in Congress and it is important to understand her vision as she represents a big part of NYC. Do you like her because she is not the stereotypical politician? Can you forgive her extreme politics because of this? Should we just tear down our carbon based use of energy and start over with her “green” ideas? Who do you think Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is? Leave a comment or send us your opinion at gramercytimes@gramercyhs.org!

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One Comment

  1. A.H.

    Very creative writing! I feel that the questions were a bit overused, but still a good article nonetheless. Also cool how this wasn’t just a complete bashing of AOC, but more of a helpful insight from an everyday citizen. I wonder what will happen with her plan and if she’ll change it or not?

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