Criticize their policies, not their appearance or personal life

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a 29-year-old Congresswoman from New York, has faced all sorts of backlash since her congressional campaign.

Much of it hasn’t even been related to her ideology.

Instead, they have been thinly veiled racist and sexist jabs at her for being a young woman in politics.

I’ve seen countless memes on social media making jabs at her where the punchline is basically, “AOC is a millennial, and millennials are dumb and eat Tide Pods.”

That’s ridiculous.

You can’t judge one person based off of an entire generation.

On top of that, the whole Tide Pod thing was blown way out of a proportion. A few idiotic middle and high school kids (who are technically Generation Z) ate them, and suddenly everyone assumed it was an epidemic.

In January, a video went viral from 2010, when Ocasio-Cortez was in college.

It showed her participating in a popular trend where people would dance in the style of characters from popular John Hughes movies to the song “Lisztomania” by Phoenix.

People seemed very critical of it, as if it somehow painted her in a bad light, but it was simply a video of a college student dancing and being happy.

I don’t really see the problem with that. Ocasio-Cortez spoke about how she wasn’t sure how she could afford living in D.C. until she started receiving her Congress salary, as she’d have to live roughly three months without a paycheck and instead lived off her savings from her previous job as a bartender.

For many young people entering the job market, this is a common reality, and
nothing to be ashamed of. Housing is expensive, many of us have student loans and it can be hard to find a job in your degree field.

There’s nothing to be ashamed of there, It’s just part of being a young adult.

She was also criticized for wearing nice clothes, being told they didn’t look like something that someone who claimed to be lower-income could afford.

However, you can find name-brand and high-end clothing cheap at thrift stores, vintage stores and stores like TJ Maxx and Marshall’s.

Additionally, what would they say if she hadn’t worn nice clothes? That she looked poor or cheap? It seems like you can’t win there.

There’s also the democratic socialism factor.

Ocasio-Cortez is a self-proclaimed democratic socialist, with views similar to those of Bernie Sanders.

While many attacked Sanders for his views, it seems that even more are coming after Ocasio-Cortez.

I’m not sure if it’s because America has gotten more conservative the last few years, or if she gets more criticism because she is a woman and Hispanic.

Critiquing someone’s policy is much more valid than going after them for their age or for a video of them dancing in college.

But it seems like so many people don’t understand her policies.

Billionaires are not your friend.

The fact that someone can hoard that amount of wealth, especially when there are people starving to death, people without clean water and people dying because they can’t afford healthcare, is proof that our economic structure is both a failure and morally wrong.

If you want to critique a politician or public figure, then go ahead, by all means. However, make sure that you’re criticizing them for the right reasons and that you understand their policies.

Don’t criticize them just because you’re angry and because you misinterpreted a buzzword.

Opinion from Maria Ranger, Vanguard Reporter


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