Last week, I watched the documentary Knock Down The House, about four women who ran for Congress in the 2018 election. If, like me, you went down a bit of a rabbit hole reading about Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez after watching, this Rolling Stone interview from February is a good read:
RS: You told Anderson Cooper you want people to underestimate you because that’s how you won your primary. When is it safe to let that go and unabashedly take charge?
AOC: People like to make these disparaging statements, like, “Oh, she’s good at Twitter. Is she gonna be an actual legislator?” I think it’s fine at the outset to be underestimated in that capacity. Where I do tell people to come correct is when they try to paint me as unintelligent, as unsubstantive. That’s when you see me fire back. When you call Elizabeth Warren or Kamala Harris “unlikable,” that’s an unsubstantial, unsubstantive, fluff, bullshit, misogynistic word to use. Unlikable? What is that? It’s not a policy critique. Paul Ryan was a con man for 10 years, and he was called a wunderkind for policies that were designed to just gut working families dry. But I’m the charlatan. So . . .
I appreciate when people can disagree over politics without resorting to dehumanizing one another. But I appreciate even more when we call bullshit artists for what they are. More folks on the left should join this chorus; Paul Krugman spent the better part of a decade screaming from the hilltops (read: his New York Times’s opinion column) that Ryan was a fraud.