Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez knows she’s “one of the most hated people in America” — but don’t expect her to change a thing.
The lefty firebrand admits being reviled by millions even while she basks in the adulation of diehard fans thousands of miles away from her Queens congressional district.
“I know I am also one of the most hated people in America,” AOC told New York magazine in a new profile marking her first year in Congress.
The insurgent Democrat concedes she was “terrified” on the day she joined a climate change protest outside House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office before her swearing in.
“It felt like the right thing to do,” she told the magazine. “People think it’s a form of naïveté and that it’s childish, but I don’t think it was.”
AOC defended her founding of a progressive “squad” of newly-elected women of color as a useful platform to push for progressive ideas. She says her background as a non-politician — she was a bartender before winning a 2018 Congressional primary in a shocking upset — gives her credibility beyond the halls of Capitol Hill.
She said she isn’t shy to use that perch to slam moderates whom she says are hijacking the Democratic Party away from its role of standing up for working people and minorities.
“Educating the public is a part of this job. The most effective public servants are part of our culture. They are just as fluidly part of the conversation as Lizzo or as this movie that you saw,” she said.
While she insists she tries to work both inside and outside the Democratic establishment, she finds it odd that corporate-friendly moderates like presidential front runner Joe Biden have so much power in the party.
“In any other country, Joe Biden and I would not be in the same party, but in America, we are,” she said.
Since coming to Congress, Ocasio-Cortez has been overwhelmed by supporters who snap up T-shirts with her ubiquitous image and plaster her congressional office with adoring Post-It notes.
But she is also a frequent target for shocking abuse from right-wing critics, who often threaten violent sexual retribution for her controversial views.
“It’s weird,” she said.