ANALYSIS: Whatever One Thinks of Her, There’s No Denying Ocasio-Cortez’s Mastery of Both Traditional and Social Media


Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

As numerous prime-time appearances have led to a surge in her following, the influence of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (New York’s 14th congressional district covering the eastern part of The Bronx and part of north-central Queens) has reached unrivaled heights. The congresswoman’s mastery of social media has won her a massive and personal audience of online millennials whose attention is seemingly much more valuable to advertisers than any other demographics. The incessant mainstream coverage of Ocasio-Cortez has typically treated her policy views with apprehension, if not disdain. But on the other hand, belligerent publicity is good publicity for a freshman House member and a long-disparaged socialist movement.

Through the sheer power of her twitter “dunks,” the congresswoman has tuned the corporate media in to a plethora of socialist change. As of now, Ocasio-Cortez has 2.4 million followers on Twitter and another 1.8 million on Instagram. She’s been on the job for just over three months and already has generated more national press coverage than some members of Congress get in their whole careers.

Recently, heavy focus has hung around the generated Twitter buzz due to the “#GreenNewDeal.” Twitter conversation did not begin immediately upon Ocasio-Cortez’s election, however. Instead it was her Nov. 13, 2018 occupation of Nancy Pelosi’s office that began sustained conversation about the Green New Deal. Attention remained steady until a GND press conference on Feb. 7, 2019, where it peaked the following day as the press and public digested the proposal. Since then, conversation has decreased.

Ocasio-Cortez also made an appearance on Showtime’s new talk show “Desus & Mero,” where she was asked what she would have done if she hadn’t decided to run for Congress. Mero asked if Trump hadn’t become president, “would you have run for Congress?”

“I don’t know!” Ocasio-Cortez told the pair. “I could just be like teaching in high school right now.”

She continued: “But you know, times of great challenge can also bring out the best in people, too, and so I think that’s what we’re really seeing, even though things are hitting the fan right now, we’re seeing people activate and educate themselves.”

Desus also pointed out that once announcing Ocasio-Cortez’s appearance on the show, they also experienced rapid inflictions of hate and dissatisfaction that she experiences on a daily basis. He continued to ask, “When that stuff happens, do you regret getting into politics?”

“No, no. I mean it is heavy but in a weird way that stuff is validation that you’re doing something real,” Ocasio-Cortez said. “Because if you’re just flying under the radar, just trying to like get your check, like not rock the boat, then what’s the point of being in politics?”

Additionally, Ocasio-Cortez made an appearance on 60 Minutes back in early January, where she was given an even louder megaphone to attract rampant attention. Over the course of the interview, Ocasio-Cortez dove in to her bold ideas and underlined the highly ambitious, and some would say “unrealistic,” Green New Deal. This proposal would convert the entire U.S. Economy to renewable sources of energy in just 12 years, while guaranteeing every American a job at fair wage. Due to these intense ideas, some politicians have deemed Ocasio-Cortez a radical. When asked by the show’s host Anderson Cooper if she considered herself a radical, she had this to say, “Yeah. You know, if that’s what radical means, call me a radical.”

It’s clear that Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is stirring backlash among social media and during television show appearances. She’s eager to advocate policies despite the fact that she knows onlookers might react in horror. As she continues to advance in Congress, time will tell if her social media stardom will keep its luster.

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