In a new interview, the popular progressive Democrat Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has told the New York Times that hostility from establishment centrist Democrats could push her to leave politics, despite a large national support base and her recent reelection.
As always, the New York Times article is hidden behind a paywall. In the new interview, she spoke about the frustrations of attempting to champion causes in a political system that is very set in its ways, and very hostile to change.
“I don’t even know if I want to be in politics. You know, for real, in the first six months of my term, I didn’t even know if I was going to run for re-election this year,” Ocasio-Cortez told the Times.
The congresswoman says that despite feigning support from establishment Democrats on issues like healthcare, police reform, and social justice, they have been extremely hostile towards these causes on a policy level when push comes to shove.
“Externally, there’s been a ton of support, but internally, it’s been extremely hostile to anything that even smells progressive,” Ocasio-Cortez explained.
The Bronx native waited until after the election was called for Biden to share her candid thoughts with the Times. Ocasio-Cortez and her fellow progressively-minded Democrats called a temporary truce with the establishment centrists in their party to unite behind Biden, but now that he has secured the presidency, her and other progressives say that it is time to put the pressure on, to ensure that the administration actually follows through on its promises.
“It’s really hard for us to turn out nonvoters when they feel like nothing changes for them. When they feel like people don’t see them, or even acknowledge their turnout,” she said.
Ocasio-Cortez believes that career Democrats have treated her and the causes she believes in as an “enemy.”
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on criticism from within the Democratic Party: "There are, at least in the House caucus, very deep divisions within the party and I believe that we need to really come together and not allow Republican narratives to tear us apart" #CNNSOTU pic.twitter.com/og9EF69dNH
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) November 8, 2020
“I need my colleagues to understand that we are not the enemy. And that their base is not the enemy. That the Movement for Black Lives is not the enemy, that Medicare for all is not the enemy. This isn’t even just about winning an argument. It’s that if they keep going after the wrong thing, I mean, they’re just setting up their own obsolescence,” she said.
“I’ve been begging the party to let me help them for two years. That’s also the damn thing of it. I’ve been trying to help. Before the election, I offered to help every single swing district Democrat with their operation. And every single one of them, but five, refused my help,” she added.
All four members of the progressive group in congress known as “The Squad” won reelection last week. The squad consists of Representatives Ilhan Omar, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib, and Ayanna Pressley, all of whom rally behind progressive causes.
Our sisterhood is resilient. pic.twitter.com/IfLtsvLEdx
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) November 4, 2020
These four women were some of President Trump’s harshest critics, but it appears that they won’t be giving Biden a pass just because he is a Democrat. They have each vowed to use their influence in Congress to push the incoming administration to adopt more progressive policies.