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Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), the progressive firebrand who cruised to re-election last week, suggested in a new interview that she might be on her way out of politics.
What did Ocasio-Cortez say?
Speaking with the New York Times, Ocasio-Cortez said she might depart from politics as it becomes even more clear that her far-left progressive agenda is not welcome in the Democratic Party.
When asked if she is considering a Senate run in the next couple of years, Ocasio-Cortez said, “I genuinely don’t know.”
“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,” she added. “It’s the incoming. It’s the stress. It’s the violence. It’s the lack of support from your own party. It’s your own party thinking you’re the enemy.”
She continued, “But I’m serious when I tell people the odds of me running for higher office and the odds of me just going off trying to start a homestead somewhere — they’re probably the same.”
Ocasio-Cortez spent much of the interview lashing out at the Democratic Party for not accepting her brand of ultra-left politics, claiming that progressive policies are winning elections — not losing them.
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. And all five of the vulnerable or swing district people that I helped secured victory or are on a path to secure victory. And every single one that rejected my help is losing. And now they’re blaming us for their loss.
So 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.
Speaking specifically about how the Democratic Party establishment has reacted to her progressive politics, Ocasio-Cortez said, “The last two years have been pretty hostile. Externally, we’ve been winning. Externally, there’s been a ton of support, but internally, it’s been extremely hostile to anything that even smells progressive.”
What are Democrats and media saying?
Moderate Democrats, however, do not share Ocasio-Cortez’s sentiment. House Democrats participated in a conference call last week, where they lamented on losing many seats on Election Day and blamed progressive politics for those losses, the New York Times reported.
Meanwhile, MSNBC host Joe Scarborough said Friday that the election was an “absolute repudiation” of the Democratic Party’s vision for America.
“There is no way to put this other than to say … Joe Biden winning looks like a one-off. This election for the most part was an absolute repudiation of the Democratic Party as a brand. Their brand doesn’t work across most of America. It just doesn’t,” he said.
Former Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang also sounded the alarm that if the Democratic Party doesn’t change course now, they’re going to continue losing elections.