Recent primary winner of New York’s 14th Congressional District, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is already looking towards the future, claiming that this year’s tide of progressive candidates could cause American politics to “advance 10 years.”
Ocasio-Cortez, who beat Democratic Congressman Joe Crowley, told The Independent that she is not surprised that her win “started a national conversation” about the future of America’s two major political parties. Ms. Ocasio-Cortez also made it clear that she does not want her stunning win to be “just a flash in the pan moment,” adding that she plans to secure her victory in November.
Referring to President Donald Trump, Ocasio-Cortez commented, “We’ll see if he survives to 2020 politically. There’s a lot in the air right now.” For now, she appears doubtful, adding that the investigation into Russian collusion could hinder his chance of reelection.
However, she plans on aiming her focus on the Democratic Party, arguing that the party should inspire people and not simply define itself in opposition to Republicans. “I think right now in 2018 – We’re in a very special political moment where we can advance 10 years in our politics in this year’s midterms elections,” Ocasio-Cortez said.
Ms. Ocasio-Cortez continued, claiming that the country is “a lot closer to that change than we think we want but it’s all about whether we’re going to mobilize,” adding that although her primary win is still new, “we’re starting to refocus on getting back to work and organizing in our community.”
A young, Democratic Socialist, Ocasio-Cortez said she is just a “toehold” in the Democratic party’s progressive wave, explaining that she hopes that wave will continue to grow to be more inclusive and present a “really strong counter” to President Trump and his administration.
She also claimed that her team and campaign staff managed to expand the electorate by 68 percent, explaining that they “mobilized people who had never voted before or don’t usually vote in an election like this – and that takes a lot of show leather and a lot of on-the-ground physical presence.”
When asked if she thinks the establishment Democrats will meet progressives and socialists, like herself, in the middle, Ocasio-Cortez responded, “It’s not about what the establishment is going to accept or not accept it’s about [how] voters are going to make to make it happen.”
“Whether people say it’s a movement or…a fluke, it doesn’t matter,” Ms. Ocasio-Cortez said. “What matters is the work we’re going to do.”