Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez: The true Democratic champion in the primaries
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is now the first newcomer to defeat a Democratic incumbent in the 2018 primaries.
The battle of the U.S. primary elections has been fierce. This time it’s not only Republicans against Democrats, but insurgents against the political machinery established within the same parties.
That was the result of the primary elections in New York on Tuesday when a young politician beat the "establishment" Democrats at their own game.
With a campaign for the representation of minorities and without the support of political action committees, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez defeated the fourth most important Democrat in the House, Joe Crowley, in the primary elections.
Ocasio-Cortez briefly became known as a local organizer of Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign and adopted his principles for her own political feat: a new generation, racial inclusion and ideological change, making use of an "aggressive presence on social media fueled by the attention of national progressives," explained the New York Times.
Congratulations to @Ocasio2018 on her extraordinary upset victory tonight! She took on the entire local Democratic establishment in her district and won a very strong victory. She demonstrated once again what progressive grassroots politics can do.
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) 27 de junio de 2018
The candidate "had used Mr. Crowley's role in the leadership, and the fact that he was the head of the local Democratic Party machine against him in her bid to upend the existing political class," the Times report continues.
"Women like me aren’t supposed to run for office," explained Ocasio-Cortez in her campaign video released last month.
It's time for a New York that works for all of us.
On June 26th, we can make it happen - but only if we have the #CourageToChange.
It's time to get to work. Please retweet this video and sign up to knock doors + more at https://t.co/kacKFI9RtI to bring our movement to Congress. pic.twitter.com/aqKMjovEjZ
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@Ocasio2018) 30 de mayo de 2018
Only 28 years old, and still paying her student loans, this young supporter of the Socialist Democrats of America managed to overcome - and by a wide margin - the man some hoped would become the next leader of the Democrats in the House succeeding Nancy Pelosi.
Daughter of a Puerto Rican mother and a father born in the Bronx, Ocasio-Cortez studied economics and international relations at Boston University, working as a waitress and bartender after graduation to help her mother with household expenses after the death of her father, according to The Intercept.
After engaging with educational campaigns within her own neighborhood, she then joined Sanders’ campaign and his grassroots political movement, drawing the attention of organizations such as Brand New Congress and MoveOn during her participation in the protests against the Dakota Pipeline in the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation during 2016.
Finally, the young woman decided to launch her campaign advocating for "Medicare for all, tuition-free public colleges, and the abolition of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)."
Just a couple of days ago, Ocasio-Cortez participated in the Texas border protests against the government's zero-tolerance policy, echoing her new proposal against the political status quo in the country.
In a key political moment in which the blue party has not been able to face the violent transformation of the White House, new and independent candidates like Alexandria are part of the true reform movement that the nation is pressing for.
And the response of her voters was proof of that.
With 57 percent of the votes and a campaign with less than $500,000 - "ten times less than her rival," according to the newspaper El País - this young woman has taken the position of a politician with almost 19 years in office. Now she will have to face Republican Anthony Pappas to become the representative of a strongly progressive district that includes parts of the Bronx and Queens, and with a deeply Democratic tradition.
In reaction, Crowley dedicated the song "Born to Run" by Bruce Springsteen to Ocasio and assured that she could count on his support in the November elections.
Given the latent questioning of Democratic voters and the need for a new ideological panorama, the so-called "Blue Wave" that many anticipate seems to also bring a dose of ideological revolution.