Hello! Wow, it’s great that your staff always picks up the phone right away, because I am angry. I’m angry at the rampant corruption in Washington, the abuse of children at the border, the ever-accelerating dismantling of our democracy, public indifference to climate change, and dammit, I just had to call and tell her in no uncertain terms to… um… keep doing what she’s doing?
Is that all I get to do now?
I mean, I’m very happy that the congresswoman vocally supports comprehensive and ambitious legislation that matches the urgency of the climate crisis, has personally visited border detention centers to expose their unconscionable disregard for human dignity, has forcefully called for the impeachment of Donald Trump — specifically, and shrewdly, for his no-brainer emoluments violations — and generally speaks a lot of hard truths that have gone woefully unsaid for decades. But I’ve also got some volcanic, existential rage to vent about the encroaching takeover of global politics by a loose cabal of fossil fuel billionaires and international mobsters, setting up an apocalyptic future that I’m terrified to see my children face, and she’s really not giving me anything to play against. Can’t she throw me a bone here?
I also appreciate her incisive and well-researched questions in the recent Congressional hearings on — sweet Jesus, this is boring. I mean, no offense — like all of her staffers, you’re very good at listening empathically — but the federal government has been taken over by soulless zombies, in thrall to a cult leader suffering from advanced dementia, so pathetically cowed that they won’t even mildly criticize child sex trafficking if it puts one minor Republican cabinet member at risk. And most of her so-called opposition party is afraid to push back with anything stronger than a stern rebuke or an entire day sobbing in the basement bathroom stall while Chuck Todd asks Jeffrey Epstein where he bought that shirt because it’s very flattering.
But not AOC. Oh no. She’s got energy, motivation, and a clear sense that things are very, very fucked up and need to change really dramatically really fast. That’s what I want from my elected representatives. So… what now? Why am I even calling you? Is this how I handle the collapse of civilization? By either screaming into the void or telling my elected representative that she’s doing a good job screaming into the same void? What am I supposed to do with that?
I think I speak not only for myself, but also for a lot of other Bronx/Queens liberals in New York’s 14th district. We’re like the dog that caught the bus. Where do we direct all this impotent fury? Sure, we’ll continue to protest, donate to Amy McGrath, phone bank for Sara Gideon, tell Wayfair we’re not buying that ottoman after all, be the change we want to see, and blah blah blah. But there’s nothing quite as satisfying as righteously eviscerating your own MOC, whether it’s for doing too little in the face of evil or just plain doing evil, and Rep. Ocasio-Cortez has deprived us of that catharsis at every turn.
Look, I know she’s not popular everywhere. The moderate left is worried that if she keeps saying obvious things out loud, she’ll hurt a potential Biden/Romney unity ticket in 2020, as if anything resembling a free and fair election will happen under the present circumstances. The Right consistently paints her as a cross between Kathy Griffin and the Demogorgon from Stranger Things. But that just shows that a) she matters and b) they’re deathly afraid of everything she represents, and in any event, she has a talent for swatting down MAGA trolls with pithy take-no-crap retorts, which is refreshing, but who are we supposed to stick up for on Twitter? Eric Swalwell? Could that be any less fun?
I guess I could ask her to “reach across the aisle,” whatever that means, but for Christ’s sake, she’s already offered to work on a bipartisan anti-lobbying bill with Ted Fucking Cruz.
Seriously, what’s her problem? Doesn’t she know that as my elected representative, it’s her de facto job to either infuriate or disappoint me? Why does she have to be so infuriatingly, disappointingly non-infuriating or disappointing? This must be what it feels like to be a Trump voter in a rural Oklahoma county where the biggest employer happens to be the company that sells Xanax to climate scientists.
In short, please tell the congresswoman to keep up the good work, that I like what she’s doing, and that she’s somehow simultaneously making me question the point of my own existence. Actually, don’t tell her that, because she’ll probably do something about it. God damnit