WASHINGTON, D.C. – On Instagram Live Wednesday night, Democrat Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez went on a rant to critics who laugh and make jokes about her often-repeated statement that “we have twelve years left to cut emissions by at least 50%” to stop the most devastating effects of climate change.
“For everyone who wants to make a joke about that, you may laugh, but your grand-kids will not,” she warned. “So, understand that the internet documents everything.”
“For those of you who are trying to mock and delay this moment, I mean, I just feel bad for you. I pity you for your role in history right now,” Ocasio-Cortez explained.
It has been three months since she moved into her apartment in Washington DC, and the New York congresswoman didn’t have a chair to sit in until this week, as she explained on a livestreamed video on Instagram on Wednesday.
“I’ve been living like a completely depraved lifestyle,” she said in the video, something that her many critics on the right of American politics would probably agree with. Although in this case she wasn’t referring to representing the bogeyman of socialism, but rather how she has been sleeping on a mattress on the floor. What young person can’t relate to that?
When a viewer commented on the stream that they too eat popcorn and drink wine at home, she laughed. “We have something in common,” she said.
That type of interaction goes a bit of the way toward explaining Ocasio-Cortez’s appeal. Yes, her support of policies such as the Green New Deal and her willingness to stand up to Republicans are exceptionally popular among young people and the left, but she also happens to be one of the first politicians to understand how to properly use social media.
Ocasio-Cortez’s latest video, like much of her engagement on Twitter and Instagram, feels authentic to how a young person might actually use them. Previously she has used social media to peel back the curtain on the mundane inner workings of Congress that most people don’t understand or might take for granted, and her activity on Twitter has proven widely effective in both spreading her message and shutting down critics.
That openness has also served as an opportunity for Ocasio-Cortez’s many critics to dismiss her as unserious, but, as she explained, much of the reason why they dislike her is because she is so forthcoming.
“The reason Republicans hate me so much is because I confront them directly on their lack of moral grounding on so many issues,” she said between sips of wine. “Not just that, but the reason they’re so upset and they act like that girl in The Exorcist that’s vomiting pea soup, that’s like them and negativity. The reason that they do that is because they need to fiercely protect a paradigm and way of thinking that says short-term gains are more important, no matter how marginal, than any long-term loss and any long-term cost,” she said.
Throughout the course of the live stream she went on to explain that history will not look back kindly on climate change deniers, likening them to people who opposed the civil rights movement. “Your grandchildren will not be able to hide the fact that you fought against acknowledging and taking bold actions on climate change,” Ocasio-Cortez said.
“We have 12 years left to cut emissions by at least 50%, if not more, and for everyone who wants to make a joke about that, you may laugh but your grandkids will not,” she said.
As for another important issue, Ocasio-Cortez explained her secret: add ground pepper to your popcorn.
By Luke O’Neil