Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Is Changing The Way Politicians Use Social Media

Frank Dale
Written by Frank Dale

If you aren’t following Rep.-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) on social media, we highly recommend it.

Regardless of where you fall on the partisan political spectrum, there is something for everyone to learn from Ocasio-Cortez, who will officially become the youngest-ever congresswoman next month.

Though the new Democratic-led House won’t be seated until Jan. 3, the New York City congresswoman-elect is already building a large following with her approach to politics that is redefining “kitchen table issues.”

Amid all of the dunking on conservatives who try to mock her on Twitter, the 29-year-old Democratic socialist is using social media to connect with constituents and supporters in ways that are familiar to fellow millennials, but new to most of the political world.

You have likely seen some of the New York Democrat’s tweets. A recent conservative talking head to get dragged by Ocasio-Cortez is former Gov. Mike Huckabee (R-AR).

But the congresswoman-elect doesn’t only punch down, as Trump stooge and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) learned recently.

However, there is much more to Ocasio-Cortez’s social media activity than good tweets.

Perhaps nobody has been a better advocate for the “Green New Deal” — which aims to make the U.S. 100 percent reliant on clean energy in a decade — than the New York Democrat.

Originally viewed as a longshot, the Ocasio-Cortez-backed legislation is now supported by nearly two dozen congressional colleagues, including Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA), who endorsed the movement on Monday.

Though Ocasio-Cortez has faced scrutiny for pushing colleagues who aren’t working boldly enough to address the urgent threat of climate change, the congresswoman-elect recently told advocates that any pushback is worth being “on the right side of that long arc of history that bends toward justice.”

ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ ON INSTAGRAM ON NOVEMBER 16, 2018. (OCASIO2018/INSTAGRAM)

The Democratic socialist also has a seemingly endless supply of comebacks for criticism of her legislative priorities.

But perhaps the highlight of Ocasio-Cortez’s social media presence is Instagram, where she effectively alternates between jokes, behind-the-scenes looks at her new job, and serious policy discussions — often over dinner.

https://twitter.com/HelenBrosnan/status/1067639298864877569

https://twitter.com/HelenBrosnan/status/1067639298864877569

https://twitter.com/Ocasio2018/status/1063951791220494336

Though following her on social media will lead to music recommendations and Harry Potter references…

ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ ON INSTAGRAM ON NOVEMBER 13, 2018. (OCASIO2018/INSTAGRAM)
ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ ON INSTAGRAM ON NOVEMBER 28, 2018. (OCASIO2018/INSTAGRAM)

And jokes about laundry and her improbable new life…

ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ ON INSTAGRAM ON NOVEMBER 12, 2018. (OCASIO2018/INSTAGRAM)
ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ ON INSTAGRAM ON DECEMBER 2, 2018. (OCASIO2018/INSTAGRAM)
ILHAN OMAR ON INSTAGRAM ON NOVEMBER 29, 2018. (OCASIO2018/INSTAGRAM)

https://twitter.com/Ocasio2018/status/1067580266649128960

Ocasio-Cortez also uses social media to make pointed remarks about the state of U.S. politics.

ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ ON INSTAGRAM ON DECEMBER 1, 2018. (OCASIO2018/INSTAGRAM)
DEB HAALAND AND ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ ON INSTAGRAM ON NOVEMBER 13, 2018. (OCASIO2018/INSTAGRAM)

However, the behind-the-scenes looks at the new Congress are perhaps the most enjoyable aspect of the congresswoman-elect’s social media activity.

Ocasio-Cortez and fellow rising star Reps.-elect Ilhan Omar (D-MN), Ayanna Pressley (D-MA), and Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) documented much of their orientation last month.

The New York Democrat has continued to use Instagram — where she captionsstories “so our deaf brothers and sisters can follow along too” — as her preferred source for behind-the-scenes content, as she showed followers the process for selecting new offices last week.

ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ ON INSTAGRAM ON NOVEMBER 30, 2018. (OCASIO2018/INSTAGRAM)
ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ ON INSTAGRAM ON NOVEMBER 30, 2018. (OCASIO2018/INSTAGRAM)

ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ ON INSTAGRAM ON NOVEMBER 30, 2018. (OCASIO2018/INSTAGRAM)
ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ ON INSTAGRAM ON NOVEMBER 30, 2018. (OCASIO2018/INSTAGRAM)

And more serious matters like Democrats’ House leadership elections.

ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ ON INSTAGRAM ON NOVEMBER 28, 2018. (OCASIO2018/INSTAGRAM)
ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ ON INSTAGRAM ON NOVEMBER 28, 2018. (OCASIO2018/INSTAGRAM)

Regardless of how you feel about her, it seems inevitable that Ocasio-Cortez and some of her new House colleagues are set to transform perceptions of the Democratic Party — partially thanks to social media usage that has been called“the way we’d act if we got elected to Congress.”

DEB HAALAND, LUCY MCBATH, ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ, AND RASHIDA TLAIB ON INSTAGRAM ON NOVEMBER 13, 2018. (OCASIO2018/INSTAGRAM)
ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ ON INSTAGRAM ON NOVEMBER 8, 2018. (OCASIO2018/INSTAGRAM)

 

This article was originally published on ThinkProgress