Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is changing the way politicians use social media

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 January 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. The most recent conservative talking head to get dragged by Ocasio-Cortez is former Gov. Mike Huckabee (R-AR).

A Green New Deal will take a level of ambition + innovation on the scale of the moon landing. We’ve been done it before, and can do it again.

Leave the false statements to Sarah Huckabee. She’s much better at it.

Also, you haven’t been a Governor of any state for 10+ years now. https://t.co/R7q5CkMw8Y

— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@Ocasio2018) December 3, 2018

 

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

.@LindseyGrahamSC, the point of such a treasured museum is to bring its lessons to present day.

This administration has jailed children and violated human rights. Perhaps we should stop pretending that authoritarianism + violence is a historical event instead of a growing force. https://t.co/aGJMrPTqNT

— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@Ocasio2018) November 27, 2018

 

While we’re recommending museums @LindseyGrahamSC, I heard your “joke” about ethnic DNA preferences last month.

Perhaps you would enjoy a visit (or revisit) to the Smithsonian Museum of African-American History and Culture (@NMAAHC). It’s a great educational experience.

— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@Ocasio2018) November 27, 2018

 

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.

1. Aspirational Goals: Push the limits of what’s possible.2. Nuts + Bolts: Our lives are on the line. We shouldn’t let the planet be destroyed because it’s “too expensive” to save.3. Supporters: Many4. Opponents: Fossil fuel industry5. Beyond Energy: A Federal Jobs Guarantee https://t.co/QP3XXwrP5q

— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@Ocasio2018) November 25, 2018

 

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.

It’s on – #GreenNewDeal is now picking up steam in the Senate.

I had an incredible time with @SenMarkey today, taking notes on his ‘07 Select Committee and how we can leverage past work into pushing for a GND today. He’s in.

Thank you Sen. Markey for your climate leadership! 💪🏽 https://t.co/xGgsZVJPTd

— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@Ocasio2018) December 3, 2018

 

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.

Actually, we have for-profit “death panels” now: they are companies + boards saying you’re on your own bc they won’t cover a critical procedure or medicine.

Maybe if the GOP stopped hiding behind this “socialist” rock they love to throw, they’d actually engage on-issue for once. https://t.co/4P2TrflkFX

— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@Ocasio2018) December 2, 2018

 

Cognitive dissonance is Republican commentators stalking, doctoring, + editing my casual livestreams out of context in order to sow doubt in my intelligence, all while blindly supporting a man who thinks our greatest defense against forest fires is: A Rakehttps://t.co/RsfyPT6rGy

— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@Ocasio2018) November 21, 2018

 

Now that’s *TWO* fallen GOP Vice Pres candidates going after a freshman Congresswoman that’s not even sworn in yet.

Isn’t it a little early to be bringing out the big guns?

Especially when they look like the FWD:RE:FWD:WATCH THIS grandpa emails from the ‘08 election they lost https://t.co/TijjLgJ0MI

— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@Ocasio2018) November 20, 2018

 

Ah yes, God forbid a diverse, working-class district (that more accurately represents modern America) actually have equal say in our democracy as your weird uncle with questionable racial beliefs who shares fake conspiracy memes on Facebook. https://t.co/1W6aUzDX7l

— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@Ocasio2018) November 19, 2018

 

Oh no! They discovered our vast conspiracy to take care of children and save the planet 😂 pic.twitter.com/XYWXmi3Xyk

— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@Ocasio2018) November 14, 2018

 

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.

okay Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is literally eating instant mac and cheese with a coffee stirrer while breaking down congressional committees and answering our political questions!!! @Ocasio2018 your authenticity is truly ICONIC pic.twitter.com/Xi2dcd809G

— Devi Ruia (@DeviRuia) December 1, 2018

 

Seeing on instagram @Ocasio2018 and @RepJayapal having dinner (soup, to be exact) genuinely warms my heart. Can only imagine the wisdom being passed on here!!

2 grassroots organizers who are about to do a lot more good together. ❤🏅 pic.twitter.com/0Q4tt337Fk

— Helen Brosnan (@HelenBrosnan) November 28, 2018

 

.@Ocasio2018 is talking about the problem with cash bail while cutting chipotle chilis and making dinner. 👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽

This is how you talk politics at the dinner table. I wish more politicians were real like this. pic.twitter.com/vlxoKAAKse

— Renee Bracey Sherman (@RBraceySherman) November 19, 2018

 

The revolution doesn’t wait for business casual 💁🏽‍♀️👷🏻‍♀️👨🏿‍🏫 https://t.co/zmk9fs0FIA

— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@Ocasio2018) November 18, 2018

 

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)

.@IlhanMN and I both arrived at Congressional Orientation today… wearing the same outfit 😂👯‍♀️ pic.twitter.com/ap29JTZ2cy

— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@Ocasio2018) November 28, 2018

 

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)

Insurance groups are recommending GoFundMe as official policy – where customers can die if they can’t raise the goal in time – but sure, single payer healthcare is unreasonable.

h/t @DanRiffle pic.twitter.com/zetPW0MgDd

— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@Ocasio2018) November 24, 2018

 

Finding common ground doesn’t have to mean sacrificing your values.

This is one example. https://t.co/IYwnrsIJHG

— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@Ocasio2018) November 15, 2018

 

Last year I was bartending, and I bought my first couch two weeks ago – shortly after I got health insurance 😬

So don’t worry, growth doesn’t happen in a straight line! We’re all closer than we believe. https://t.co/G6ZEIgVoR8

— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@Ocasio2018) November 7, 2018

 

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 captions stories “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)

I said my Sana Sana… and got number 40! (Lowest is 85) pic.twitter.com/u3YIqvOMpF

— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@Ocasio2018) November 30, 2018

 

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.”

Album dropping 1/3/19 @Ocasio2018 @IlhanMN @Deb4CongressNM @sharicedavids @vgescobar pic.twitter.com/5P0NqOOMG9

— Ayanna Pressley (@AyannaPressley) November 30, 2018

 

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)

Read more: thinkprogress.org