by Shelton Bumgarner
America doesn’t really know what to do with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. She’s a cultural anomaly in modern American politics on a number of different levels. As the Right continues to attack her for any reason simply because they’re completely scared shitless of her and their base gives them high engagement by simply mentioning her, she’s likely to become that rarest of political events — someone who stands squarely at the intersection of culture, politics and the national zeitgeist.
Only a few people — men — in our history have enjoyed such a historic stage and, they, too, all go by their name brand initials — TR, FDR, JFK. Now, here’s where things get interesting. I’m a dude, but I’m old enough to at least have the vaguest understanding of the different cultural worlds than men and women inhabit.
Women, at least it seems, often take cultural and fashion cues from other women that men don’t of men. So, while I’m not going to propose that I have any particular insight into the female mind, history would indicate that AOC has at least the potential to be an enormous cultural touchstone for many young women over the next 20 odd years (or more.)
This causes me to again observe that as of the moment, AOC’s relationship status is a black box. I like to think I’m fairly well informed about politics, culture and celebrity and I am completely unaware of AOC romantic status. I don’t know if she’s gay, straight, bi or pan. She’s a complete romantic enigma.
By even mentioning that, all I’m saying is AOC can’t continue to get the amount of ironic thirsty attention from the Right without some Right wing nimrod asking the same kind of questions I’m asking but in a much nasty manner and with a political agenda that is completely opposite to my own.
This will happen because women — and their romantic / sexual availability — is such a basic feature of humanity, that it’s inevitable that AOC will become a defacto sex symbol despite her best efforts not to. I’m well aware that it goes completely against everything she’s working for, but, like, uhhh, are we supposed to turn off 100,000 years of human evolutionary psychology because we are afraid people won’t take AOC “seriously?”
On second thought — don’t answer that.
Regardless, the whole point is — we’re careening towards a cultural tipping point when the simple question I’m asking, “Is AOC dating anyone?” will start to bounce around the media-celebrity industrial complex. I would not be surprised if Jezebel or The Cut at some point attempt to will into existence a romance between AOC and Sen. Cory Booker.
Anyway, as I was saying, there’s at least the possibility that AOC will, in a few years, be what everyone wanted HRC to be. It may take AOC a little bit longer than we’d hope, but it might very well happen. It might happen in large part because the Right in its own twisted manner, has a huge boner for AOC and they can’t help themselves talking about her the more it sinks in she’d probably be fun to “date.” (That’s cultural dog whistle for MAGA bro’s if ever there was one.)
But what do I know. My life is “sad” just for bringing this up in the first place.