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Where is Australia's Jacinda Ardern?

  • 11 April 2019


While speaking to a Republican fundraising dinner in Washington last week, US President Donald Trump referred to Democrat Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) — the NYC Congresswoman touted to be Trump's biggest 'star power' rival — as 'a young bartender'.

Trump's words, many of which failed to actually form a complete sentence as per his favoured 'stream of consciousness' style, included: 'The Green New Deal, done by a young bartender, 29 years old,' followed by, 'You have senators that are professionals, that you guys know, that have been there for a long time ... and they're standing behind her shaking. They're petrified of her.'

In attempting to belittle AOC's intellect, age and class, Trump was juxtaposing her with 'senators that are professionals' who have 'been there for a long time'. The obvious assertion being that AOC is not a 'professional', and is apparently too young to be one anyway.

AOC, a second generation Puerto Rican American, supported herself through tertiary study, and graduated cum laude with a degree in economics and international relations from Boston University. Last year she became the youngest woman ever to serve in the US Congress — perhaps largely due to the fact that she is a Democrat who truly 'stands for something', and that makes her stand out.

In a short amount of time, she has convinced 2020 presidential candidates to support her radical Green New Deal. She has used social media to get political campaign finance reform on the national agenda, with her Twitter bio proudly reading '100 per cent People-Funded, no corporate PAC $' (PAC stands for political action committee).

Essentially, AOC is running on a platform of independence, and the conviction that her role as a lawmaker is to represent and serve the people. Perhaps not surprisingly given her stance on a number of issues, she identifies as Catholic, and has written on the impact of her faith on her campaign for criminal justice reform in America magazine.

No wonder Trump wants to reduce the evidently brilliant AOC to 'a young bartender'. AOC did bartend as a side gig while also working for an educational non-profit, because unlike so many in her own party, she did not come from wealth — a fact many Trump supporters would consider a badge of honour.


"There's almost always a very generous nod to 'grey area', 'complexity' or 'context' when a man behaves poorly in a work environment."


Yet many things about AOC will be used