What Does Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Re-election Mean for America?


What Does Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Re-election Mean for America?

Illustration: Robin Chakraborty

As the United States’ election moves toward its final moments, the post of President remains very much up for grabs. Both Democratic candidate Joe Biden and Republican Donald Trump have not yet gathered enough votes from the Electoral College to claim victory at the time of writing. But though the top spot is still open, many other races for seats in Congress have been conclusively decided, and have included some big wins for the Democrats. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, or AOC as she is also known, the 31-year-old representative to Congress from New York was one of the most popular Democrats to confirm her re-election bid.

AOC, who identifies as a Democratic socialist, has raised her profile in recent years not only for her progressive and liberal policies that attract her the ire of Republicans across the aisle, but also by challenging the established order within her own party. AOC is part of a group of younger female lawmakers who are also persons of colour, who share similar political views and are collectively known as “The Squad” by the media. Along with AOC, this group comprises Ilhan Omar, Ayanna Presley, and Rashida Tlaib. All four members of “The Squad” have won their re-election campaigns, despite near constant targeting by conservatives, not just during campaign season but year round.

While the Presidential race remains tightly contested, Democrats can claim a smaller victory as some of their most high-profile and progressive candidates have been given another term by voters. “The Squad” was known for championing liberalism and progressivism even at the most jingoistic and populist lowlights of Trump’s term as President. Having AOC and her fellow progressives all back in Congress means that Democrats will have strong voices in government going forward, regardless of what happens today.

While it’s true that the war is yet to be won, AOC and the others’ victory was an important battle as well.