Ocasio-Cortez responds to Aaron Sorkin directing young Dems to ‘stop acting like young people’

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) on Sunday responded to director Aaron Sorkin’s suggestion that the young Democrats newly elected to Congress should “stop acting like young people.” 

“News Flash: Medicare for All & equal rights aren’t trends,” 29-year-old Ocasio-Cortez, the youngest woman elected to the House, wrote in response to a video of Sorkin’s interview.

“When people complain about low turnout in some demos, it’s not because communities are apathetic, it’s bc they don’t see you fighting for them,” Ocasio-Cortez wrote. “If we don’t show up for people, why should you feel entitled to their vote?” 

{mosads}Ocasio-Cortez is one of several progressive freshman lawmakers supportive of “Medicare for all,” among other issues. 

“I really like the new crop of young people who were just elected to Congress,” Sorkin said during an interview with CNN’s Fareed Zakaria. Ocasio-Cortez is currently the youngest member of Congress at 29. Sorkin then added, “They now need to stop acting like young people.” 

“It’s time to do that,” said Sorkin, a longtime Democrat who created the popular show “The West Wing” about a Democratic administration. “I think there’s great opportunity here, now more than ever, for Democrats to be the non-stupid party.”

Sorkin said he believes Democrats should say the party is “not just about transgender bathrooms, that that’s a Republican talking point they’re trying to distract you with.”

“But we are, that we haven’t forgotten the economic anxiety of the middle class but we’re going to be smart about this, we’re not going to be mean about it,” Sorkin continued. 

Democrats in multiple states have pushed against bills requiring people to use the bathroom associated with the gender they were assigned at birth, a requirement that LGBTQ advocates say results in discrimination against transgender people.

“Is Aaron Sorkin implying here that transgender rights are a distraction?” LGBTQ advocate Charlotte Clymer tweeted in response to the video of Sorkin. “Because it seems to me he’s saying that.” 

Ocasio-Cortez and Clymer had a Twitter exchange about the Sorkin clip. 

“I think there’s something deeper here: Sorkin really just wants gravitas, and he’s okay if the gravitas in our elected officials comes with troubling compromise,” Clymer wrote, replying to Ocasio-Cortez’s original tweet. She listed Ocasio-Cortez and fellow Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), saying “we like @AOC and @Ilhan and these incoming Members because they prioritize substance over gravitas (appearance).” 

“Let’s dig into ‘gravitas,’ bc it’s an ambiguous word, selectively applied,” Ocasio-Cortez replied. “Ever wonder how expression that’s feminine, working-class, queer, or poc isn’t deemed as having ‘gravitas,’ but talking like an Aaron Sorkin character does? Men have ‘gravitas,’ women get ‘likeable.'” 

The average age of Congress’s new freshman class is 49, making it the youngest class in the past three cycles. 

Tags Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Ilhan Omar
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