Young, successful journalist reflects fondly on her interview with a young, successful first-term socialist Congresswoman on how hard it is to become successful and prosperous in America.
TIME Magazine national correspondent Charlotte Alter wants you to know that she totally digs Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY).
If you didn’t know it by the magazine cover, you’d know it by reading her April feature piece. If you didn’t know it by the feature piece, you’d know it by the video the magazine published that comes off like an Ellen “sisterhood” segment. And if you didn’t know it by the video, you’d know it by Alter’s nostalgic tweets about her experience interviewing the freshman Congresswoman.
We’ll get to those in a minute.
But first, the article itself. Alter paints Ocasio-Cortez not as a woman of the moment, but as a visionary, a one-woman-show walking against the wind:
That’s because Ocasio-Cortez threatens the status quo, bringing a youthful impatience to a set of policies popularized by Bernie Sanders’ 2016 campaign, like Medicare for All and tuition-free public college. Like Sanders, she seems more concerned with movements than elections; she doesn’t talk about flipping seats and votes, but rather of winning hearts and minds. Hers is the politics of the possible, not the practical. “By the time legislation actually gets through, it is five years from now,” she says. “So everything we introduce needs to have 2025 or our kids in mind.” She’s not thinking about how to keep the Democratic majority for another two years; she’s thinking about how to define the agenda for the next two decades.
We also learn some about Ocasio-Cortez’s early years and of the way things were economically in the 1990s and beyond:
Ocasio-Cortez was born in 1989, a few weeks before the Berlin Wall fell. George H.W. Bush was in his first year as President, Nancy Pelosi had just gotten to Congress, Sanders had already lost two Senate races, and Joe Biden had just bungled his first presidential bid. She was in elementary school during the financial prosperity of the 1990s, eating Dunkaroos while grownups clucked on television about Bill Clinton balancing the budget. “An entire generation, which is now becoming one of the largest electorates in America, came of age and never saw American prosperity,” she says. “I have never seen that, or experienced it, really, in my adult life.”
This statement resonated with journalist Alter, as she noted in an addendum on her Twitter page:
Twitter users immediately took issue with this statement, and for good reason:
Many critics have pointed out that Alter is a Harvard graduate and the daughter of former longtime Newsweek editor and New York Times best-selling author Jonathan Alter and former executive producer of “The Colbert Report,” Emily Lazar.
Oh lawd, grievance-monger. You've "never experienced American prosperity?" Your parents are Harvard-educated lib media/entertainment elites. Your sister is a venture capitalist. Your brother works for HBO Sports. You bloviate for Time mag & host a Sirius radio show. Poor you! https://t.co/mPhPgRSj03
— Michelle Malkin (@michellemalkin) March 21, 2019
Alter tried to clarify later that she wasn’t talking about her own experiences specifically, but no one was buying it—not from her, and not from Ocasio-Cortez:
Should I, like tweet about socialism— or take another selfie for my insta?
Ugh America is so broken right now!
Here’s the kicker- #firstworldproblems Are evidence of prosperity.
The state can’t give you meaning, kiddo, you gotta find it for yourself
— Erasmus (@SuperErasmus) March 22, 2019
Born around the same time, and I have to disagree. Came to US as an immigrant with nothing and no asylum assistance. Have witnessed abundant prosperity and opportunities in this country. Worked hard in the lows and enjoyed the highs.
— Kostia M (@iamkostmos) March 22, 2019
There were many more responses like that, all with similar sentiments: It’s because both Alter and Ocasio-Cortez both live in a country with so many freedoms, one that is so rich with opportunity that both of their families were prosperous. Their parents were able to live the American dream and provide for both of them. And when they grew up, worked their own jobs while striving to aim higher, they respectively became a successful journalist and a Congresswoman.
But if they lived in socialistic countries, things would be much different. Dark and uncertain. We’re seeing that play out in real time every day in Venezuela, where conditions are appalling, the opportunities are few, and the future looks hopeless.
If only Alter and Ocasio-Cortez could see the irony in tweets like these:
The date on the front page of the magazine where Alter’s piece on Ocasio-Cortez is featured is April 1st – also known as April Fool’s Day.
–Stacey Matthews has also written under the pseudonym “Sister Toldjah” and can be reached via Twitter.–DONATE
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