So, the other day, I found myself asking Martha, my wife, a very stupid question. That’s not unusual, of course. Stupid questions are among the things I do best.
But, my particular question involved Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the young and articulate New York Rep. At the time, she had just recently gone back to her old job as bartender for a bit of a stunt (let’s admit that), but also to draw attention to the plight of working people in America today.
I read a report on one of the news sites about the incident. Then, however, I made the mistake of reading some of the comments on the story. Many were from self-declared conservatives and “patriots,” and they were, at best, terrifying. The hate almost bubbled out between the individual characters on the screen. Some of the posters got pretty close to calling for physical violence.
Why? I wondered. What on earth, or off it, had she done? There was absolutely no reason for the rage, the fear, the virulent intensity of the response to the woman. So, she’d said a few things about a Green New Deal and been less than complimentary about Trump? So what? Lots of people say things like that. And, while the Right tends to demonize anyone who dares to take the name of the great Clod Trump in vain, there isn’t quite the same level of hatred, I think, in the Trumptoids’ remarks on, say, Joe Biden, or even Beto O’Rourke. There is some level of acid, yes, but not quite on the same scale as AOC…
I finally ended up asking Martha about it. She regarded me with the pitying look she reserves for the times when I’m particularly dense, and said, “Of course. She’s young. She’s a woman. She has a Hispanic name. And her skin is brown. What did you expect?”
What did I, indeed?
Yet, here’s the thing. AOC is getting older. In a few years, she’ll be old enough to run for President. And, more importantly, everyone else is getting older, too. I’ve read that the median age of the average Fox viewer is 65, or older. That is the median, not the mean, which translates into half of all Fox viewers are older than 65. That, in turn, means that Fox is slowly bleeding to death as its audience shuffles off this mortal coil.
Then, too, there’s white people in general. There’s still a lot of us around, but let’s face it, we’re not breeding as much as we used to. And, to make things more interesting still, the people who do self-identify as “white” aren’t exactly as Anglo-Saxon as they would have been once. Increasingly, when people of Mixed Race heritage, or who are Hispanic, or who are South Asian come to that little box marked “Race” on the census form, they tick off “White.” And why not? Many of them are whiter in culture, if not always in color, than your average WASP.
The point being that AOC, and people like her, are the future. They are the future even if you think that, somehow, America is going to stay “White,” because if it is white, that whiteness will be a lot more like coffee in the cream rather than pure vanilla.
So there’s the rub. No matter how much (for example) Alex Jones, and Stephen Miller, and all the little Trumpsters hate AOC…
The future is going to look way more like her than like them.