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Midterms 2018

Ocasio-Cortez Likens Her Election Victory to Moon Landing and Establishing Civil Rights

Incoming congresswoman said of herself and other Dems, 'We did it when no one else thought we could'

Newly elected lawmaker Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) apparently thinks that her Election Day victory in early November of this year belongs in the same category of accomplishments as the U.S.’s moon landing and the establishment of civil rights in this country.

It is true that Ocasio-Cortez pulled off a stunning primary upset victory this summer against 10-term incumbent Rep. Joe Crowley (D-N.Y.), the heavily funded 56-year-old chairman of the House Democratic Caucus.

And it is true that Ocasio-Cortez easily won the general election on November 6.

At age 29, she will be the youngest congresswoman in U.S. history. Her victory was also part of the Democratic takeover of the House, although Republicans expanded their Senate majority.

The New York-based Cornell Costume and Textile Collection, in fact, announced last week that it would be displaying the shoes Ocasio-Cortez wore down while campaigning against Crowley.

But do these accomplishments really rank among such iconic American accomplishments as the moon landing and the establishment of civil rights? Ocasio-Cortez thinks so.

While speaking at a press conference ostensibly concerning her radical Green New Deal proposal on Friday, the incoming congresswoman spoke of how Americans have had a history of defying expectations through hard work and perseverance.

“This is not just about a Green New Deal. This is about a new deal for the United States of America. Because in every moment when our country has reached the depths of darkness, in every moment when we were at the brink, at the cusp of an abyss, and we did not know if we would be capable of saving ourselves, we have. We’ve done it,” Ocasio-Cortez said.

“We’ve dug deep and we’ve done what we thought was impossible. We went to the moon, we electrified the nation, we established civil rights, we enfranchised the country. We [dug] deep and we did it,” Ocasio-Cortez continued, before lumping her own victory in with these historic national accomplishments.

“We did it when no one else thought we could. That’s what we did when so many of us won an election this year,” Ocasio-Cortez proclaimed.

Related: Ocasio-Cortez Joins Climate Change Protest Outside Pelosi’s Office

Once a campaign organizer for Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Ocasio-Cortez is a member of the Democratic Socialists of America and worked as a bartender less than a year before her primary victory.

As one of the House’s most progressive incoming members, she’s made it known that she will not moderate her views.

A week after winning the general election in November, Ocasio-Cortez joined hard-line climate change activists in a protest outside the office of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) during the first day of her own freshman orientation on Capitol Hill.

As a result, Pelosi said in a statement that she “recommended to my House Democratic colleagues that we reinstate the select committee to address the climate crisis” — partly to mollify Ocasio-Cortez.

Check out Ocasio-Cortez’s remarks in the video below:

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PoliZette writer Kathryn Blackhurst can be reached at [email protected].