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Photo Illustration by Lyne Lucien/The Daily Beast
‘GRAVITAS’

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Claps Back at Aaron Sorkin for Saying She Needs to ‘Stop Acting Like Young People’

The man behind ‘The West Wing’ challenged the ‘new crop’ of young Democrats to prove they’re the ‘non-stupid party.’

Matt Wilstein1.20.19 5:26 PM ET

Filmmaker Aaron Sorkin had some advice for the “new crop” of young Democrats during an appearance on Fareed Zakaria’s CNN show Sunday morning. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) isn’t buying it.

“They now need to stop acting like young people, OK?” Sorkin told Zakaria with a laugh. “I think that there’s a great opportunity here, now more than ever, for Democrats to be the non-stupid party, to point out the difference.”

“That it’s not just about transgender bathrooms, that’s a Republican talking point they’re trying to distract you with,” the creator of The West Wing and The Newsroom continued. “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.”

“News Flash: Medicare for All & equal rights aren’t trends,” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted in response. “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. If we don’t show up for people, why should you feel entitled to their vote?”

Later, in response to an activist who suggested Sorkin was looking for “gravitas” in his politicians even if it comes with “troubling compromise,” the freshman congresswoman wrote, “Let’s dig into ‘gravitas,’ bc it’s an ambiguous word, selectively applied. 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?”

Following that dig at Sorkin’s often-mocked rhetorical style, she added, “Men have ‘gravitas,’ women get ‘likeable.’”

Ocasio-Cortez continued on from there, seeming to paint Sorkin as part of “the right,” which has “trouble recognizing intelligence in people they disagree with” and characterizes her as a “‘crazy/dumb’ Latina woman.”

“This stuff infects some Democrats, too,” she continued. “Because in our overall discourse, nonviolent protest somehow gets deemed as not ‘civil,’ yet stripping women’s rights or incarcerating children on the border doesn’t receive the same characterization. What’s up with that?”

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