Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) blasted the use of the term “wokeness” to describe progressivism, saying those like veteran Democratic strategist James Carville who argue the Democrats lost big in last Tuesday’s elections because the party is too “woke” are using language “almost exclusively used by older people.”
“How can news outlets even attribute words to me I didn’t say,” asked Ocasio-Cortez in a tweet linking to a WSET-TV report that claimed she said Democratic candidate Terry McAuliffe lost the Virginia gubernatorial race because he wasn’t “woke” enough.
“I said there are limits to trying to mobilize a campaign with a 100% moderate strategy without mobilizing the base. Said nothing [about] ‘wokeness’ which is a term almost exclusively used by older people these days [by the way],” she wrote.
Continuing, the democratic-socialist lawmaker said the only people using the word “woke” are Carville and “Fox News pundits,” implying that term is targeted towards a right-wing audience and Democrats shouldn’t be concerned about it.
“And before people disingenuously complain ‘woke’ is denigrating to older people, it’s actually pundits like Carville using terms like ‘woke’ to insult voters under 45 that’s denigrating,” Ocasio-Cortez added, disparaging Carville, the lead strategist for the 1992 campaign that put then-Arkansas Gov. Bill Clinton in the White House, as a mere “pundit.”
“Don’t wonder why youth turnout falls when Dems talk about them like this. We need everyone,” she said.
Days ago, Carville spoke to “PBS Newshour” about Tuesday’s elections and blamed “stupid wokeness” for Democrats losing in Virginia and progressives severely underperforming elsewhere.
“I mean, this ‘defund the police’ lunacy, this take Abraham Lincoln’s name off of schools. I mean that — people see that,” Carville said. “And it really has a suppressive effect on all across the country on Democrats. Some of these people need to go to a woke detox center or something.”
Republicans won competitive district attorney races in Long Island, New York and increased a GOP legislative majority in Niagara County. In New York City and in Minneapolis, Minnesota mayoral candidates that rejected the “defund the police” movement claimed victory.
In Seattle, a law-and-order Republican won a race for city attorney, defeating a radical left-wing former public defender who described herself as a police abolitionist.
Carville’s point is that the Democratic Party is losing touch with voters by becoming preoccupied with niche racial and social justice politics.
Ocasio-Cortez, on the other hand, argued after the elections that the Democratic Party did not do enough to embrace its far-left element and failed to rally support for a progressive agenda.
“I know that Virginia was a huge bummer,” Ocasio-Cortez said in an Instagram video. “And honestly, if anything, I think that the results show the limits of trying to run a fully 100% super moderated campaign that does not excite speak to or energize a progressive base and frankly, we weren’t even really invited to contribute on that race.”
She accused moderate Democrats of enabling “race-baiting” by Republicans, saying the moderates’ strategy “demoralizes the base you’re supposed to protect and turn out while also ceding white swing voters to the right w/ inadequate responses or silence.”