After "West Wing" producer and screenwriter Aaron Sorkin lectured the bold freshman class of congressional Democrats to "stop acting like young people" in a CNN interview on Sunday—remarks that were quickly interpreted as a call to move right—Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) responded that the progressive policies championed by young Democrats aren't mere "trends" with no real-world consequences.
"Who is going to tell him that most of the Democratic politicians firing up the base and driving the conversation are young people?"
"News flash: Medicare for All and equal rights aren't trends," the New York congresswoman wrote, referring specifically to Sorkin's flippant dismissal of the push for equal rights for transgender Americans as a "Republican talking point they're trying to distract you with."
"When people complain about low turnout in some demo[graphics], it's not because communities are apathetic, it's because they don't see you fighting for them," continued Ocasio-Cortez, the youngest woman ever elected to Congress. "If we don't show up for people, why should you feel entitled to their vote?"
News Flash: Medicare for All & equal rights aren’t trends.
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? https://t.co/oGRsG9NZV3
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) January 20, 2019
Sorkin went on to tell CNN's Fareed Zakaria that he believes "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."
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"That's a Republican talking point they're trying to distract you with," Sorkin said. "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."
Aaron Sorkin: The new crop of Dems need to "stop acting like young people" pic.twitter.com/qGZqWDpXi8
— jordan (@JordanUhl) January 20, 2019
Sorkin's unsolicited advice to young congressional Democrats—who, in just a short period of time, have helped push bold solutions like a Green New Deal and a 70 percent tax rate into mainstream political discussion—was widely panned by progressives, who characterized the screenwriter's comments as a sad attempt to shoot down the party's surging left-wing energy.
"Who is going to tell him that most of the Democratic politicians firing up the base and driving the conversation are young people?" CREDO Mobile wrote on Twitter in response to Sorkin's remarks.
Referring to the popular political television series "The West Wing," Charlotte Clymer of the Human Rights Campaign added, "I would like to remind everyone that the only political campaign Aaron Sorkin ever won was a fictional presidential election that he wrote."