AOC Thinks the Process of Unifying the Democratic Party Should Be 'Uncomfortable'


Now that Sen. Bernie Sanders (Vt.) is out of the race for the Democratic presidential nomination, former Vice President Joe Biden is the presumptive nominee. 

Biden now has to win over supporters of Sanders and unify the party before the general election if he wants to beat President Donald Trump in the general election.

While Biden may hope that it is an easy process, some of Sanders’ supporters think that it should be “uncomfortable.” Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) told The New York Times in an interview that she thinks Biden needs to adopt a more progressive platform.

“There’s this talk about unity as this kind of vague, kumbaya, kind of term. Unity and unifying isn’t a feeling, it’s a process,” Ocasio-Cortez said.

She continued, “What I hope does not happen in this process is that everyone just tries to shoo it along and brush real policies … just brush that under the rug as an aesthetic difference of style.”

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“I don’t think this conversation about changes that need to be made is one about throwing the progressive wing of the party a couple of bones — I think this is about how we can win,” she added.

“The whole process of coming together should be uncomfortable for everyone involved — that’s how you know it’s working. And if Biden is only doing things he’s comfortable with, then it’s not enough.”

The progressive star — who endorsed Sanders — detailed several policy issues she has with Biden and laid out areas for improvement. For example, she said it is “great” that Biden said he wants to give “Dreamers” a pathway to citizenship but, “That’s a policy concession from 10 years ago.”

Andrew Kelly/File Photo/Reuters

“People need to feel hope in a Democratic administration. And that’s what this is about,” she said about why she sees a need for a drastic overhaul of Biden’s policies.

She detailed an example of how she would like Biden to change his immigration policy:

“If we’re not talking about paths to citizenship for undocumented people, and if we’re just talking about policy changes of 5 or 10 percent — especially when you look at something like climate change … It’s about who is able to find hope in your administration. And creating plans that give people hope and possibility.”

She maintained that Biden’s seeming victory was not the result of a rejection of progressive policies. Rather, it was because of his “coalition building.”

Finally, she was asked if she would endorse Biden, “I’ve always said that I will support the Democratic nominee. But unity is a process, and figuring out what that looks like is part of this whole conversation.”

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When asked if was a possibility she would campaign for Biden at one of his rallies, Ocasio-Cortez said, “It could be. I have not talked to the vice president.”

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