How Millennials Are Seizing Power and Rewriting the Rules of American Politics

Michael Kazin in The New York Times:

Perhaps the most striking political change that occurred during the stormy reign of Donald J. Trump is one his devotees utterly abhorred: the growth of a sizable left outside and inside the Democratic Party. Young radicals and middle-aged white suburban dwellers both flocked to “the Resistance,” under whose militant rubric one could do anything from marching in a demonstration to starting a Facebook page to canvassing for a favored candidate. During his second run for the White House even more than during his first, Bernie Sanders inspired millions of young people of all races to imagine living in a nation with strong unions and a robust welfare state instead of the “neoliberal” order long favored by leaders of both major parties. And, for many Berniecrats, socialism became the name of their desire instead of a synonym for state tyranny.

The journalist David Freedlander’s slim new book, “The AOC Generation,” is a keenly observant narrative, albeit an entirely sympathetic one, about the young women and men most responsible for the upsurge on the left that infused the Democrats with their abundant energy, cleverness and grievances. At the center of his story is Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who may need no introduction but still might blush to read this glowing portrayal by a reporter who lives in her New York City district and appears to have interviewed only people who share his sentiments.

Freedlander calls the congresswoman, who is a wizard of social media, the “avatar of this new generation.” He describes his heroine as an “electric” orator and quotes one of her college friends, who recalls, “Everybody I knew was in love with her.”

More here.