Splitting Hairs

going deeper

AOC is Brilliant Charming Sunlight


Of course, AOC, the person, is a 29-year-old woman. But who or what is “AOC, the meme”? The one that is melting America? To me, that meme is: brilliantcharming …. sunlight. Let’s take those three ideas in order.


Spend an hour or two reading AOC’s Twitter feed, watching videos of her media interviews and C-SPAN monologues, and you might notice that this is one sharp cookie. AOC’s first-class mind is like a razor blade cutting through the bullsh&#.

I work at two different early stage Silicon Valley startups. These companies are filled with brilliant young people. The kind who were the top students in school.

It’s obvious to me that AOC is their peer on this metric. But there’s more.


AOC communicates brilliant complex thoughts, but does so at a sixth-grade level. Anyone can understand what she is saying.

AOC parries all the bullsh%$ that is being thrown at her with deft grace. She responds, not with crass ad hominem attacks, but with gentle defiant strength.

Examples? To Lieberman: “who dis?”. To Pelosi: “It is a green dream.” To the GOP: “Which is it? Am I secretly rich or pathetically poor?” And on and on.

(If you know anything about the Enneagram theory of personality, I’m smelling a 7.)


This is the last attribute of the AOC meme. To this point, you might be asking: Why not include the fact that AOC is a woman? My answer: Because up until this point, we could have been describing Obama (definitely brilliant; certainly charming).

But sunlight — the disinfecting kind — is what separates and elevates AOC from Obama.

Doesn’t matter the subject: marginal tax rates, pay-to-play congressional committee assignments, climate change and the government, NIH as Big Pharma’s bitch, the legality of corruption (see the Twitter post at the top of this page), etc. etc.

AOC has cast her brilliant charming sunlight on all of it. Already, she has disinfected pay-to-play congressional committee assignments. Simply by shining a (Twitter/Instagram) light on it, with charm and insight … and poof!, this particular corruption is gone. Like magic.

Now look again at some of the national problems listed above. Casting sunlight on the problem was only the first step. Just imagine the deeper sunlight AOC will be shining as those issues progress.

Example: there are websites that show which politicians have received money from which corporations. But those are dry web pages, interesting only to academics and weirdos like me.

Just wait until the brilliant, charming, sunlight of AOC reaches into those deep crevices of our corrupt government.

I got my popcorn popping. How about you?

10 comments on “AOC is Brilliant Charming Sunlight

  1. hikerinparadise
    February 9, 2019

    Unfortunately, I think only a small percentage of Americans are ready for the kind of wisdom she is expressing. (I think that’s why the Democrats want to temper her message).

    I never used to think so few Americans would be ready for someone like her, but since Trump has been in power, I see an America that is not as smart, kind, and selfless as I once thought. It’s not because of the person in power. It’s because half of the country voted for him. White nationalism seems to have become more acceptable citing free speech. Lack of gun control seems to have become even more vocal citing the second amendment. And healthcare . . . . jeez, America is in the stone age and there are too many interest groups that don’t want change.

    It’s good that she’s only 29 and can’t run for president. Maybe in 6 years there will be much more than half of Americans who are smart, kind, and selfless, and white nationalism, lack of gun control, and selfish healthcare will be on a steady decline by then.


    • peter
      February 9, 2019

      Thanks! Methinks “half of Americans” is quite over-estimating it. It’s more like “30%”. In 2016, Trump got only 40-something percent of the national vote. And 10-15% of that were people casting “protest votes” or “trial balloon” votes — in 2019, the trial is over. Now we’re down to 30% who are the a-hole Americans you’re describing. AOC shining her light on these a-holes and their policies is showing that 70% of Americans are on the “right side of history”.

      Of course, the US government is more like this 50-50 split you’re thinking of. But government does not reflect the people. And AOC is showing how and why that is (among other things she’s showing).


      • hikerinparadise
        February 9, 2019

        30% is a more hopeful number.

        However, it’s going to take many, many years to see a truly fair and liberal Supreme Court. Look what’s potentially happening to Roe vs Wade in Louisiana. I don’t think we’ll see any major changes in our lifetimes in your country. AOC is shining a light into laws that are fundamentally broken. It must start somewhere. That’s great.

        However, I don’t think you’ll see the benefit in terms of actual change since many of the Supreme Court justices are your age and will die out when you do.

        It will be interesting to see what America is like 50 years from now. I’ll be in the ground. Who knows, your goal is 120, so you may live to see these changes!


    • peter
      February 9, 2019

      (Argh, WordPress. Couldn’t reply to your reply) Well, there you go again. 🙂 Conflating government with the people.

      Congress, President, and Supreme Court (the 3 branches of the US government) are NOT the people. And AOC is shining her light on that fact. AOC is showing that the US government (all 3 branches) is, circa 2019, government “of the Corporations, by the Corporations, and for the Corporations”.

      FDR inherited a reactionary right-wing Supreme Court, just as the AOC-led Dem who wins in 2020 will do. History doesn’t repeat, but it sure as hell does rhyme.

      FDR “went to war” against his own Supreme Court, and they eventually backed down. That Roberts signed on with the Court liberals this week on the abortion case is showing you who will be the lynchpin of this coming 2022 “Supreme Court backing down to the national political will”.

      Interesting days are ahead. It’s just amazing to me that a 29-year-old is dragging this broken country into the light.


      • hikerinparadise
        February 9, 2019

        I understand that the President, Congress and Supreme Court are not the people. But who the President and Senate elects to the Supreme Court, will determine your country’s laws for decades. So what is going on today (with so many hypotheticals: what if RBG dies in the next 2 years? what if Trump wins in 2020? etc., etc.), will create the backbone of the legal landscape for years to come, no matter if there is a prolonged blue wave after that. That’s why the Kavannaugh and Gorsch confirmations were so bad for your country. The President, Congress and Supreme Court are not the people, but the people have voted for them, so they do represent the people. If broken laws have to be fixed, my understanding is that they must go through the SC. If the SC is made up of more right-leaning conservatives, it’s going to be a very long time for things to change.

        The most hopeful thing about AOC? She has a background in economics, so she understands money. Money is why Trump got elected (i.e. people worried about the economy and their own financial situations, corporate funding for his campaign helped his cause, etc., etc.). Frankly, I don’t think there is a subject area of expertise that could have been better suited for this rising star.

        You know what else I think? Trump paved the way for leniency and forgiveness when statements aren’t actually facts. So when AOC makes a few minor statements that aren’t actually correct (e.g. number of people in the US, etc.), who the hell cares? American people have gotten so used to lies and untruths and mistakes, that minor mistakes won’t even make a blip in the way it could have in the pre-Trump era.


  2. hikerinparadise
    February 9, 2019

    I didn’t know that about FDR. So maybe the whole SC thing is more hopeful that I thought.


    • peter
      February 9, 2019

      I think your comments are nicely teasing out the difference between parliamentary democracies and whatever you want to call America’s “democracy”. In the former, government reflects the people quite closely. But the latter is something else.

      The American Framers wanted to slow down government so that the majority couldn’t just roll over the minority. So that explains the reasons for the 3-part government, the 2-senators for each state (even though California is 10x bigger than other states), the electors whose votes count (not the people’s votes), etc. etc.

      I don’t think the Framers ever imagined that these “brakes” they put on the government would be **the very tools used by Corporations to capture every crevice of the government**.

      The Framers were very anti-corporate. This is the incredible irony of the American story. Here I’m arguing from the “Framers intention”. And yet, the people who cite the Framers in legal arguments are the handmaids of Corporations.

      Today, in 2019, America is the exact opposite of what the Framers intended. And 70% of the people know it in their guts.

      It took AOC to explain all of it, 140-characters at a time.


  3. Matt Schlegel
    February 9, 2019

    A word for you?

    Liked by 1 person

    • peter
      February 9, 2019

      Absolutely! But not sexually so, just politically speaking. Politically, she’s the one I’ve been waiting for since 2003. Couldn’t have dreamed up a better android version of her if I tried. This human version of the “anti-corporate prophet” is pitch perfect.


  4. Pingback: Look on the Bright Side of AOC | Splitting Hairs

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This entry was posted on February 9, 2019 by in people vs. corporations.



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