Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez: Making Headlines Despite No Political Experience
A Latina of Puerto Rican descent, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is a New York Democrat who won the general election on November 6, 2018. The news reports that Ocasio-Cortez is the youngest woman ever to be elected into Congress.
"At age 29, she's now the youngest woman to be elected to Congress. No woman has ever been elected to Congress in her 20's."— Politico.com
If the news headline's about Ocasio-Cortez read, "At age 29, she's now the youngest person to be elected to Congress," that would be a completely false statement.
Throughout history, there have been 4 politicians elected into Senate before the age of 30. There have been at least 124 politicians elected into the House of Representatives before the age of 30.
"Minimum ages are written into Article One of the United States Constitution, which bars a person under the age of 25 from serving in the House and persons under the age of 30 from serving in the Senate."— Wikipedia
I cannot find any information to disprove the fact that John Jordan Crittenden was the youngest person to join the House of Representatives at the age of 24 (Kentucky, 1817). John Henry Eaton was the youngest person to join the Senate at the age of 28 (Tennessee, 1821). He was also a member of the House of Representatives at the age of 25.
These two people deserve recognition for becoming Congressional members to hold "first" titles, not to mention their lengthly list of other accomplishments in United States government and poltiics.
Since the establishment of the Senate in 1789, there have been 52 female members.
1922: Rebecca Latimer Felton became the first female Senator. Felton served for a period of one day, and her entrance into the Senate was only due to the death of her husband.
1932: Hattie Caraway became the first woman elected into the Senate.
1949: Margaret Chase Smith became a member of the Senate, and thus became the first women to serve in both the House and Senate.
1978: Nancy Kassebaum became the first woman without a spousal member of Congress ever be elected to a full-term in the Senate.
These people deserve recognition for considering and proving themselves capable and equal. They do not deserve praise because of their gender.
Of all the men and women I have mentioned in this article, the only person without any political or governmental experience is the main subject herself, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
This brings me to my main point. Why does her age, gender, or ethnicity matter at all? Why does her lack of experience seem to not matter? How is the United States--specifically, New York, okay with this? I guess we'll find out soon enough.
© 2018 Kerri Rowland