Those hoping to steal a little bit of congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s magic should watch Netflix’s documentary Knock Down The House. Directed by Rachel Lears, the doc gives a behind-the-scenes look at AOC’s 2018 midterms campaign, along with the campaigns of three other progressive candidates: Amy Vilela from Las Vegas, Cori Bush from St. Louis, and Paula Jean Swearengin from West Virginia.
The film, which is now streaming, is an empowering look at four women who decided to take on the establishment, and no surprise, it offers more than a few words of wisdom that you might want to stitch onto a pillow.
The best quotes in Knock Down The House are more than just campaign slogans, though, even if some of them made for good ones. These are the powerful words of real women trying to make some real change. Words that will remind you once again who runs the world, but more importantly, who definitely deserves a seat in the House and Senate.
“If I was a rational person, I would have dropped out of this race a long time ago.” - Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
Lucky for us, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez didn’t since she pulled off a major upset in defeating incumbent Joe Crowley, one of the most powerful establishment Democrats.
“I’m used to being on my feet 18 hours a day. I’m used to receiving a lot of heat. I’m used to people trying to make me feel bad. They call it ‘working class’ for a reason, because you are working non-stop." - Ocasio-Cortez
For anyone who’s ever said waitressing isn’t a real job, this is what you should tell them, courtesy of Ocasio-Cortez, who worked as a bartender and a waitress before becoming a congresswoman.
“If we elect working people, working people can have representation in Congress. We can change the way we see government, change the way we see politics in this country.” - Isra Allison
This is what Isra Allison, executive director of Brand New Congress, a progressive group looking to help new candidates run for Congress, believes we need in America right now.
“I never saw myself going into politics, but now that I sit here in this room with you all, I just feel like we can only accomplish great things together.” - Ocasio-Cortez
After being nominated to Brand New Congress by her brother, AOC realised it was time to make a change, but she couldn’t do it on her own.
“Nobody owns you yet. You don’t owe anybody anything yet. So, run.” - Red. Darryl Gray
This is the powerful sentiment Rev. Darryl Gray, a civil rights veteran, shared with AOC and her team.
“The fundamental question, in the beginning, is, ‘Why you?’ The reason ‘why’ was ’cause, nobody else would. So literally anybody could, right? Because the alternative is no one.” - Ocasio-Cortez
Ocasio-Cortez’s realisation of why she would be a good candidate could literally be anyone’s reason to run – and should be.
“People have seen West Virginians as we don’t have no teeth, no shoes, and no brains. I just think they underestimate us. At the end of the day, we’re gonna fight for each other. They need to know that. We’re coming out of the belly of the beast, kicking and screaming.” -Paula Jean Swearengin
Paula Jean Swearengin, a coal miner’s daughter from West Virginia, who ran for the Senate hoping to let her state know they are more than what anyone thinks of them.
“One of my problems [is] when I’m trying to be polite to someone, I feel like my voice goes up two octaves.” -Ocasio-Cortez
Ah, like any woman whose ever made a phone call, Ocasio-Cortez knows the expectation of putting on a "polite voice" all too well.
“Being a woman of colour, our image is really scrutinised. You have to speak like this, you have to dress like this, I decided that ‘Yea, I don’t care.’ Basically, you deal with it. You know, people in my district, this is how we look. I’m going to serve and represent the people of my district.” -Cori Bush
Bush made sure to set her own standards when it comes to what kind of candidate she was going to be.
“The person I’m running against is complacent, but I’m not.” -Cori Bush
Bush was not fooling around when it came to her stump speech.
“It’s time for ordinary people to do extraordinary things. Let’s raise some hell and take our lives back.” -Paula Jean Swearengin
Swearengin’s message feels like the perfect slogan for the new Democrats.
“I am experienced enough to do this. I am knowledgeable enough to do this. I am prepared enough to do this. I am mature enough to do this. I am brave enough to do this.” -Ocasio-Cortez
Ocasio-Cortez’s mantra going into her first debate with her opponent Crowley sounds like something we should all be repeating to ourselves anytime we need a little reminder of how capable we are.
“For one of us to make it through, 100 of us have to try.” -Ocasio-Cortez
While this is a hard thing for Amy Vilela, who lost her primary in Las Vegas for Congress, to hear, Ocasio-Cortez isn’t wrong that change isn’t always quick, but it is necessary.
Knock Down The House is available on Netflix now