AOC’s voice is refreshing to the young, urban populists who find the Democratic establishment stale and corrupt. Their world view has been shaped by the attacks on 9/11, an economic depression, a technological revolution and rapid social change. While they liked Obama, he disappointed them on change issues like government reform. AOC gets that because she’s lived it, and her authenticity shows in everything she says and does.
Despite Trump’s wealth and status as a member of the global elite, he understands that a large number of Americans are deeply rooted to places that the establishment has left to wither in the wind. The people who support AOC and Trump feel that their ability to achieve the American dream has been compromised by big, corrupt institutions.
“Watching both of them is a good way of understanding how our country is changing,” said Abreham Kittel, a young progressive who worked on two successful Democratic state legislative races in Pennsylvania last year and loves AOC’s policies and tweets. “Both Trump and AOC do things more directly and they are essentially saying to the political norms, ‘All right. The old way is not working, why not try something new.’ ”