The Post: I was talking with Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.), and he said that he feels like conservative media is setting you up to be another boogeyman on the left.

Ocasio-Cortez: Absolutely. They need a foil because they have nothing that they advance on their own. When you actually think about what the Republican agenda is, they have no vision for America. The Republican vision for America is dystopic. The Republican vision for our future is negative. It’s saying, ‘All of the people who are not like you are a danger and we need to protect ourselves from the danger. We need to build walls, we need to lock ’em up, we need to lock everything down.’ But there’s nothing about the Republican ideology that is about wealth-building or prosperity for the working class.

I really don’t believe that they think America can be better. I think that they’re protecting themselves from this kind of like fall. They see that the country is changing and they interpret change to be negative, whereas we interpret change to be positive. And so I think that there’s something about my candidacy but not just my candidacy but the entire freshman class, which — the whole freshman class is younger, the whole freshman class is more diverse, the whole freshman class is more female, and it represents a fundamental shift in American society that Republicans in their zero-sum way of thinking interpret as a loss. And so they pass on and they project that belief onto their news networks and their radio networks.