Michael Moore isn’t the first to say it. Back in December, Vox’s Matt Yglesias argued it was a shame Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez couldn’t run for president because of a silly restriction in the constitution. In fact, Michael Moore said almost the same thing last Friday.
“It’s too bad you have to be 35 to be president,” Moore said on MSNBC. He continued, “You know they put that in the constitution, the Founding Fathers, because people died at 38 or forty back then. You know we need to lower that.”
It’s hard to find life expectancy data for 18th century America but in most cases the reason life expectancy was so low had to do with high infant mortality. Among children who made it to the age of five, life expectancy was probably closer to fifty or a bit higher. Most adults did not die at 38 or 40 years old.
“If that was lowered to thirty,” Moore said.
“Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, is that where you’re going with this?” host Ali Velshi asked.
“Could be running,” Moore replied. “She just has to be 30 by the time…January of 2021,” he added.
Asked why he’s supporting her specifically out of all the candidates who have already announced, Moore gave an interesting reply.
“She is the leader. Everybody knows it. Everybody feels it,” he said.
Velshi suggested that the right was enjoying having AOC as “an image of what Democrats are.” He asked Moore if there was any danger in that for the party. Moore replied that he wasn’t worried about losing the moderates.
I think Moore is correct about AOC being the far-left’s one true love at this moment. If she were able to run for office, I think she’d quickly have more money and support than all but a couple of the current candidates. Of course, I also suspect that her inexperience, penchant for gaffes, and the barely disguised hatred of the party establishment would eventually grind her down to size. But in the meantime, she’d be packing out stadiums full of socialist-curious millennials and whipping them into a frenzy.
Fortunately, we won’t have to witness any of that because we do have an age limit in the constitution and it’s not going to change. But instead of being the candidate, that means AOC will be a kind of far-left kingmaker. Whoever she endorses and supports is going to benefit from her energy and popularity. Whoever she trashes in the primaries is going to suffer for it. Moore is right. She is the leader now. I sincerely wonder if people aren’t going to feel a bit disappointed with the Bernie redux campaign because at the end of the day he’s not AOC.