“Hubris” is defined as “excessive pride or self-confidence.” Synonyms include: arrogance, conceitedness, haughtiness, pride, vanity, self-importance, self-conceit, pomposity, superciliousness, feeling of superiority … well, you get the idea.
“AOC,” of course is the new Democratic Congresswoman from the Bronx, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Most freshman congresspersons tend to go to Washington, D. C., and try to learn all they can from those who are experienced. Apparently, AOC finds this step unnecessary.
It didn’t take long for AOC to grab the headlines by staging a protest in the office of Nancy Pelosi, also a Democrat, who would be the Speaker of the House. Gotta admit, that took hubris.
Recently, after proposing a Green New Deal that even most Democrats say would break the national bank, AOC responded to critics thusly: “You know what? I don’t care anymore. I don’t care anymore, because again, I’m at least trying, and they’re not,” Ocasio-Cortez said. “So the power is in the person who’s trying, regardless of the success. If you’re trying, you’ve got all the power, you’re driving the agenda, you’re doing all this stuff.”
“Like I just introduced Green New Deal two weeks ago and it’s created, creating all of this conversation. Why? Because no one else has even tried,” she claimed. “So people are like ‘oh it’s unrealistic, oh it’s vague, oh it doesn’t address this little, minute thing.’ And I’m like you try, you do it.”
“So until you do it, I’m the boss!” she declared. “How about that?!”
Indeed, how about that? Ocasio-Cortez, who is just one freshman lawmaker in a group of 435, challenged her detractors on Friday to “come up with your own ambitious, on-scale proposal to address the global climate crisis. Until then, we’re in charge — and you’re just shouting from the cheap seats,” she said. One certainly cannot accuse the Congresswoman of being non-confrontational.
Now, truthfully, hubris doesn’t trouble me. I often think I should have more hubris than I do. Certainly Donald J. Trump has an overabundance of hubris and, love him or love him not, one must admit that he has little trouble with confrontation either. The problem, for me, with AOC is that she reminds me of my children when they were 13-17 years of age. To one degree or another, they all thought that they knew everything and that the Old Man was just plain stupid. I was that way as a teen as well.
The difference in adults and teenagers is that adults have experience and maturity that teenagers are less likely to have. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is not a dumb person. She garnered honors in high school and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree (with honors) from Boston University, majoring in international relations and economics. Some would paint her as someone who has no work experience at all and that would not be true. It’s clear that there’s tons of potential there even if one does not agree with AOC’s agenda.
But here’s a fact — AOC has been in office just a tad over two months. To grab the headlines, to proclaim one’s self as the “boss,” to chastise her fellow lawmakers as people who are just making noise (“shouting from the cheap seats”), to state that, “Congress is too old. They don’t have a stake in the game,” to declare, “I don’t think that most of Congress knows how economics works,” just comes across like a … well, a teenager who thinks she knows better than anybody about everything.
It remains to be seen what her own congressional colleagues will ultimately do with her. Will they back her? Attempt to marginalize her? Promote her? Slap her down? (Figuratively, not literally). Right now, she’s the most visible and, arguably, the most vocal woman in Congress. What does Speaker Pelosi, who is not used to sharing the limelight, think about that?
Will she emerge as a leader of the Party and not just of the extreme leftists? Will she grow in popularity and become a national figure? Will she be a future vice presidential or presidential contender? Or will she overplay her hand and crash and burn? There are a lot of enemies to be made in a place like D.C.
It’s too early to tell about any of that. Certainly, Donald Trump shocked literally everybody who thought that all he had during his campaign was an abundance of hubris. Hubris will certainly take you places. You just don’t know where until you finally get there.
[David Epps is the pastor of the Cathedral of Christ the King, 4881 Hwy. 34 E., Sharpsburg, GA between Newnan and Peachtree City (www.ctk.life). He is the bishop of the Charismatic Episcopal Diocese of the Mid-South which consists of Georgia and Tennessee and the Associate Endorser for the Department of the Armed Forces, U. S. Military Chaplains, ICCEC. He may contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.]