Time – even as short as one minute — is what you make of it, U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez appeared to be saying Wednesday evening.
The New York Democrat reacted on Twitter to reports that she’ll get just 60 seconds to speak when she participates next week in the Democratic Party’s mostly online national convention.
Ocasio-Cortez quoted from “God’s Minute,” by the late civil rights leader Dr. Benjamin E. Mays, whose poem was a commentary on the brevity of life.
“I only have a minute. Sixty seconds in it. Forced upon me, I did not choose it, But I know that I must use it,” the poem reads.
“Give account if I abuse it. Suffer if I lose it. Only a tiny little minute, But eternity is in it.”
Some people reacting to Ocasio-Cortez’s post accused the Democratic Party leadership of trying to stifle the congresswoman – a progressive who supported independent U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont for president instead of the party’s presumptive standard-bearer, former Vice President Joe Biden.
“What a slap to the progressive wing,” one Twitter user wrote. “It’s a constant spite of us. They think we will cower and peter [out]. They are wrong. We ain’t going anywhere. With @AOC as our leader we’re just getting started. Now that the squad was re-elected we are ready to rumble in the halls of Congress.”
“Other speakers should finish early then say at the end of [theirs] that the remainder of their time is going to @AOC,” another wrote.
Some noted that the brief allotment of time for Ocasio-Cortez came despite victories by her and two other “Squad” allies – U.S. Reps. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Ilhan Omar of Minnesota – in their respective Democratic primaries as they head toward general elections in November. The fourth member of the Squad, U.S. Rep. Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts, faces a primary election next month.
“Democratic Establishment have no clue how many hard-core Democratic voters are abandoning them only because of their ignorant left vs. right mantra,” a Twitter user wrote. “The strategy which makes Trump win in 2016 is being dumped by the DNC. They are digging their own graves.”
One Twitter user noted that past convention speakers ignored the short amount of time they were granted.
“[Bill] Clinton was given 15 minutes in 1988,” the user wrote. “He spoke for 33 and was booed off the stage. Obama spoke for 17 minutes (including stopping for applause 33 times!), it wasn’t even shown on network TV, and he made us believe we could change the world. I can’t wait for AOC’s 60 seconds.”
The Democrats will convene starting next Monday through Aug. 20, mostly online – but with the event anchored in Milwaukee, the city that had been selected to host a more conventional gathering in July before the coronavirus pandemic prompted a rescheduling and a radical change in plans.
Ocasio-Cortez is scheduled to speak Tuesday night, after Sanders speaks Monday night.
Other speakers during the week will include former presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama and former first lady Michelle Obama.
Later in the week, Biden and running mate Kamala Harris are expected to accept the party’s nomination for president and vice president, respectively, heading toward a November showdown with President Trump and Vice President Pence.
The Republicans will hold their convention the following week, beginning Aug. 24.