Despite valid controversy surrounding the use of terms like “Squad” and “#SquadGoals,” Ocasio-Cortez’s caption speaks to us (and for us) in a way that establishment Democrats haven’t been able to, arguably since Barack Obama’s rise in 2007.

This isn’t the first time I’ve seen an elected official employ young-people social media slang—Hillz had some pretty hilarious attempts—but it’s definitely the first time I, and many of my peers, have genuinely believed that the politician speaking to us on social media is fluent in our language, and subsequently, fluent in our values. If a crew of my friends and I were elected to Congress, we’d post an Instagram identical to that of Ocasio-Cortez’s.

What we, as young, progressive Americans, care about is unity, equality, and empathy for all people, regardless of their gender, race, sexual orientation, religion, age, ability, or immigrant status. What we want is change, from the neo-fascist regime in the White House and from the establishment Democrats who’ve tried, but failed, to modernize Washington.

Of course, neither an Instagram post nor a massively effective political campaign guarantees success for Ocasio-Cortez or her new allies in Washington. But it’s a certainty now that, for the first time in a long time, young people are watching, and we believe.

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