Events Like AOC’s Stream Are Pivotal to Building the Left
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez took to Twitch last night to register voters and reached almost 500,000 concurrent viewers and millions of unique views in the process. She was joined by Ilhan Omar and streamers such as Hasan Piker and Pokimane. Just to break with the news style presentation, it was honestly really endearing.
I know a lot of young people do not feel very represented by their government and for good reason. With over $1.7 trillion dollars in student loan debt, impending climate collapse, and all the political dysfunction of the day, it’s fair to feel a little apathetic and nihilistic. However, Bernie Sanders helped start a movement and that movement marches on, and while it might seem silly, community building events like watching AOC stream Among Us with Ilhan Omar to register voters, are fundamental to building the left going forward.
That’s not even mentioning the literally millions of people she reached and the real practical consequences that could have on voter registration and participation. It’s easy to be cynical, it’s easy to harp on the mistakes of AOC (sometimes they’re really significant and deserving of criticism) but she does good work bringing people into the left, and more importantly making the left seem fun and approachable from the outside.
The Left Needs to Win Over Normies…And Probably Gamers
Reaching people outside the left, is incredibly important, because these same tactics are being used by our opponents to uphold American empire and white supremacy and help foster budding fascism. This is obvious when it manifests in the communities like 4chan or 8chan, or appears in the most vitriolic corners of the social mediasphere, but it also takes the form of the U.S. military’s constant recruitment barrage on Twitch and other sites.
Just to drive the importance of this home, the U.S. Army E-Sports channel was streaming at the same time as AOC and received almost 10,000x less viewers, hovering at just around 50 viewers the entire time.
Military streams have gone viral a few times, mostly due to racism, antisemitism, jokes about committing war crimes, or trolls trying to bait the aforementioned reactions out of the streamers. All around the country recruiters are sending kids to these streams and hosting tournaments and the like, classic recruitment methods with a 21st century spin.
The left has to combat this. Both from random fascist YouTubers and shitposters, but also from institutions like the U.S. military and others flooding the internet with their propaganda, bent on building communities and power of their own. It might seem like a small thing, but AOC streaming to over 350K viewers for hours at a time is incredibly important. And we need a lot more of it.