Over the past week or so, it’s become common to see the new Solon, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, referred to as “AOC”, exactly as if she was as important and notable as other initials-only figures such as JFK or FDR. In the past couple days, even some conservative writers have fallen for this.
This is new horizons in asininity, and a stop needs to be put to it.
The stratification of the iconic is pretty clear. On one layer, we have the last name alone, without honorific or title – “Garbo,” “Einstein,” “Brando” – those honored being too famous to require anything else. On a higher level are the first-name icons – “Elvis,” “Alexander,” and so on. In the modern world, there exists a level above even this, limited to a handful of world-historical figures, such as Franklin D. Roosevelt. Whatever one might think of FDR, there is no question of his being a gigantic figure, well deserving his status.
Sandy Ocasio, as a waitress and bartender starting her first term in the lower House, doesn’t fit any of these molds. She hasn’t accomplished anything, and she is not known for anything. It follows that the “AOC” christening is a form of cheating, much in the vein of Hillary Rodham-Clinton becoming simply “Hillary”, as if she was of the same level of accomplishment as Elvis.