What does Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez have in common with Donald J. Trump? More than either of them would like to admit. The currency of social media is authenticity, real or even properly feigned, and both the new congresswoman from New York and the leader of the free world found their audiences by speaking that language like they were born to it.

The difference, of course, is that while Trump rode Twitter to the white house after discovering the medium in his 60’s, Ocasio-Cortez has spent just about her entire life navigating the ever-changing platforms of the Internet. And she’s not alone. The Democratic Party’s newest darling may be the first millennial politician to clap back on Twitter from a congressional office, snap selfies after being sworn in or propose policy over the internet as she cooks dinner in her kitchen…but she’s not going to be the last. This year’s federal election will let Canadians decide if the authenticity Justin Trudeau’s selfies and socks represented in 2015 still holds up against Jagmeet Singh’s Instagram game—or if Andrew Scheer has the right idea by not even trying to play that game.

How did the curated world of social media become a suitable approximation of a would-be leader’s authentic self? And what does that mean for the future of, you know, actual public policy?

GUEST: Stacy Lee Kong, writer and editor, FLARE.com


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