The annual South by Southwest event, commonly referred to as SXSW, in Austin, Texas, skewed a little more political and scientific this year and made a big bang of an impact.
Joining the lineup of leaders from the tech, media, arts and political industries were some of the declared Democratic 2020 presidential hopefuls.
Also along was 29-year-old freshman Democratic Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York.
She was a popular draw.
— Joseph Gallegos (@josephgallegos) March 9, 2019
The Congresswoman drew some of the biggest crowds for her panel discussion in which she scoffed at political moderates.
“Moderate is not a stance. It’s just an attitude towards life of, like, ‘meh,’” she told the packed house.
“We’ve become so cynical, that we view ‘meh,’ or ‘eh’ — we view cynicism as an intellectually superior attitude, and we view ambition as youthful naivete when … the greatest things we have ever accomplished as a society have been ambitious acts of visions.”
— CNBC (@CNBC) March 10, 2019
As AOC fielded questions from the crowd, Bill Nye, a.k.a. “The Science Guy” approached the mic and addressed the apparent fear from her conservative critics.
“As you know, I’m a white guy. I belong to two unions. I think the problem on both sides is fear. People of my ancestry are afraid of having to pay for everything.”
— Hartmut Giesen (@hartmut_giesen) March 10, 2019
The environmental advocate asked:
“Do you have a plan to work with people in Congress who are afraid?”
“People are just afraid of what will happen if we try to make these big changes.”
— Katie Mo (@ItsKatieMo) March 10, 2019
AOC – who is in the hot seat for her controversial Green New Deal that aims to address climate change and improve American economy – acknowledged the fear among the people in power as an obstacle, but proposed a solution.
“I think one of the keys to dismantling fear is dismantling a zero-sum mentality.”
“It means the rejection outright of the logic that says someone else’s gain necessitates my loss and that my gain must come at the cost of another person.”
…and in conclusion:
“There can be a give without a take.”
When @BillNye The Science Guy appeared in the Q&A line and asked @aoc a question on fear from both sides, Congress, how we view each other and the climate change #AOCintercept @briebriejoy #sxsw #sxsw2019 pic.twitter.com/2wdLx0VTAq
— Joanna Popper (@JoannaPopper) March 10, 2019
Nye later took to social media and gave his thumbs up, saying that “AOC gets it.”
— Bill Nye (@BillNye) March 10, 2019
The very fear Nye mentioned reared its ugly head in response to his alignment with AOC, with many undermining his credibility. But plenty offered their praises for both.
— Lori Dermer (@562Lori) March 10, 2019
Bill Nye this is so right!!!!!!!! I was in 5th grade when I started being educated by your science programs— AOC is the lady the WORLD needs. Obama was just a taste of greatness. Keep on my friend.
— AC Roberts (@ACapwill) March 10, 2019
I see that Green New Deal as something to strive towards, not shy away from. I want to see the earth's beauty continue, and honestly, developing new technologies to do just that is exactly what is possible for America, and something this country can absolutely do
— sunnie (@sunniebears) March 10, 2019
And imagine the higher level job creation around such technologies. The only ones holding us back are ourselves. This is an incredible future industry that, if we don't tap it first, will be tapped by other nations, and we'll lose out. And guess whose fault that'll be.
— sunnie (@sunniebears) March 10, 2019
— Lynne Kammer (@AustinBeatgirl) March 10, 2019
This was nicely said, "Courage begets courage. The first person who stands up has to encounter the most amount of fear and discomfort, but once that one person stands up, it becomes immensely easier for the second person and the third."
— Laina (@LivCompassion) March 10, 2019
— christy brown (@rbcb199) March 10, 2019
Girl, U stay Strong!
— ESP K (@575haiku) March 10, 2019
Change is nothing to fear.
What’s more terrifying is being left behind.