It's stunning how fixated the neoliberals of both parties have been on Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez after her upset win over Establishment bigwig Joe Crowley. That includes just about everyone in the GOP, whether conservatives or libertarians, as well as a big chunk of the Democrat party, who are desperately trying to reassure folks that she only won for neoliberal-friendly reasons -- being a woman, being non-white, etc.
Both sides know she won for her Bernie-like focus on inequality, class, trade, anti-militarism, and so on. That wouldn't be so threatening if she were a fringe candidate, since then they could admit why she won but write it off as something that doesn't appeal to normal people.
What worries them the most is that an open democratic socialist who dethroned a 20-year incumbent, and head of the local political machine, is not a bitter misfit with pink hair and a nose ring, facial tics, a condescending tone of voice, a "loves humanity but hates people" attitude, a strict diet of soyburgers and obscure indie bands, and an obsession with social and cultural issues like letting trannies invade the girls' bathroom.
She's someone from the pretty-and-popular crowd of your high school, not one of the self-important ones, but a people-person who genuinely likes interacting with her fellow students from across a broad range of cafeteria cliques.
The kicker: she came to her views organically, became an organizer for the Bernie campaign, and ran for office in order to see them implemented, not because some political machine wanted a wolf in sheep's clothing to trick the voters.
In a normal world, a warm, wholesome, maternal woman under 30 is not supposed to be agitating for fundamental political change. But that only reveals how fucked-up our world has become. It's no longer the misfits, miscreants, and misanthropes who are angry at their place in the social order -- over the course of the Reagan revolution, the economy has become so rigged in favor of the 1%, even "the girl next door" is willing to burn it down so we can recover the system that we enjoyed before.
When the system has lost the trust of those who usually favor conformity and the status quo, the regime's legitimacy is over. Sooner rather than later, it's going to get brought down.