If you can’t tell by anywhere else on this website, I’m SO into a boss bitch and story of a come up. My brother, Sullivan, and I recently sat down to watch “Knock Down the House” on Netflix. You need to watch this documentary.
It’s the story of four women and their fight for seats in Congress. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez who ran for New York’s 14th Congressional District which includes Queens and the Bronx – areas full of working class voters and minorities. Amy Vilela who ran for Nevada’s 4th Congressional District on a campaign that targeted the lack of affordable health care for workers in her community. Cori Bush, a candidate from Missouri’s 1st District, took on Lacy Cook a powerful Democratic incumbent. Last, but certainly not least, the documentary covers the race of Paula Jean Swearengin for a United States Senate seat representing West Virginia.
I’ve been on Twitter for about a decade. I read a lot of political articles and listen to all of the podcasts. I would love to say that I’m not biased, but I do seek out information and media outlets that report on those that I favor in primary, Congressional, and Presidential election. With a Bachelor’s in Political Science, I definitely walk around thinking that I know more than the average American. However, “Knock Down the House” made me reconsider everything I knew about politics.
We’re so used to political campaigns being these huge movements that we see on TV. We’re used to donations of millions of dollars being the foundation to getting anything we want. Usually, those that have that kind of money are corporations or lobbyists that don’t have the collective good in mind. Rather, it’s oil companies shelling out big bucks for votes in favor of fracking or against climate change.
About these political powerhouses
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is known for getting criticism from coming from a life of serving and bartending to politics. However, the documentary shows just how much work goes into a grassroots campaign. While she’s not a millionaire and can’t quit her job, she must work even harder than others around the clock on campaign work.
Amy Vilela, a strong woman running in Nevada, does so to honor her daughter. Because the family lacked adequate health insurance, her daughter wasn’t able to get a necessary test that could have saved her life. Throughout the documentary, Amy runs on the stance that Americans should not have to misunderstand insurance, go in debt to afford insurance, or worry about the death of a family member so that someone in Corporate America can get rich.
Cori Bush takes on incumbent, Lacy Cook, whose family has served Missouri’s first district for many years. Though Cook is also a Democrat, Cori Bush hopes to amplify the voices of those who have gone unheard. Missouri’s 1st District is where Michael Brown, an 18-year old black citizen, was shot by a police officer. Political unrest after the shooting was watched by the entire world from its epicenter in Fergusson, MO. Cori Bush wants people to realize that being a Democrat doesn’t always mean that they’re fighting for the community. She wants to see serious change.
Lastly, Paula Jean Swearengin runs against a longstanding incumbent for one of West Virginia’s Senate seats. West Virginia continues to be torn apart by the government for coal and other natural resources. “If another country was doing this, we’d go to war,” she says about the destruction of mountains that are releasing toxins into the air and water. West Virginia has a high rate of cancers due to the exposure to these elements which are making the citizens die young. As someone who watched her father die too young of cancer, Paula Jean Swearengin uses passion and anger to try and change the tides.
I was excited to watch “Knock Down the House” in general. Like I said, I love a strong woman and the story of an underdog. However, I was surprised by how moved I was at the conclusion of the film. I spent all of my higher education studying policies and campaigns that are shown in this documentary. These women break the barriers for what is expected in politics. Like most other parts of life, money speaks when it comes to voting and campaigning. These women aren’t worried about money, fame, or later reelection. They’re worried about the people within their communities.
This documentary reminded me what I believed politics to be before I studied a bunch of textbooks. It reminded me that people who want who see injustice and want to do good are always out there. Hope now surges through my muscles in a system I had given up on. It made me proud that behind every ambition to change the world is thousands of hours of work, people who support, and vote. Watching this documentary made me feel like I mattered in the world of politics.
If you haven’t watched this documentary yet, watch it. If you don’t have a Netflix account, get one just to watch this. It will change how you view the world of politics. “Knock Down the House” will be the light at the end of your political tunnel.
Have you watched this documentary? What did you think? Connect with me through any of the social media links below – let’s talk about it!