Who is the 21st-century’s role model? Queen Elizabeth or AOC?

The world mourned a woman whose dignity and devotion to duty moved all, while America celebrates a woke princess who screams hypocritical self-involvement.

The people we choose to admire speaks volumes about ourselves. That’s true of individuals but perhaps even more so of societies. Perhaps the fact that so many people around the world seem to care so much about the death of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II says something positive about humanity. Yet we should still worry about the way other types of role models are lauded in our popular culture and what that might mean for the future.

By that, I don’t refer to the late queen’s grandson’s wife, Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex, who continues to preen and complain in interviews and cover stories of fashion magazines about the hardships of membership in the royal family while still cashing in the way her marriage turned her into an international celebrity. While the duchess is a big deal in her own way in tabloid culture, the person who seems to provide the greatest contrast to the queen also has a cover story in a current fashion magazine. And she is someone with far more influence on our society and politics: Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.).