Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is among the hottest properties the Democrat Party has going for it, but she is still under-appreciated. AOC and the other freshmen congresswomen who make up "The Squad" are it with the voters, yet the Democrat Party leadership is still grappling with how to deal with them.

AOC will have 60 seconds to address next week's Democratic National Convention. Sixty seconds. One minute.

Ocasio-Cortez is a rock star, particularly with young Socialist Democrats. The future of the Democrat Party. She and fellow radicals Ayanna Pressley, Rashida Tlaib, and Ilhan Omar burst onto the scene two years ago and have shaken the party to the core. They are driving the bus.

The old guard of the Democrat Party, while finding it futile to resist, has allowed itself to follow Squad members to the far left of the spectrum. But it fails to recognize the influence Squad members have, particularly with young voters.

The DNC will hear from Barack and Michelle Obama next week. Hillary Clinton may also speak. And rumor has it that Bill Clinton could even say a few words. There is nothing quite like an appearance by the elders to add a homey feel.

But the Democrats need to convince today's young, progressive voters to support a flat, uninspiring ticket which is light years from what they demanded. The best way to reach the Bernie Bros who might still be brooding is to trot out The Squad and make them the stars of the convention.

A parade of yesterday's heroes won't be enough to energize today's Social Democrats. In fact, it could just have the opposite effect.

Barry Richard is the host of The Barry Richard Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from noon to 3 p.m. Contact him at and follow him on Twitter @BarryJRichard58. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

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