A Tennessee Transplant's Thoughts On Age And Politics - And Response

Thursday, July 31, 2014

I have read several opinions favoring the job performance of Representative Fleischmann as well the apparent disdain that they have for his challenger and his age.  I must disclose that unfortunately, I am unable to cast a vote in the 3rd District Republican primary.  I will however always be a Chattanoogan.  As a result, I feel more engaged in East Tennessee politics than where I currently reside.  Thus, it is appropriate for me to offer one Tennessee transplant’s thoughts on age and politics.


According to various quick outlets for demographic information (U.S. Census, Wikipedia, etc.) approximately 38 percent of the U.S. population is under 30.  Approximately 54 percent (likely higher since this figure was from the 2000 census) of Americans are under 40.  The House of Representatives is the people’s house.  You would not know it based on demographic representation – 8.5 percent of the 113th House members are under 40.  That equates to 37 of 435.  Yes, Weston is in his late 20’s (not fresh out of college), but so are a large percentage of Americans.  These are Americans who have started companies (Zuckerburg is 30 and Facebook is at least 10 years old).  These are Americans who have served their country for a decade.  They deliver babies.  They make loans and audit your tax returns.  Yes, some even surround themselves with the most exciting and successful group of young entrepreneurs in their respective cities (Lamp Post Group).  How someone’s age should disqualify them for office is simply poor logic.  It also happens to be completely ignorant.  

This “wet behind ears” demographic of 18-29 year-olds happened to vote 66 percent in favor of Obama in 2008 and 60 percent in 2012.  Meanwhile Romney earned 50 percent of the 30+ vote to Obama’s 48 percent (oh to win over a few more greenhorns in 2012).  If we isolate and ostracize this demographic, it will be at our own peril.  If we want to reinforce a generation to stick with Democrats while the vast majority appear to be independents – then by all means, let’s keep sending uncompromising, stubborn zealots to Congress.  Let’s reward incendiary campaigning.   Let’s ensure that the new versions of Todd Akin, Sharon Angle, Christine O’Donnell, and Richard Mourdock keep winning Republican primaries.  That way, winnable senate seats will continue to be occupied by Claire McCaskill, Harry Reid, Chris Coons and Joe Donnelly.  

I don’t have anything against Chuck Fleischmann (although that may change if I see a tweet of one more egregious mailer), nor do I have any disdain for the Tea Party.   What I do not favor is the left, and unfortunately that is who is leading our country.  I do not see that changing until the Republicans expand their base.  I have no interest in listening to Elizabeth Warren any more than I absolutely have to.  If I have to moderate a few of my views and compromise on a few social issues that resonate with females and the youth to limit government, taxes, and regulation – that appears to be a small price to pay.  

This intention to compromise in order to more effectively govern is what I am hearing from the Weston.  The two sides will eventually have to talk to solve serious long-term fiscal issues that will impact the aforementioned generation, much more than most authors of pro-Chuck propaganda.  Government shutdowns and procedural votes are not winning voters, and they are alienating valuable independents.  Obama is doing everything he possibly can to dissuade the youth from supporting Democrats, and I have this sour feeling, that Republicans will continue to self-destruct.  Youth fosters energy.  Youth begets ideas.  Youth just might provide one more voice to expand and transform the Republican Party.  I sure hope that we all agree that this is needed.  Give the young man a chance.    

Knox Campbell


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Knox Campbell aka Tennessee transplant, you may have just said what makes more sense than any other article posted in this forum regarding the current race for congress in the 3rd district of Tennessee.
At some point our legislature determined that an appropriate age to be a congressman was 25 years old. That being said I think the wet behind the ears issue is a moot point.
I have had conversations with Weston Wamp and he certainly is well spoken, adept and capable. I may not always agree with everything the young man says or does but I don’t think I have ever agreed 100% with any politician.
On the other hand Chuck Fleischmann has already had his chance and proven that he will do absolutely nothing. Chuck will not reach across the aisle, he will not compromise for the better of the district or country and just locks steps with the Republican party no matter what.
It’s time for fresh new ideas and giving Weston a chance is just what we need to do. If Weston does not follow through then the power of the vote is back in play and we can vote him out just as easy as we can vote him in.
Mike Cox

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