A Washington Post columnist has taken the really annoying “woke children” trend to an entirely new level.
Six teenaged boys are running for Governor in Kansas and the Washington Post’s Monica Hesse declares that it’s not “so preposterous.”
Maybe having children run for high office isn’t as preposterous as a once great American newspaper treating it as a reasonable turn of events rather than a novelty side show. It’s still damned preposterous.
The funny part of the headline that seems to make it better and worse at the same time is that a child governor “suddenly” doesn’t seem preposterous. This implies that at least up until very recently Hesse had the good sense to realize that it was indeed preposterous. On the negative side it implies that recent events somehow made children running for high office a sensible idea in her mind.
The would-be boy governors of Kansas. This was a funny concept for a while, and then it became absurd, and then a national tragedy happened and it became not funny but actually an emotion approaching tender, even aching.
The school shooting in Parkland, Florida has not changed the fact that teenagers are not qualified to run a state government. Sure, many adults aren’t either, but in general teens know practically nothing while believing they know a great deal more than they do. National tragedy did not somehow erase the need for life experience (or successfully graduating high school).
But on the Monday before Valentine’s Day, as a half-dozen minors vied for the highest office of a state that had never bothered to codify any gubernatorial age requirements, it was still absurd. And so on that afternoon, while a suburban mom named Carrie Stracy debated whether to make meatloaf or use up the salmon in the fridge, her son, Tyler Ruzich, sat in his bedroom and discussed his candidacy.
Still not seeing how this isn’t preposterous, and it doesn’t get any less so.
“I have always thought of myself as more moderate, almost an Eisenhower Democrat,” said Tyler, 17, whose opponents in the Republican primary this summer include the current governor and the Kansas secretary of state.
“Always” when used to describe a minor’s political philosophy is measured in months at best.
“For me, the question of government is a question about adequacy. There shouldn’t be an effort to grow, but there should be adequate funding to cover programs.”
Government = “programs.” Maybe it’s at least not preposterous that he’d be welcomed by Democrats.
Tyler was technically the second teenage gubernatorial candidate to join the race. The first was Jack Bergeson, a 16-year-old Democrat from Wichita, who declared partly to offer a full-throated Obamacare defense — the Affordable Care Act helped his family — back in the summer of 2017.
Because the role of governor is to offer full-throated defenses of federal programs based on anecdotal evidence.
The third teenage candidate was Ethan Randleas, a 17-year-old Wichita Libertarian. The fourth was Dominic Scavuzzo, 17, a Republican from Kansas City; Scavuzzo’s classmate Joseph Tutera, 16, became the fifth a few weeks later. The sixth was Aaron Coleman, 17, a Green Party candidate, although several of the others confessed they were not entirely sure Coleman was still running (“I’ve never seen him at anything,” Dominic told Tyler recently) and his Twitter account seemed to operate in fits and starts.
— The Hill (@thehill) March 3, 2018
Generation Z isn't just protesting to change politics. In Kansas, six teens are running for Governor. https://t.co/plIoDbiax7
— Garrett Haake (@GarrettHaake) February 26, 2018
The reality here is that teens running for governor is as preposterous as it ever has been. The desire of some to elevate the Parkland shooting survivors to sages on the mountaintop because they parrot Democrat talking points on gun control does not make them into wunderkinds who are here to safe us from ourselves. They’re kids and they have accumulated a scant decade plus of life experience, some of which (hopefully) includes not wetting the bed or putting forks in an electrical outlet. That doesn’t leave a lot of room for the wisdom and experience needed to govern.
This sort of story being taken seriously is also a sign of what an unserious reality show politics has become.