Maxwell Frost has emerged — whether he believes it or not — as a standard bearer for a generation thought by many of us older folks to be, um, lost and without a purpose.
I’m not one of those nasty old people who believes it, by the way, but I do want to say a few good words about the trail that young Maxwell Frost may be about to blaze.
He well could become the first person from what is called Generation Z to be elected to Congress. He is running for the10th Congressional District in Florida; the seat he is seeking is being vacated by U.S. Rep. Val Demings, the Democratic Party nominee for the Senate, where she will run this fall against Republican U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio.
But … back to Frost.
He said something quite stunning today, which is that his generation of young Americans has now gone through more “active shooter drills in schools than fire drills.”
If elected to Congress, Frost would be 25 years of age, which is the constitutionally set minimum age for House members.
I had to look it up, but I found out that Gen Z Americans are those born between 1997 and 2012, which puts Frost at the front end of that generation.
Frost achieved his political awareness after the Sandy Hook school massacre of December 2012. He became acquainted with a sibling of one of the children slain that day in Newtown, Conn. Frost, who was a teenager at the time, said he committed then to doing something to improve the lives of young people.
So, here he is. A decade later this serious fellow seeks to take his seat with the curmudgeons of Congress, seeking to put his stamp on laws that we all must obey.
Frost won the Democratic primary this week and will run for a seat that has leaned heavily Democrat for some time. “Today’s election is proof that Central Florida’s working families want representation that has the courage to ask for more,” Frost said in a statement. “I share this victory with the nurses, forklift drivers, teachers, caregivers, social workers, farmers, union organizers, cashiers, and other members of this vibrant community who supported this campaign,” he added.
Frost’s platform is straightforward. He is running on a platform of more gun laws, better health care and an improved focus on environmental justice. Are we clear on that? Good. I get it.
This is the kind of constructive payback we can see emerge from the depths of our national sorrow.
The Greek philosopher Plato once lamented how the young people of his era, 500 years before Jesus Christ’s birth, were shiftless and disrespectful of their elders. Maybe they were, but he was wrong to predict the demise of civilization as he knew it then.
Maxwell Frost is demonstrating to us that we all well might be in good hands indeed.