Young Guns For Real

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Young Guns For Real

The Republican “Young Guns” initiative has been popping up in the media here and there, so I decided to google what all the fuss was about. This program (it turns out) is designed to help new Republican contenders win seats in congress. However, I was surprised to discover that the original “Young Guns”, Eric Cantor, Paul Ryan, and Kevin McCarthy, are 48, 42, and 47 years old respectively. In fact, all the young gun candidates I could find (which was not an exhaustive list) were in their forties or even mid fifties.

(Said Young Guns.)

Since when do we call middle aged grey-heads “young guns”? And now they've started a similar program targeting women: “YG - Woman Up!”  Do they really expect to find forty year old mothers of teenagers who will describe themselves as young? I thought women didn't usually have mid-life crises like that?  (The Woman Up logo makers also gave it an upwardly pointing arrow that we usually associate with the scientific symbol for “male”!?)

My confusion was cleared up a little when a random comment from Rachel Maddow led me to discover the stiff minimum age requirements for U.S. candidacy. Not being an American, I did not know you had to be 35 to be president, 30 to be senator, and 25 to be a house representative.  (Apparently there are similar requirements for state governments too.)  In Canada, you only have to be 18 years old for any elected office.  (You have to be 30 to be senator, but they are appointed, not elected.)  In the U.K. when I was growing up, you had to be 21 to run for office, but this has since been reduced to 18.

Why do we allow inexperienced 18 year old kids to govern?  Because to prevent them from doing so is not only ageism, but also taxation without representation. An 18 year old is required to take on adult tax responsibilities for their country, so in return we allow them to vote, and we also allow them to become a member of the government that spends those tax dollars.  Which makes U.S. candidacy age requirements all the more astounding. I thought you all had a Boston Tea Party about this a couple of centuries ago?


Those in favor of minimum age restrictions bring two arguments to