A poll was recently released in the Georgia 6th Congressional District, putting Democrat Jon Ossoff up against his nearest Republican rivals, which would guarantee him a spot in the runoff if his numbers hold. This was the district that was represented in US Congress by Tom Price, a Republican who is now in charge of HHS. The district is in the suburbs near Atlanta, and has been traditionally Republican, except that Donald Trump only carried the district by 1 point over Clinton in the presidential race, and a Democrat is now in the lead, at least for the first round. Even more impressive when you consider Ossoff is 30 years old, and now endorsed by Congressman and civil rights activist John Lewis. Ossoff represents the GOP’s greatest fear…politically active millennials.
Naturally, the GOP would react with an attack ad. This attack ad goes after the fact that in college that Mr. Ossoff used to film comedy skits in cosplay and was in Georgetown’s Glee Club writing comedy songs, and claims he’s not capable of being serious. The ad argues that there was some crossover time between some of these activities and the 5 year work he did as a foreign policy staffer under Congressman Hank Johnson. The ad does not mention his education at Georgetown or the London School of Economics, or his 2016 documentary to BBC exposing the atrocities of ISIS. The ad argues he is merely playing dress up. The attack ad smacks of the assumption that a millennial who may like comedy, cosplay and glee club cannot be serious.
I am 31 years old. I do stand-up comedy. I was president of the Butler University Men’s Glee Club. I’m a father of two, and I write parody songs about changing diapers and potty training. I look excellent dressed up as the Tenth Doctor of Doctor Who at comic book conventions. I’m also an attorney licensed in Minnesota since 2010. As an attorney, I’ve been a Social Security Disability Advocate, I’ve done document review in connection with lawsuits and government investigations, and am now a Compliance Attorney. Finally, I am the Vice Chair of DFL’s Senate District 34. The GOP would probably like me to think I should apologize for the fact that I cosplay, do comedy, write parody songs, and sang in a glee club. To the GOP, I say: I’m very serious, and you don’t scare me!
To other millennials, the GOP just noted that they think you are not welcome in politics. The GOP, in their attack ad has just indicated that they don’t think millennials can be serious. Meanwhile, Ossoff has received multiple key Democratic endorsements, and has raised in excess $3 million. This isn’t just limited to the Georgia 6th, as the Democrats have pushed a very large campaign to get millennials interest in the campaign bench (see e.g. “Run for Something”). This entire race dynamic has shown that the Democrats want to embrace millennials, and the Republicans want us to go away.
Us millennials are aren’t going anywhere, and the new generation of capable representatives and leaders are right before us. The Democrats aren’t running from this. The Republicans are running scared.