It is what one would call a whispering campaign.
No one is putting up billboards screaming it. They’re not inundating the airwaves with it. Nor are they decimating the Brazilian rain forest to jam your mailbox with hit pieces emphasizing it.
But it is there getting passed around by political animals.
Ricky Gill, they say, is too young to hold office.
The Lodi resident is 24 but if elected in November will be 25 by the time he’s sworn in to Congress as the representative of the Ninth District that includes Lathrop, Stockton, Lodi and parts of Sacramento County.
Gill isn’t the only one being targeted with such an effort. Ironically one of his Republican opponents in the June 5 primary - John Mcdonald - is getting brushed with it too. The man is a very youthful 44 and can easily pass for being Gill’s age.
Rhodesia Ransom is also being targeted with such whispers in her race to represent Tracy, Mountain House and Manteca south of Yosemite Avenue on the San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors.
While it is impolite to ask a lady her age, when people find out that Ransom is in her late 30s they’re taken aback. She looks much younger.
All three have something else in common besides being youthful. They’re articulate, well-versed in the issues, aggressive, and offer a somewhat different perspective.
That’s not to say their opponents aren’t well versed or are articulate. Some even offer something besides the same-old, same-old that - here’s a news flash - hasn’t exactly provided results to brag about.
Gill apparently has the audacity to think that a 25-year-old can serve in Congress given the fact they can be taxed to death - and their great-great-grandkids at the same time - or since they can spill their blood serving America.
Then he has that “work experience” problem that some like to point out. So what if he served as the student representative on the State Board of Education. It’s no big deal that he not only got into Princeton but somehow managed to escape the experience as a conservative member of the Net Generation. As for actual work, toiling on the family farm isn’t exactly child’s play and you learn a heck of a lot more about the way of the world if you have to use your hands, sweat, backbone and smarts to make a living.
Perhaps Gill et al need more experience being part of the problem and not the solution like most of the party hacks that get thrown our way in elections on both sides of the aisle. Party hacks have done such a great job running the country it would make perfect sense to send more to Sacramento and Washington, D.C.
Yes, youth can be a little arrogant. With all due respect to young turks like Mark Zuckerberg, there are times they act as if they are anointed, are above the fray, and have made startling discoveries about human behavior while at the same time they contend money doesn’t matter. You don’t see very many of them trying to emulate Mother Teresa while concentrating on hoarding as much wealth as possible. If that’s a reason not to vote for somebody that is young, it is also a good enough reason not to vote for anyone of any age.
So what it comes down to is one simple, question: What has age got to do with it?
Well, considering that everyone in Congress right now is considerably older than 25 it is safe to say age isn’t churning out a lot of politicians that can make the tough decisions to fix what ails us without plunging America into debt for the next two millenniums.
Besides, if you have no problem with those 25 and younger risking their lives to protect your freedom then you have no business trying to contend they are too young to represent you.
This column is the opinion of managing editor, Dennis Wyatt, and does not necessarily represent the opinion of The Bulletin or Morris Newspaper Corp. of CA. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or 209-249-3519.