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EmberMike

Eagle Scout and "Scouts for Equality" founder runs for Senate

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Zach Wahls is running for an Iowa Senate seat:
http://www.esquire.com/news-politics/a14511864/zach-wahls-iowa-state-senate-election/

Obviously his politics and his stance on BSA policies makes him a polarizing figure on this forum. If we can put the politics aside for a minute, though, the qualities of this young man (he's only 26) to seek public office and to be able to debate political issues and address crowds is truly impressive. 

Our BSA program is doing a lot of things right if we're helping kids develop the skills and confidence necessary to take a shot at a major public office in their 20s. Personally I think it might be a bit too soon for Zach, but I still applaud his determination. Win or lose, I suspect we'll be seeing a lot more of him in the political spotlight, though. 

 

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Good luck to him.

26 is a little young to be elected to a state legislature, but not unheard of.  I know we have had people younger than that be elected to county-wide office.  And my town just elected an 18-year-old to the school board, which obviously is not on the same level as the state legislature, but it's still quite an accomplishment.

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Would he be willing to put his politics aside for traditional American families?

My gut tells me he wouldn't

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10 minutes ago, SSF said:

Would he be willing to put his politics aside for traditional American families?

My gut tells me he wouldn't

Why do you assume he wasn't including "traditional American families" when he spoke about fighting for peoples families?  What prevents you from considering that he was talking about all families, even "traditional American families".   Perhaps you should look at your own politics too.

 

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I dunno. What is his Iowa work experience? Agriculture? Manufacturing? Has he lost a job(s), medical insurance, a home?

Iowa will decide of course, but I would like to see more new faces enter government.

 

 

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3 hours ago, CalicoPenn said:

Why do you assume he wasn't including "traditional American families" when he spoke about fighting for peoples families?  What prevents you from considering that he was talking about all families, even "traditional American families".   Perhaps you should look at your own politics too.

 

You're saying that I should look at my own beliefs...not "politics"...but rather my beliefs.

Your beliefs are right and mine are wrong...? That seems to be what you're saying.

I know the difference between right and wrong, morality vs. immorality and that, in the sad state of the world that we live in today, common sense, traditional values and truth take a back seat to sensitivity, political correctness and the social justice drivel that's undermining our society.

This Iowa guy is part of the problem, not the solution. That's my belief.

You can have yours. I'll have mine.

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There see several issues being mashed together at once:

(1) Does an Eagle Scout get an attaboy for running for office while being very young?

(2) Does a young elected official lack enough life experience to be a good representative.

(3) Do folks here agree/disagree with Mr. Wahls politics.

 

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13 hours ago, SSF said:

Would he be willing to put his politics aside for traditional American families?

My gut tells me he wouldn't

 

In the viral video he's most known for, he actually does mention all families, saying that the struggles of families in Iowa are the same no matter if the couple is same-sex of not. 

I don't think he needs to "put his politics aside for traditional American families", in fact that would be an odd thing to do when running for political office. However his political platform is one that addresses the issues and concerns of all families. 

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25 minutes ago, Tampa Turtle said:

There see several issues being mashed together at once:

(1) Does an Eagle Scout get an attaboy for running for office while being very young?

(2) Does a young elected official lack enough life experience to be a good representative.

(3) Do folks here agree/disagree with Mr. Wahls politics.

 

My hope in starting this thread was more discussion of #1 and #2, less of #3. 

I think he does deserve an attaboy. Now more than ever we're telling people that if they don't like what's going on in the government, to step up and do something about it. Not many people will step up to that challenge, but Zach Wahls did. Good for him. 

However I also think he lacks the necessary experience. Life experience he has plenty of. He's been in the public eye plenty, and can navigate a live tv interview better than many current senators. But I think it might have served him better to aim for a smaller office first, gain some on-the-job experience and better understanding of the political process, and then go for the Senate seat in his 30s. 

Edited by EmberMike

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11 minutes ago, EmberMike said:

My hope in starting this thread was more discussion of #1 and #2, less of #3. 

I think he does deserve an attaboy. Now more than ever we're telling people that if they don't like what's going on in the government, to step up and do something about it. Not many people will step up to that challenge, but Zach Wahls did. Good for him. 

However I also think he lacks the necessary experience. Life experience he has plenty of. He's been in the public eye plenty, and can navigate a live tv interview better than many current senators. But I think it might have served him better to aim for a smaller office first, gain some on-the-job experience and better understanding of the political process, and then go for the Senate seat in his 30s. 

Putting #3 aside.

#1 Kudos.

#2 At one time I was a congressional liason. I was 40 and most of the Senate staffers were Mr Wahl's age (on both sides of the aisle). Most had minimal life experience, came from a privileged background, and were motivated more by ideology than by compassion or pragmatism. It explained a lot about how things were run but I thought more staffers that had some of life's ups and downs would have benefited all of us. Still there was the occasional young outlier. 

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Good luck to him

That being said, the whole Scouts for Equality group could be a thread or forum unto itself.  As with many things, the name sounds OK, but then you drill down to the politics and it gets more polarizing.  Hey, let's get this group top change to what we want them to be....

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1 hour ago, Jameson76 said:

That being said, the whole Scouts for Equality group could be a thread or forum unto itself.  As with many things, the name sounds OK, but then you drill down to the politics and it gets more polarizing.  Hey, let's get this group top change to what we want them to be....

Well, that whole issue, including the various groups and individuals whose names were in the media, was the subject of many threads in this forum over the years until (and shortly after) the BSA finally decided the issue.  It  basically dominated the Issues and Politics section for all those years.  It still crops up occasionally (as I guess it just did, in this thread.)

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Unless any of us actually lives in the 37th Senate district in Iowa, or has other reason to know the dynamics of that district, what people are discussing here are all abstractions.  If you had two candidates who were exactly the same except for one being much more experienced than the other, then experience is probably the overriding issue.  But no two candidates are ever that much alike.  What will presumably happen here is that the voters of that district will consider everything about Mr. Wahls and his opponent(s) - their age, background, experience (both in politics and in the rest of their lives), positions on issues, general ideology, how they present themselves, intangibles like whether people think they can "get things done," and any other factor that seems relevant, balance it all together, and decide who they want to elect.  In a general election, party obviously also plays some rule, and in a primary, there may be factions or "machines" within the party that back one candidate or another.  All of this, together, is what determines who wins elections.  

I did some digging around on the Internet to see what might be expected from that district.  I saw no mention of the partisan composition of the district, but I did find that the retiring incumbent, who is a Democrat (like Wahls) has won his last three elections without a Republican even being nominated.  In the second of those three elections there was an opponent, a Libertarian, but the Democrat got about 75% of the vote.  So what that tells me, without any other information, is that either this is a heavily Democratic district or the retiring incumbent has the charisma, connections etc. needed to win elections overwhelmingly regardless of party, that the Republicans don't even try.  Or maybe a combination of both.  If it is the former, it is probably also true that Wahls' position on the issue of LGBT equality is about the same as most of the voters in the district.  And it is probably also a good bet that the only opponent of Wahls who is mentioned in the article, who is a fellow Democrat running against him in the primary, has similar views on that issue.

So in other words, the issue that attracts the most attention in this forum where Wahls is concerned, is probably not going to be a huge issue in the election.  Experience may be an issue, but it is just one issue.

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The district contains Iowa City and the U of I.  It's a blue district.  It will be interesting to see if Mr. Wahl's can consolidate the young vote.  One of the linked articles mentioned the only other declared candidate is a career diplomat (http://www.press-citizen.com/story/news/local/2017/12/21/zach-wahls-announces-bid-dvorskys-iowa-senate-seat/973866001/).  

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