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How Maxwell Frost, the Youngest Member of Congress, is Hope for United America?

Democrat Maxwell Alejandro Frost has become the first US Congress member representing Generation Z. 25-year-old Frost made history by gaining 58.5% of the votes. In comparison, his opponent Republican Calvin Wimbish received 39.9%. Most of his votes came from the young Americans who turned out in great numbers to vote in Florida’s 10th Congressional District elections. Frost thanked his supporters who had been celebrating his victory on social media.

Maxwell Frost Embodies the Concerns of Gen Z

Gen Z has made its wishes clear by electing Maxwell Frost to Congress. Before being elected as the Representative for Florida, Frost was a political activist and organizer since he was 15 years old. He was an active part of Barack Obama’s presidential campaign in 2012. Frost got involved in political activism after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in 2012. He also named other shooting incidents, including the 1999 Columbine High School massacre and the killing of Treyvon Martin in 2012, that shaped his political views.

Preventing gun violence is on top of his agenda, along with climate change, Medicare for all, and abortion rights. These are highly divisive issues in the US, but they appeal to progressive youth, which has been making its voice heard in recent years. Experts believed that without Gen Z voters, it would have been impossible for Democrats to win Florida.

Backstory and Political Positions

Maxwell Frost belonged to an immigrant family. His grandmother moved from Cuba to Florida in the 1960s. According to his website, his biological mother was “caught in a cycle” of crime, violence, and drugs while pregnant, without any access to healthcare. Therefore, she put him up for adoption and reconnected with him in 2021.

While running for Congress, Frost served as the national organizing director for March for Our Lives (MFOL), a group that advocates for gun control. Frost is himself a survivor of a gunfire incident at a Halloween party in 2016. After the Texas School Shooting in May, he confronted Florida’s Governor, Ron DeSantis, during a live event and demanded action against gun violence. However, he was “escorted” away as the Governor kept saying, “no one wants to hear from you”.

Frost has also spoken about and acted on several other issues. He was once arrested in 2021 for organizing a rally to expand and protect voting rights in front of the White House. He also supports Green New Deal, a public policy proposal to address climate change, create jobs, and promote economic equality. Besides wanting a “future without prison”, he supports decriminalizing sex work and marijuana.

Foreign Policy Controversy

On the foreign policy front, Frost faces some backlash regarding his changed views about the Palestinian cause. Previously, Frost participated in pro-Palestine activism. However, a Jewish media giant published a questionnaire from Frost’s campaign in August 2022, showing a U-turn in Frost’s foreign policy regarding Israel and Palestine. According to the questionnaire, he distanced himself from his past views while taking an aggressive stance against the BDS (Boycott, Divest, and Sanction) movement.

He narrated the Zionist rhetoric, i.e., BDS harboured terrorists, and all businesses must divest from the movement. Moreover, he has supported unconditional military aid to Israel and criticized the Palestinian Authority’s martyr’s fund that compensates the families of dead and injured freedom fighters. He said it was a recruitment tactic for Hamas to carry out politically motivated attacks on Israel. Progressive activists and his former pro-Palestine allies criticize him for playing a double agent to get votes from both ends of the spectrum.

Gen Z Holds the Key to America’s Future

Experts are seeing a positive shift in America’s youth voter bloc. A study by Tufts University estimated that 50% of youth aged 18 – 29 voted in the 2020 election compared to 39% in 2016. It is likely to increase further in the 2022 election, which can also prove decisive for the Gen Z interests like gun control, abortion rights, and green energy.

Many see the victory of Maxwell Frost as the signal of the beginning of a new era, where young people will get the chance to rewrite this country’s shameful history. March for Our Lives founder David Hogg explained that Gen Z had never seen their country united, so they were desperate to fight the system causing that impediment.

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