David Hogg — Parkland student and shooting survivor turned activist — has gone on the record against Democratic House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, criticizing her age. She is 78 years old.
“Older Democrats just won’t move the [expletive] off the plate and let us take control. Nancy Pelosi is old,” Hogg said in an interview with New York Magazine.
After facing backlash from some of his supporters, Hogg took to Twitter to justify his statements:
“I said ‘Pelosi is old.’ Trump is old. Hatch is old. Ted Cruz and Beto O’Rourke are both in the younger side of American leadership. We can go younger. Dems need to allow young people to seize leadership opportunities like the republicans have with people like Rubio, Ryan etc.”
Many of Hogg’s followers told him not to conflate “ageism” with politics. But Hogg’s point makes perfect sense: no political party wants old leaders with no plan for the future. It’s not necessarily ageism; it’s looking to the future.
But Hogg’s comments and the backlash they created shows a fracture in the Democratic Party, particularly among the new, younger voter base. Younger voters want Pelosi to step aside and give rise to a new era of leaders. Older voters, Pelosi included, don’t think it’s time just yet.
Pelosi came out Thursday stating on the record she is here to stay, no matter what her critics say. In an interview with the Associated Press, she said “This is not anything to make a big fuss over, it’s politics. I can take the heat and that’s why I stay in the kitchen.”
Pelosi also said that she has “a following in the country that’s unsurpassed by anybody, unless they’re running for president.” That, as Hogg tries to point out, is not necessarily true.