For all the breathless excitement over Frost—and perhaps because of it—attacks will surely target his age (not to mention his race and ethnicity) in a Congress whose members are still majority white and age 58 on average, with many in their 70s and 80s, particularly on the Senate Judiciary Committee. He heard some during the primaries, when he beat nine other candidates, including two former House members and a Florida state senator: “People casting doubts, saying, ‘He is well intentioned, but he is too young. He doesn’t have experience,’ ” Frost recalls. Yet he points to his time with the ACLU and March for Our Lives, where, at 22, he served as national organizing director, managing a multimillion-dollar budget and chapters across the country. So many candidates are caricatures, he says. “They’re either lawyers or they’ve been in office forever. I want to challenge what we see as valuable experience.”
As of now, Frost has every intention of bringing his full, Gen-Z self to work. “I feel empowered to just really lean into being a young person,” he says. On Thursday night in D.C., he celebrated his election win at a concert by The 1975—an indie band with “straight-up bold pop melodies,” per Frost—with his girlfriend and his sister. (During their set, the band gave Frost a shout-out, dedicating a song called “Love It If We Made It” to him.) Reports of his One Direction fandom, based on old tweets, may be slightly exaggerated: “I’m a little less of a fan than I’m being made out to be,” Frost says. Yet he does indeed admire both the defunct boy band and Harry Styles, specifically. On his Instagram Stories, Frost gamely shared a resurfaced 2014 selfie with Styles in the background, captioned by the Shit You Should Care About newsletter: “Harry’s House (of Representatives).”The first Gen-Z House member-elect still speaks like an organizer. Especially after Election Day, “I’ve gotten a lot of messages from people saying, ‘You’re gonna save us,’ and those are very flattering messages, but at the end of the day…for us to have the world that we want and the country that we want, we all have to be involved.” He can’t build the power necessary to achieve his political goals, including Medicare for All, alone.
Frost hopes to help create better conditions for the most vulnerable, like his late grandmother. But, as a congressman, he doesn’t intend to spout platitudes or make sweeping promises. He wants to be honest. “I think part of the reason why half of our country doesn’t vote is because, for generations, they’ve been lied to by politicians who have said, ‘Vote for me, and this is what you’ll get,’ ” Frost says. “I’m one of 435 members and I get one vote. I can’t promise that a bill will pass, but what I can promise is what I believe in, and how hard I’m gonna fight for it.” And as for those who insist he’s too young to lead? Frost remembers an exchange with an elder woman voter as he campaigned in Florida. Sizing Frost up, she asked: “How old do you have to be to run for Congress, boy?”
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