David Hogg, an 18-year-old gun control advocate who survived February's mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., plans to run for Congress after reaching eligible age.
In a lengthy profile published by the Daily Intelligencer on Monday, Hogg opened about the tragic shooting that changed his life, his activism, and where his future might lead.
While discussing the role March for our Lives, the organization founded by Hogg and several other survivors of the Parkland shooting to push for gun control, would play in the upcoming midterms, Hogg disclosed his "seven-year plan." The plan includes apprenticing on a 2020 Democratic presidential campaign before laying the groundwork for his own congressional run.
Hogg is working on a seven-year plan. Now that the bus tour is over, he and his friends in the March for Our Lives organization plan to spend the next several months meeting more activists and canvasing in advance of the midterm elections. And if he could design his future without any obstacles, he would go to college in the fall of 2019, "read a shitload of books," then take some time off in 2020 to work on a presidential campaign. (Certain candidates have already approached him, he told me.) Then, after college, he would prepare for his congressional run. "I think I’ve come to that conclusion," he says. "I want to be at least part of the change in Congress."
According to the U.S. Constitution, a candidate has to be at least 25 years of age to serve in the House of Representatives and at least 30 years of age to serve in the Senate. Hogg, who turned 18 in April of this year, would not be eligible to be elected to the House until at least 2025 or 2030 for the Senate.
Although Hogg has not been old enough to cast a ballot in previous federal elections, he discussed the important function the electoral process serves in helping decide the pressing issues of the day.
"People need to realize that people have died for your vote," Hogg said. "Free college is on the ballot. The draft is on that ballot. Universal health care is on the ballot. Abortion is on the ballot. Supreme Court is on the ballot. Everything that affects your life and, more importantly, affects the people that come after you is on that ballot. Your inaction today will affect you tomorrow."
In the profile, Hogg did not leave any ambiguity as to under which political party's banner he would mount a campaign for office.
In the past five months, Hogg has developed political opinions on just about everything. He is against charter schools and for universal health care. He is obsessed with Mueller’s investigation and especially the indictment of Maria Butina, the alleged Russian spy who infiltrated the NRA.
The activist's budding fixation with progressive causes and candidates was exhibited by Hogg's vocalized admiration for Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the self-described Democratic socialist who defeated House Democratic Caucus Chair Joe Crowley in a New York primary earlier this year. He claimed she was a "future president of the United States."
Ocasio-Cortez unseated the 10-term incumbent in part by running a progressive-style insurgency campaign premised on alleviating income inequality and abolishing U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the federal agency responsible for enforcing immigration laws.
Hogg also expressed support for congressional age limits, opining the Republican Party controlled Congress because of its success in "empowering young people," while the national Democratic Party was hampered by the likes of Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.).
"The reason Republicans are successful right now is because they’re empowering young people," Hogg said. "Older Democrats just won’t move the fuck off the plate and let us take control. Nancy Pelosi is old."