On Monday, we told you about Emma Sullivan, a teenager who tweeted her displeasure at governor Sam Brownback and then stuck to her guns after his staff whined about it. But last night, a teen from Waverly, Iowa one-upped Sullivan, confronting Michele Bachmann to her face—in a room full of Bachmann supporters.
During a town hall, 16-year-old Jane Schmidt, the head of her school’s Gay-Straight Alliance, asked the famously anti-gay congresswoman how she would support the LGBT community. After Bachmann said that “all Americans have the same civil rights,” Schmidt pressed her, even as virtually all the adults in the room broke out in applause in response to Bachmann’s reply.
“Then why can’t gay people get married?” Schmidt asked. They can, Bachmann assured her, as long as they marry a person of the opposite sex. A lengthy exchange ensued, wherein Schmidt kept her cool while calling out Bachmann’s bullshit answers.
It’s one thing to tweet an insult or bang out an angry blog post, but it takes real courage to ask tough questions of a politician standing right in front of you as your entire community stares you down. It’s moments like these when YouTube and the First Amendment make especially cozy bedfellows. Maybe the next generation isn’t so doomed, after all.