I read a blog post today.
I applaud the young man for caring enough about the democratic process. I’m pretty sure I don’t agree with him politically, but the fact that we can disagree without killing one another is 1 reason why I love America.
I do NOT, however, applaud all who were posting comments. They want to dramatically LOWER the voting age. 1 poster even went so far as to see that the age should be lowered to when children enter 9th grade.
Now, I know that comments on blogs are not, how shall I say, flames to the moths we call good ideas. Yet, I feel compelled to engage such an argument on my un-read blog. Because this is the venue from which Change will flow.
It is not a ploy of Conservatives or the ultra-right, but rather it is a documented medical fact that the long-term consequence processing centers (the, uh, technical term for it) do not develop until around age 21 or so. I read this in the book Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters by Meg Meeker, M.D. This is why STDs run rampant among youth, as does teen pregnancy. No logical thought process leads a teen to engage in the sorts of risky behaviors that teens are drawn to.
And that commenter wants to hand the keys of the nation’s future over to children of that age. Good thinking.
The 2nd argument against it that I’ll present is more of a question. Why stop at 9th grade? I mean, 5-year-olds are affected by the political process, so why can’t they vote? What about the unborn? It’s legal to murder them, and they don’t really have a voice.
Children are children for a reason. It is a time to observe and learn and make little failures to prepare for adulthood. Children can’t even support themselves, so they should not be allowed to vote. If one doesn’t have a stake in the system, they should not be able to cast a ballot.
Another poster suggested RAISING the age to 21 unless the person is in the military. I kind of like that. Folks in the military understand what it means to not have freedom over one’s day to day life.
Perhaps that might influence the sort of candidate they vote for.