Another unbelievable idea just came out of Washington, D.C. A majority of the D.C. Council and Mayor Muriel Boswer are planning to allow 16- and 17 year-old “people” to vote in presidential and all other federal elections.(Note that they don’t seem to limit it to “citizens.”)
The D.C. Council isn’t the only locality that considers this a great idea. Takoma Park, Maryland, a D.C. suburb, began in 2013 to allow 16-year-olds to vote in municipal elections. They have been followed by a few other cities including – why am I not surprised – Berkeley, California.
The only member of the Takoma Park city council who voted against lowering the voting age there, Fred Schultz, has not changed his mind. He says, “The vast, vast majority of 16- and 17-year-olds simply lack common sense.”
As a former college professor, I can assure you that there are many intellectual and maturity differences between 17- and 18-year-old freshmen students and 21-year-old seniors. Let me quickly add that I have met many thoughtful, mature high school students, but not enough. We can’t write a law that only applies to the thoughtful and mature. It would also apply to those who have not yet learned what it means to take responsibility for their own lives (as can be seen in some of our citizens who already have the right to vote).
Some of the arguments I’ve read for allowing 16-year-olds to vote show a lack of the kind of understanding necessary to comprehend the issues on which they would be voting. One supporter said that if a 16-year-old is old enough to make his own choices and live his own life, then he should have the right to vote. Well that argument cuts out almost all American 16-year-olds – the ones who still live under their parents’ roof, who eat their parents’ food, and who expect their parents (or the government) to pay for college.
One opponent noted, “The mental capacity of the brain of a teenager is not fully developed until the age of 25 according to the World Health Organisation (sic). The brain isn’t fully mature at 16, when we are allowed to drive, or at 18, when we are allowed to vote, or at 21, when we are allowed to drink, but closer to 25, when we are allowed to rent a car.” Think about it. The Democratic D.C. Council thinks less maturity is required to vote than to rent a car.
Another opponent wrote “They don’t know what it’s like to own property by themselves or pay taxes on that property. They aren’t experienced enough.” I agree that until you have to take responsibility for your own life, you don’t have the experience to cast a responsible vote.
A teenage opponent said, “I am 16, and I strongly feel that we are too easily persuaded by our friends and family to make a decision on our own. I know many people my age would vote for some extremist parties just because they lack knowledge of our diverse society.”
The D.C. Council gives the usual “feel good” reasons for lowering the age, but NBC News puts it pretty bluntly. “If they vote like their slightly older peers, who lean overwhelmingly liberal,the change could be a boon for Democrats.”
Since the Democrats can’t seem to get enough votes from thinking, adult citizens, they are resorting to getting votes from illegal aliens, immature teens, and anyone else – dead or alive – who can be swayed to vote for them for reasons that have nothing to do with their ridiculous policies.
The safety factor here is that Congress can veto any law that the D.C. Council passes – provided Republicans retain control of the House and Senate. The not so good news is that similar bills have already been introduced in Minnesota and Georgia among other states. So far, none has passed.
This is all just further reason for us to work on telling our conservative story to our upcoming generations. We have far too much to lose if we don’t.
Steve “Doc” Troxel, Ph.D.
P.S. I was appointed chair of one of the committees for our upcoming convention. The logistics of just my area of responsibility are mindboggling. Imagine everything that is involved in the entire convention. If you are willing to volunteer to help at the convention, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org let Sandy know. Thanks.