Ricochet is the best place on the internet to discuss the issues of the day, either through commenting on posts or writing your own for our active and dynamic community in a fully moderated environment. In addition, the Ricochet Audio Network offers over 50 original podcasts with new episodes released every day.
The 26th Amendment to the Constitution was ratified in 1971, lowering the voting age to 18. Back then, it made sense, as there was a mandatory draft. How — it was asked — could we send these young men off to war and deny then the right to vote?
Also, 18 was different then than now. There were more responsibilities and more to expect out of an 18-year-old in 1971 then today. Instapundit Glenn Reynolds (also a Univeristy of Tennessee law professor) wrote an article in USA Today addressing the pearl-clutching, precious little snowflake mentality of college students, arguing:
But now I’m starting to reconsider. To be a voter, one must be able to participate in adult political discussions. It’s necessary to be able to listen to opposing arguments and even — as I’m doing right here in this column — to change your mind in response to new evidence.
This evidence suggests that, whatever one might say about the 18-year-olds of 1971, the 18-year-olds of today aren’t up to that task. And even the 21-year-olds aren’t looking so good.
Whoa, those students better upload their puppy videos and bust out their coloring books: this guy is advocating to take away their vote! No more Rock the Vote concerts or free Dave Matthews downloads just for registering! No more pathetic celebrity pandering and videos of Lena Dunham dancing in her underpants (unlinked to protect the innocent)!
I like this idea a lot. It is true that today’s college students are too immature to vote; if you need a “safe space” to protect you from hearing ideas that you disagree with, then you have proved to society that you can’t vote. Sure, it’s unfair to informed millennials, but no one said life was fair. As for the military, I think we can keep if at 18 for those in the military, produce a military ID (GASP an ID) and you can vote at 18. Also, this will help with those millennials who would otherwise vote Republican but for whom those pesky social issues get in the way. My contention is that those millennials would never have voted Republican, anyway: if it is that easy to reject a candidate’s arguments for limited government and federalism — and, in its stead, embrace the huge, all encompassing, suffocating, pro-government party — then they really aren’t for limited government
So what do you think? Repeal the 26th Amendment? Raise the voting age to 25 and lower the drinking age back to 18?Published in