Resolved: Raise the Voting Age

 
IMG_0711

“I don’t know anything, but I feel very good about myself.”

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 Domestic Policy, Politics
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  1. Ramblin' Lex Inactive
    Ramblin' Lex
    @RamblinLex

    The idea of raising the age is a good one, but those serving should receive some immediate benefit.  Raise the  voting age to 25, but keep it at 18 for those who do in fact serve in the military or  perform some sort of service (Peace Corps, Red Cross, etc.).    Want to vote between the ages of 18 and 25?  No problem.  Serve.

    • #61
  2. Amy Schley Moderator
    Amy Schley
    @AmySchley

    Want to vote between the ages of 18 and 25? No problem. Serve.
    .
    .
    Why not go full Starship Troopers and only give the vote to veterans?

    • #62
  3. Blitter Inactive
    Blitter
    @Blitter

    PHenry: This plan is somewhat as cynical as the Democrat strategy to dilute the vote with liberal ‘dreamer’ immigrants.

    Yeah, but that plan is working. We don’t seem to have a plan. And the country has been progressively (see what I did there?) mutating into something that isn’t America as a result. Let’s win instead.

    • #63
  4. Solon JF Inactive
    Solon JF
    @Solon

    Congress should just ‘accidentally’ switch the ages for voting and drinking on the necessary documents.   Then they can say, ‘Whoops, mixed up those forms …. now it’s gonna take years, maybe decades, maybe centuries for this darned paperwork to get corrected.’

    Here are my proposed legal guidelines:

    Booze:  18

    Voting:  21

    Weed:  25

    Thinking all modern music sounds the same:  30

    • #64
  5. Israel P. Inactive
    Israel P.
    @IsraelP

    Mate De: I agree a Civics test for voter registration is a great idea and I would advocate it’s implementation, but I still would like to raise the voting age in this day in age 18 is too young. Also it’s obvious the left wants younger and younger voters because they are easier to manipulate.

    You don’t need one for elected officials, so how can you demand one for voters.

    • #65
  6. Phil Turmel Coolidge
    Phil Turmel
    @PhilTurmel

    Repeal the drinking age.  Crushing drunk drivers is more than sufficient to constrain problem drinkers, and the lack of supervised experience with alcohol as a minor contributes to alcohol abuse, IMNHSO.  I’m ok with 18 as the voting age, but I do think we need some form of qualification.  Voting has consequences and those consequences need to be felt by the voter.  The single greatest hazard to democracy since its creation in ancient Greece was the tendency of the mob to vote itself luxuries from public funds.

    • #66
  7. Instugator Thatcher
    Instugator
    @Instugator

    Ball Diamond Ball:

    Also, my dog is like family, and I will defend to the death his right to life, liberty and the pursuit of Milk-Bone dog treats. Who are you to object? Make your arguments instead of disenfranchising the least among us.

    My dog is almost as intelligent as Hillary and he is way, way more truthful.

    • #67
  8. Douglas Inactive
    Douglas
    @Douglas

    Amy Schley:Want to vote between the ages of 18 and 25?No problem.Serve.
    .
    .
    Why not go full Starship Troopers and only give the vote to veterans?

    Heinlein quite seriously thought there was merit in the idea.

    • #68
  9. Judge Mental Member
    Judge Mental
    @JudgeMental

    Douglas:

    Amy Schley:Want to vote between the ages of 18 and 25?No problem.Serve. . . Why not go full Starship Troopers and only give the vote to veterans?

    Heinlein quite seriously thought there was merit in the idea.

    It’s important to remember that his federal service was not always military service; in the book 95% were not military.  The point was to give up your life and follow orders for two years to earn the right to vote.

    • #69
  10. Mike H Coolidge
    Mike H
    @MikeH

    Mendel: I think the sentiment behind this idea is a good one, but don’t forget that the natural tendency of any voter is to improve their own situation at the expense of others.

    No, it isn’t.

    • #70
  11. Instugator Thatcher
    Instugator
    @Instugator

    Judge Mental:

    Douglas:

    Amy Schley:Want to vote between the ages of 18 and 25?No problem.Serve. . . Why not go full Starship Troopers and only give the vote to veterans?

    Heinlein quite seriously thought there was merit in the idea.

    It’s important to remember that his federal service was not always military service; in the book 95% were not military. The point was to give up your life and follow orders for two years to earn the right to vote.

    Throw in the aspects of public punishment and I am all for it.

    • #71
  12. Spin Inactive
    Spin
    @Spin

    Mate De:

    Spin:Win the culture. If you can’t win the culture, don’t create bandaids. They make it worse.

    Yea, I agree but in the meantime raise the voting age. The point of Glenn Reynold’s piece and what I was pointing out is that 18 today is not the same as 18 in 1971. 18 year olds are children now, who can’t handle debate and all this stuff happening on college campus’ proves this. Now is it their fault, no, it is the helicopter parents, self-esteem gurus, and leftist professors and teacher all up and down the educational system. This is what all this feel good, participation trophy, no score keeping, no red pen when marking test idiology has wrought. Sure raising the age is a band aid but we have to stop the bleeding before we can heal.

    I have a 22 year old who’s been voting since he was 18.  And while I might not always be happy with his life choices, he understands the importance of voting and being an informed voter.  But because some peoples kids (!) are idiots, mine would have been precluded when he was 18?  Further, I’ve got a daughter who is about to turn 18 who is equally prepared for the task of voting.  Should she be denied her right to vote because of the lunacy of others her age?

    • #72
  13. Spin Inactive
    Spin
    @Spin

    Barkha Herman:I think that if a person can be taxed, they should be allowed to vote.

    What if they pay sales tax, as my kids do, even the youngest?

    • #73
  14. RightAngles Member
    RightAngles
    @RightAngles

    Safe-Space

    • #74
  15. hokiecon Inactive
    hokiecon
    @hokiecon

    I would say that requiring a sort of test to vote would be sufficient, but isn’t that reminiscent of Jim Crow voter suppression tactics? (I think Ricochet membership is sufficient proof of competence.) But then again, wouldn’t raising the voting age likely suppress younger voters more inclined to vote Democratic? I’m trying to think a step ahead of those on the Left/media.

    • #75
  16. Annefy Member
    Annefy
    @Annefy

    Tom Meyer, Ed.:

    Mate De: 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.

    I don’t have a particularly good, viable solution in mind, but my concern with this is that it’s furthering adolescence, a rather regrettable aspect of our culture. As much as possible, I’d rather we demand people act like the adults they are, rather than give them additional excuses to continue acting like children.

    I agree that most 18 year olds are too immature to make a good decision when voting.

    However, all MY 18 year olds were more qualified than many much older.

    I like the property owner idea, but it’s unreasonable as property has become wildly out of reach for purchase here in Cali.

    Compromise: A minimum of time spent working? The difference between gross and net can be edifying.

    (while I consider myself a brilliant parent who has educated her children well on politics and policies, that first paycheck was more educational than any dinner time lecture/rant/discussion)

    • #76
  17. TKC1101 Inactive
    TKC1101
    @TKC1101

    Miffed White Male:Raise the minimum voting age to 25.

    Set a maximum voting age of 65.

    65? Just getting started. You folks under 65 seem too inexperienced and dumb as a box of rocks.  How about accepting government checks, including paychecks is a conflict of interest and voids your voting rights.

    • #77
  18. Manny Coolidge
    Manny
    @Manny

    Completely agree.  To think that some dumb kid’s vote offsets mine makes me shudder.  And yes, I was a dumb kid once myself.  I have long argued for the increase in the minimum voting age.  I think it should be at least 25 if not 29.

    • #78
  19. Ball Diamond Ball Inactive
    Ball Diamond Ball
    @BallDiamondBall

    TKC1101:

    Miffed White Male:Raise the minimum voting age to 25.

    Set a maximum voting age of 65.

    65? Just getting started. You folks under 65 seem too inexperienced and dumb as a box of rocks. How about accepting government checks, including paychecks is a conflict of interest and voids your voting rights.

    I am a govvie and believe me, I would GLADLY give up my vote if I got to take a bunch of these idiots with me.  And my end of government isn’t even that bad.  Not like I’m in the department of giving free stuff away to people who complain.

    Problem is, once you go down this road, I’m sure they’d find a way to take my vote while retaining theirs.  Welcome to government.

    • #79
  20. RightAngles Member
    RightAngles
    @RightAngles

    When I was a dumb young person, the voting age was 21. I was at the height of my left-wing Campus Crusader phase. I was on the Committee of Ten who went to the university president’s office to present our List of Demands. When I cast my first presidential vote at age 21, I voted for the republican and never told anyone. Because even then, I knew that nobody who thought the way we did should be in charge of anything.

    • #80
  21. Mate De Inactive
    Mate De
    @MateDe

    RightAngles:When I was a dumb young person, the voting age was 21. I was at the height of my left-wing Campus Crusader phase. I was on the Committee of Ten who went to the university president’s office to present our List of Demands. When I cast my first presidential vote at age 21, I voted for the republican and never told anyone. Because even then, I knew that nobody who thought the way we did should be in charge of anything.

    How many others, do you think, did the same?

    • #81
  22. RightAngles Member
    RightAngles
    @RightAngles

    Mate De:

    RightAngles:When I was a dumb young person, the voting age was 21. I was at the height of my left-wing Campus Crusader phase. I was on the Committee of Ten who went to the university president’s office to present our List of Demands. When I cast my first presidential vote at age 21, I voted for the republican and never told anyone. Because even then, I knew that nobody who thought the way we did should be in charge of anything.

    How many others, do you think, did the same?

    Well, the republican won!

    • #82
  23. RightAngles Member
    RightAngles
    @RightAngles

    RightAngles:

    Mate De:

    RightAngles:

    When I cast my first presidential vote at age 21, I voted for the republican and never told anyone. Because even then, I knew that nobody who thought the way we did should be in charge of anything.

    How many others, do you think, did the same?

    Well, the republican won!

    The tyranny of the Left is very strong, and it’s extremely difficult for any of them to speak against it. I know a very liberal feminist and Ph.D college prof who lived in California. After she got married and had kids, some of her views began to change (parenthood is often the deathbed of Liberalism), but I was the only one she could tell. She voted conservative on a couple of those Propositions they have out there, but she said she would never admit it out loud for fear of jeopardizing her job. As for me, I publicly renounced all of them by the time I was 24.

    • #83
  24. Arizona Patriot Member
    Arizona Patriot
    @ArizonaPatriot

    Misthiocracy:What is the voter-turnout rate for people aged 18 to 21? Raising the voting age probably isn’t necessary.

    I was curious as to the effect, so I did a quick analysis of the 2012 Presidential exit polls.  As a caveat, remember that exit polls are not precise, and there may be rounding errors in the calculations, as exit poll numbers are reported in whole percentages.

    The exit poll results by age for the 2012 Presidential election were as follows:

    18-24, 11% of the electorate, Obama 60%, Romney 36%

    25-29, 8% of the electorate, Obama 60%, Romney 38%

    30-39, 17% of the electorate, Obama 55%, Romney 42%

    40-49, 20% of the electorate, Obama 48%, Romney 50%

    50-64, 28% of the electorate, Obama 47%, Romney 52%

    65+, 16% of the electorate, Obama 44%, Romney 56%

    Doing the math on these numbers yields Obama 50.6%, Romney 47.7%.  The actual reported results were Obama 51.1%, Romney 47.2%.

    Using the exit polls, if you exclude those 18-24, the result would be Obama 49.4%, Romney 49.1%.

    If you exclude all those under 30, the result would be Obama 48.3%, Romney 50.2%.

    Of course, to predict the actual outcome would require a state-by-state analysis, followed by counting (hypothetical) electoral votes.  But this certainly suggests that raising the voting age would make a significant difference.

    • #84
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