She may not expect wisdom from the mouths of babes, but she sure expects Democrat votes. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said on Thursday that, though she doesn’t speak for her caucus, she personally supports lowering the voting age to 16. Perhaps she could have spoken for her caucus, however, since a majority of House Democrats (125) voted for a bill amendment designed to do just that.
Pelosi made her remarks at her weekly press conference last Thursday. As the Daily Caller reports, “‘I myself have always been for lowering the voting age to 16,’ Pelosi said when asked by The Daily Caller about her thoughts on the issue. ‘I think it’s really important to capture kids when they’re in high school when they’re interested in all of this when they’re learning about government to be able to vote.’”
Question: If kids start learning about civics and government in middle school, will Pelosi support lowering the voting age to 12? If practical application at the point of first instruction is an imperative, does she support children having sex as soon as they’re given sex education?
“The issue of lowering the voting age came up for debate in the House as an amendment last week on the ‘For The People Act,’ a Democratic pushed bill (H.R. 1) that would overhaul U.S. election and campaign finance laws,” the Caller further relates. “Democratic Massachusetts Rep. Ayanna Pressley introduced the amendment, but it failed 126-305.” The only Republican voting aye was Texas congressman Michael Burgess.
The Caller also tells us that since “2013, thirteen states have proposed bills to lower the voting age. Some of the proposals are strictly for school board elections while others are for state elections.”
Yet it’s even worse than that. Some American leftists have actually proposed lowering the voting age to 14. Ironically, these people don’t suggest reducing the age for buying alcohol or cigarettes, entering into contracts, joining the military, or most anything else. Why?
Because such proposals don’t build leftist power. Pubescent suffrage would, since the young vote overwhelmingly Democrat.
But the message is clear and clearly askew: I don’t trust you with alcohol or guns, but I do trust you to help choose the people who’ll craft policy on alcohol and guns — and everything else.
The contradiction doesn’t end there. There was a 2017 campaign in which liberals were “calling for 18- and 19-year-olds and even people in their 20s to be [criminally] charged as children, on the theory that their brains are not fully developed,” as American Thinker’s Ed Straker put it at the time.
Do note that the “adolescent brain” notion is junk science. Yet given how modern society stunts people’s moral, intellectual, spiritual, and emotional development, the voting age should if anything be raised (while I don’t speak for The New American “caucus,” 50 sounds about right to me).
Nonetheless, people who normally infantilize the young — wanting them to stay on their parents’ insurance till age 26, for instance — apparently believe they achieve situational maturity upon entering a voting booth.
For example, Oregon lawmakers proposed lowering the voting age late last year, with Democrat State Senator Shemia Fagan saying that 16-year-olds should have the chance “to participate in the ballot — about decisions that affect their homes, their clean air, their future, their schools and, as we’ve seen, their very lives.”
Alright, but question: Why is 16 the magic number? Why not 10?
Don’t laugh. In 2017 I made the crack, “I’m just waiting for these leftists to echo NAMbLA and chant, ‘If they’re eight, it’s too late,’” but this has since apparently been trumped by reality. While it smacks of satire, Cambridge University head of politics, Professor David Runciman, seriously proposed last year lowering the voting age to six. A little crumb-cruncher is qualified as long as he can read, is his reasoning.
Yet following Fagan’s reasoning, why not? Last I heard, preteens have homes, air, schools, lives, and a future, too; in fact, they have a longer future ahead of them than do teens.
Answer: It’s because we care about the kids’ future that we don’t let them make life-influencing decisions.
Left to his own devices, a child may eat cake and ice cream every meal and play all day rather than educate himself, and even teens are notorious for making reckless choices. In fact, while Professor Runciman opined that the problem with not lowering the voting age is that politics is left to “people who aren’t going to live into the future and can just care about the present,” he gets it exactly backwards.
Many elderly, like everyone else, do vote in accordance with their own interests. Yet generally having children and grandchildren, those interests often involve deep concern about their future. Moreover, having lived extensively and possessing the sense of this life’s brevity, they tend to take a longer view of things. The young will often act as if they’re immortal and are apt to live in the “now.”
Something else backwards here is reflected in the desire to afford the young voting rights but no other “adult” rights (i.e., to join the military). Note that the youngest naval captain in United States history was 12-year-old David Farragut, and this just reflected the common practice of having preteen lads on British warships; and boys would be conscripted into ancient Spartan military camps at age seven.
Yet neither the United States nor Britain had youths in government, and you had to be at least 60 to qualify for Sparta’s council of elders, the gerousia.
This made sense. Just as humans attain physical adulthood gradually (adolescence) — unlike the sudden metamorphosis from caterpillar into butterfly — so do they achieve moral maturity. This is why rights and responsibilities are given gradually, and voting rights should not be among the first afforded, but the very last.
For insofar as the person’s exercise of a right affects others, the attainment of that right should be delayed. If a person enters into a bad contract, it may only affect him. Voting affects the whole society.
This is why boys historically had to fight for their civilization before being allowed to influence its governance. Going to war is a grave responsibility, but helping determine if your nation will go to war — which could bring its salvation or destruction — is a graver one still.
That’s the way a serious civilization operates, anyway, and we’re no longer that. In ancient Athens, the birthplace of democracy, only about 10 percent of the population voted. Now our traitor class, no small group, wants everyone to cast ballots, from the immature to the senile to felons to illegal aliens. The idea is that broad participation makes our republic better, which makes as much sense as fancying that air travel will be better if everyone gets a chance to take the cockpit controls.
In either case, it’s a recipe for crashing and burning.