Let’s see, where do I start? (To answer my own question, I reckon the beginning is always a good place.)
Well, when I was a lad of oh 15 or 16 I always had these grandiose, Pollyanna ideas. Thought I then, the young pimpled-faced, shaggy-haired Don: I could run for President of These Here United States, and in a Machiavellian kind of way, say whatever it would take to win, then once in office unveil my true honorable plans. Global peace, expanding scientific endeavors, logic, reason, long-lasting love — you get the picture.
It was a young, naive man’s fantasy about the world as it “should” be.
In the same vein, when I was first in college I thought being a journalist would lead me to rooting out corruption — watch out Mafia, you’re going down because I was gonna’ be on the case!
And, while I had had a job since I was in the seventh grade, it wasn’t until I graduated from college, got a real, 40-plus-hour-a-week job and started paying bills and taxes that my naivete waned — the luster of my Lilly-whiteness being replaced with cold-hard reality. Life is hard. Life ain’t fair. Bad things happen to good people. Bad people have a way of getting good things. The World doesn’t care what happens, it spins round and round regardless of what transpires on its surface. I say this because even though I work in smallish-communities, I have seen, witnessed and written about many “unfair” things. Which brings me to . . .
. . . so I hear there are those on the Left Coast and on the East Coast who would like to lower the voting age from 18 years of age, to 16. “It’ll give vitality and vigor to a long stagnating electorate,” they say.
To which I reply, “Gulp.” And, then, “Rut-ro, Raggy.”
My first thought upon hearing/reading about this idea, cliched though it is, was, “The road to Hell is paved with good intentions.”
Lowering the voting age sounds like a good idea. Come on, kids today are smarter than ever. They are good, honest, hard working Americans, why shouldn’t they be able to vote, for they will be the inheritors of the world we leave behind?
While my sons, now 21 and 19, are smarter than average bears; and even though they are caring, compassionate, hard-working and clear-eyed individuals, I still don’t think I’d want them voting when they were 16. I asked the youngest, because he is the closest to high school-aged people, what he thought. He pondered about it for a bit and then said, “Nah. Not a good idea.”
Needing more thoughts other than my own, I asked a current junior high school teacher, “Should 16 year olds be able to vote? Pro or Con?” In about three point two nano seconds, the answer was, “Con.”
I asked for elaboration. Logically, Teacher responded thusly:
“Sixteen year olds are still legally required to attend school and are more than likely dependent on parental or guardian support, therefore, they are not experienced in maintaining employment, maintaining a household, food nor having dependents.”
And then added, “My illogical answer would have been, ‘They are driven by emotions and hormones making them illogical for educated voting.’ But, that’s kind of rude.”
I continued my quest for opinions other than mine and ended with a counselor who has over 25 years experience working with children and families. The Counselor’s answer: “Great topic! Personally, I’m more of a political moderate who leans toward the left. However, I believe Nancy Pelosi (Congresswoman from California) is stretching it a little too far. Yes, there are some 16-year-olds who know how to think critically, discern bias and evaluate both sides of all issues. But most of them are bandwagon jumpers who are quick to act on emotion and follow the most hyped up candidate.”
I concur with these three astute minds. (And I call ‘em astute because they gave me the answers I sought! Hey, at least I am honest.)
The reason why the Left and East coasters have floated this idea to the populace is to reinforce their strangle-hold on power in their districts. I think it’s kinda’ pandering. Hey, but that’s just my opinion.
What do you think? No need to be bombastic, just send me your well-thought ideas. Should we change the laws to allow 16-year-old the right to vote? Let’s here from parents, students and everybody else. Send your thoughts to: DontRushDon@gmail.com