The Left’s Next Battlefront
If you thought the transgender bathroom was the hill upon which the progressive movement would die, get ready for the next outrageous little war the left is waging against common sense.
Last week the City of San Francisco passed an amendment (9-2) to lower the voting age to 16 years old. It will appear on this November’s ballot in an effort to expand voting “rights”. It may be tempting to laugh it off as “wacky San Francisco”, but advocates intend to replicate this around the country, and worldwide. Their wishes may be soon granted:
Council members in Washington, D.C., are considering legislation to allow 16- and 17-year-olds to vote in federal elections, a measure even more radical than San Francisco’s. Two other municipalities have lowered the voting age in local elections to 16 — Takoma Park and Hyattsville, both in Maryland.
The 26th Amendment was ratified in 1971 allowing 18 year olds the right to vote. The push was based on the simple slogan “old enough to fight, old enough to vote”. The effort began 30 years earlier during World War II by Congressman Jennings Randolph (D-WV). He introduced the bill 11 times during his career in the House and Senate.
While the premise was marketed as ‘Kids, who can fight and die for their country, should have a voice’, the primary reasoning for Randolph’s push was his belief that America’s youth “possess a great social conscience, are perplexed by the injustices in the world and are anxious to rectify those ills.”
In 2016 less than 2% of 18 year olds serve in the military. Since they have not yet paid into the system with a meaningful career, over 98% of 18 year olds are not invested in greater society in any way. They have mostly only received benefits in the form of education and/or being supported by their parents. Granted there are exceptions, but even our forefathers knew 18 year olds are molly coddled children whose ideology has another 7-10 years to marinate before being fully formed.
Jason Brennan writes in his book The Ethics of Voting about voter’s lack of knowledge and their ‘moral obligation’ in becoming educated on issues before voting.
“The key argument against letting high school juniors vote is simple: Their choice would affect all of us. After all, a voter chooses for everyone, not just him or herself. Many worry that most 16-year-olds lack the wisdom or knowledge to cast smart votes, so we don’t let them vote because we want to protect ourselves from their decisions.
And this concern is often grounded in reality — young adults are indeed in many cases profoundly ignorant about politics. But if that is a reason for excluding them from voting, it is surely a reason to exclude almost everyone else.”
Brennan begins his book suggesting citizens are not required to vote, but are required to become educated on the issues should they choose to vote. Brennan’s point being: Most everyone in society is uninformed and they shouldn’t vote unless they can prove otherwise.
His point is confirmed by several studies. 2 years after Brennan’s book was published Annenberg Public Policy Center released a study suggesting Americans show great uncertainty when it comes to answering basic questions about how their government works.
- While little more than a third of respondents (36 percent) could name all three branches of the U.S. government, just as many (35 percent) could not name a single one.
- Just over a quarter of Americans (27 percent) know it takes a two-thirds vote of the House and Senate to override a presidential veto.
- One in five Americans (21 percent) incorrectly thinks that a 5-4 Supreme Court decision is sent back to Congress for reconsideration.
Anecdotally, I asked my almost 16 year old son what he thought of him and his friends being able to vote. Without hesitation he replied “That’s crazy! Even 18 is too young! My friends have no clue about politics and the only reason I do is because I’m stuck in your car each day. We have no life experience yet. It should be 21 or even older.” #ProudDad
Many conservatives suggest the left pass policies (immigration, criminal voting rights, mandated union dues, etc) to prop-up their dwindling voter rolls.
They use the language of ‘disenfranchisement’, or as the British version of this effort ‘VotesAt16’ suggests “We believe it is impossible to justify the automatic and blanket exclusion of 16 and 17 year olds from the right to vote”.
This new transparent ploy signifies a new front by progressives to restructure democratic societies. Youths are generally ideological, thus why many who attend rallies, social justice protests, or support a self-avowed socialist for President are missing the wisdom accumulated with years. Without life experience many youths only know emotional arguments or selected truths spouted by Marxist professors and media influencers.
The proven formula to win progressive policy is to discuss “feelings”, something conservative candidates can learn from. People generally first vote emotionally and second logically (if ever). Conservatives who take a page from progressive tactics can turn normally boring conservative policies in their favor. ie: Instead of simply preaching ‘less government/regulations!’, candidates could benefit by explaining how it impacts real lives. For example: privatizing infrastructure contracts – “Competition equals less expensive roads, means quicker fixes to potholes, quicker commutes home, more time to spend with your family.”
For most young adults the heart speaks louder than boring, pesky realities like fiscal responsibility and history repeatedly demonstrating failed big government solutions.
The emotional voter fits the left’s demographic outreach like a dovetail joint. After decades of ingratiating themselves in the power structure of higher education and promoting leftist causes in primary school (ie: global warming) they are eager to now cement their hold on children at an ever earlier age.
The efforts by the left are purposeful. They intend to destabilize elections, decrease the impact of conservatives across state and federal governments. They know that 8-10 million children can easily be organized in schools as a captive audience and transported to polls en masse in GOTV efforts.
Progressives understand that once they own the children, they own the future.