A ridiculous push from the irresponsible Left in the United States for 16-year-olds to vote has been voted on in the House and, thankfully, been defeated. However, 126 Democrats — a majority — voted in favor of the measure.
Rep. Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass., a far-left progressive, introduced the measure as an amendment to another bill. Her reasoning included the fact that many 16-year-olds are employed and pay taxes and are leading movements for social change. She also hearkened back to 1970, when Senator Ted Kennedy introduced legislation to lower the voting age from 21 to 18, using the draft at age 18 as the main reason.
I am honored & excited to be introducing my very 1st amendment on the House floor, an amendment to #HR1, the #ForthePeopleAct. My amendment will lower the voting age from 18 to 16, allowing our youth to have a seat at the table of democracy. #16toVote pic.twitter.com/67IzCtUh8k
— Rep Ayanna Pressley (@RepPressley) March 6, 2019
But not all 16-year-olds pass the tests to become drivers. Those who work rarely pay taxes because of their level of income, and the catalyst for social change movements supposedly led by young people are usually the teachers and organizers who use the children to advance a political agenda. Pressley’s push is based on lies and the ease of manipulation of 16-year-olds.
According to Childtrends.org, a research website that tracks the statistics of children in America,
In October 2017, 22 percent of females enrolled in high school were employed, compared with 17 percent of males.
The education a person receives affects their employment status;
In 2017, among youth (ages 16–24) not enrolled in school who did not graduate from high school, 47 percent were employed, either full- or part-time. The employment rate for high school graduates with no college attainment was 70 percent; for those with some college or an associate degree, 81 percent; and for those with a bachelor’s degree or higher, 87 percent.
If the test is that people with jobs ought to be able to vote, these findings actually boost the idea that the voting age ought to be increased, not lowered. Considering it would take a constitutional amendment to raise the age, how about we start talking about it now?
Parents of 16-year-olds lament that the age is one of the worst ages because kids tend toward being headstrong and belligerent, doing the opposite of what is expected of them, in the test for freedom and heading toward ultimate responsibility. But to the Left, this age is optimal because kids are usually in full rebel mode and will do almost anything to tick off their parents.
The argument the Left won’t admit in favor of letting 16-year-olds vote is of course that children are institutionalized by force in our education system, being fed half-truths and outright propaganda by leftist teachers, many times in direct confrontation with the values that the family has tried to instill in the children.
Case in point is a piece by Noah Berlatsky of CNN, who argued that his child is well-informed because he watches a leftist commentator weekly,
My son follows the news closely; he watches John Oliver every week. He’s angry that his parents’ and grandparents’ generations have left him with a rapidly warming and unlivable world. He’s joined in demonstrations against gun violence. At his school he was involved in student-led efforts to change the name of Columbus Day and to promote trans rights. He thinks President Donald Trump is, as he puts it, “a racist, sexist homophobe.”
Many of the standard leftist mind-rotting hits.
Another objection is that young people are not yet mentally competent…
Implicit in this argument is the assumption that young people, because they are immature, are too uninformed to vote.
Why yes, of course that is the fact; however, leftists rely on people who are uninformed and immature for votes. Sixteen or 46, leftists thrive with immature supporters. It is the Left that keeps adults immature and tending toward irresponsible behavior, seeking the force of government to punish their enemies, looking to government to solve their problems. The rolls of welfare are loaded with immature people well over the age of 18 and violently opposed to taking responsibility for themselves.
But it is deeper than that. Today’s public educational system spends almost no time on what is most important in the education of our youth, like tolerance, which has been thrown off by the “safe space” mentalities; wisdom, which is the pursuit of the truth; respect for oneself and others; and learning, not simply memorization of pseudo-facts. The Left has dominated our education system, and so it is leftist ideology that command the minds of our children. These dangers, among others, are why I and others have called for abolishing the Department of Education.
The Left has told them what to think, and the majority will vote as leftists.
And by the way, if they are so interested in allowing 16-year-olds to vote, how is it that 16-year-olds can’t wear hats or T-shirts to school in support of the Donald Trump, president of the United States?
But the Left insists that 16 is the best age, because once they go to college, they don’t turn out to vote. Once they have freedom and are among tens of thousands of other irresponsible people their age, they don’t turn out to vote, so the idea is to get them while they are institutionalized and easy to manipulate.
Bloomberg opinion writer Jonathan Bernstein laments,
Older teenagers face unusually high hurdles to voting. Often they’re at a residential college or otherwise living on their own for the first time, which can mean having an unfamiliar group of politicians to vote for and against. Even the offices up for election may be very different from what they grew up with. Add to that the distractions of college life or a new full-time job (or both), and it’s not really surprising that the youngest voters have abysmal turnout rates.
The problem is that voting is habit-forming. If most citizens begin their voting lives by missing elections, it can establish a lifelong pattern of non-participation. If kids vote for the first time in high school, however, the odds are better that they’ll get to the ballot box — with their parents, with their friends, perhaps with encouragement from their schools.
Oh, there will be more than simple encouragement. It will be the kind of organization and leftist ideological drivel that drove the students in protests across the nation with help from teachers and community organizers to demand the destruction of gun rights for tens of millions of Americans.
And it’s not only leftist Democrats who want this to happen. Texas Republican Rep. Michael Burgess voted for the Pressley amendment, commenting on Twitter,
Those who pay taxes should have a voice in our democracy. As a teen, I worked & paid taxes. This week I voted for an amdt that would give young adults the right to vote – it failed by a wide margin. I support policies that encourage work & this could be part of the conversation.
What about those who don’t pay taxes? What about those who work but don’t make enough to pay taxes? Let’s have that conversation.
If anything, with the national trends of our youth, the hopelessness of ever getting the media to tell the truth, and ideological leftists running education, the age to vote ought to be raised, not lowered.
Jen Kuznicki is a contributor to Conservative Review, a blue-collar wife and mom, a political writer, humorist, and conservative activist, a seamstress by trade, and compelled to write. Follow her on Twitter @JenKuznicki.