Why the voting age should be lowered to 16

Every American 16-year-old enrolled in high-school has to learn civics, with extensive instruction on the more confusing aspects of the American electoral system, such as the Electoral College; they are also required to study current affairs -- so why not let them vote?

16 year olds were given the right to vote in the Scottish independence referendum, an election with far greater consequences for the nation than any mere presidential election or midterm.

When my grandmother was 16, she was already a veteran who had served in the military for three years, and she was a mother. Can't think of a single reason she shouldn't have gotten the vote back then.

1. People who are 16 and 17 are as qualified to vote as anyone in the 80s or 90s.

The Republican Party likely would crumble as a national force tomorrow if seniors in nursing and retirement homes stopped voting. Meanwhile, their their entire agenda serves to undo the biggest victories of the “War on Poverty” — which primary benefited the elderly. You can argue that teens cognitive abilities on average do not match adults in their “peak” years, but you could make the same case against some older voters. The difference is, only one group has to live with the consequences of their current choices for generations.

Any argument against teens voting makes more sense when applied against older seniors voting.

Don’t think a 16 year old has enough “life experience” to vote? Put her up against twenty 78-year-olds and let’s see who figures out which stories in their Facebook feed are real first. You could easily argue that Americans who grew up without computers and smartphones are not equipped to participate as citizens in this society.

2. We are looting this generation of kids who will have to live with the horrible choices we’re making.

Why are we running a massive deficit now, as unemployment is at two-decade lows, but had to fight to keep Republicans from defaulting on our debt during the aftermath of the worst recession in 60 years? Why are we intent on making the two worst crises of our time — wealth inequality and climate change — worse? Why are we proposing cuts to a safety net that’s already the flimsiest in the developed world? Probably because the people who’d have to bear the brunt of these horrible choices cannot vote yet.

3. Expanding democracy is the only solution to the right’s attack on democracy.

Trump’s Nazi-like slurs against immigrants and immigration policies straight out of the Second Klan stir up his base’s well nurtured resentments, but there is also some conniving practicality to this agenda. Trump’s GOP is trying to gerrymander states and the nation the way they’ve gerrymandered Congress to keep 95 percent of GOP House districts majority white. America’s voters become more diverse every year. The future has never been so clear, yet so far away, with GOP policies determined to keep majority white districts and states punching above their weight for decades. In addition to all the practical steps Democrats need to take to make sure the electorate better reflects the population, we need to send a clear message to the next generation of voters — not only do we want you, we need you.

There’s no good argument against letting 16-year-olds vote [LOLGOP/Electablog]

(via JWZ)