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Lower the voting age?

Discussion in 'Issues Around the World' started by Techie2000, Nov 4, 2002.

  1. Techie2000

    Techie2000 The crowd would sing:

    I'm curious what are your thoughts about this? I personally at this point in my life probably know more than the average American about the political process (the same could probably be said for everyone else here too :)), but am denied my right to vote. The government has decided that because I am under the age of 18 I must be too stupid to vote. Why is that? What makes 18 year old John Doe's vote more important an informed than mine? What about all my friends? They don't count either. Who decided that a bunch of old people can gather in a fancy building and make decisions that affect us, without giving us the ability to vote them out of office?
  2. Coot

    Coot Passed Away January 7, 2010

    LOL, I remember when the voting age was 21.
  3. BigDeputyDog

    BigDeputyDog Straight Shootin Admin Staff Member

    Okay... let's give 17 year olds the right to vote...

    Oh wait!! I know a very intelligent 16 year old... let's lower the age to 16...

    What's that??? There is a young genius 11 years old who has entered Harvard law?? Let's lower the age to 11 then...

    Where does it stop???

    BDD... :{)
  4. tke711

    tke711 Oink Oink Staff Member

    From a strictly legal perspective, it has to be 18 since that is when a person is legally an adult and has all the rights that the Constitution and the Bill of Rights affords.
  5. Jedi Writer

    Jedi Writer Guest

    I wish they would have left it at 21. If it could be done legally I would even <i> seriously consider </i>raising it to 25!
  6. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    Voting Age should be the same as Draft Age. If you are old enough to die for this country, you should be old enough to vote.
  7. wapu

    wapu Veteran Member

    Degrees of adulthood never seemed right to me. I agree that draft age and voting age should be the same. You should at least be able to vote out the people who enslaved you. I also think drinking age and draft age should be the same. If you can stand up and die for your country, you should be able to legally taost that country as well.

    Maybe OT but...

    The movie starship troopers had an interesting concept of citizenship that seemed interesting the first time I saw the movie and has sort of stuck with me since. In the movie, before you could become a "citizen" you had to serve in their military. Citizens were given certain rights that non-citezens didn't have. Nobody was forced to join, but before you were granted all the benifits of their Gov't, you had to show a commitment to the Gov't. It was interesting none the less.

  8. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    Very true, Wapu. When I was a teenager, the drinking age kept being raised away from me and I was thinking the same thoughts as your quote above regarding drinking and draft ages.

    To this day, I am not sure whether Heinlein was sarcastic with Starship Troopers, attempting to satirize the military, or was being honest.
  9. ShinyTop

    ShinyTop I know what is right or wrong!

    I think earning the rights of citizenship is a great concept. And it should not have to be military service. Maybe service in the hospitals or in a VISTA style program could earn it as well. Based on other Heinlein books I never questioned his seriousness on the issue. All of his books were very much aligned with earning what you get.
  10. Coot

    Coot Passed Away January 7, 2010

  11. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    But it was his 1959 novel Starship Troopers that established Heinlein as a fascist in the minds of some. The world of Starship Troopers is one in which citizenship and the right to vote is earned through military service. It honors personal achievement and glorifies the military.

    Starship Troopers was Heinlein's response to the federal government's agreement to a ban on certain nuclear tests. Heinlein believed Americans were engaging in wishful rather than realistic thinking about nuclear disarmament. The novel proposed that a government comprised of men and women who have dedicated their lives to a cause, and who have sacrificed for that cause, would never make such a mistake.

    The novel was a love-letter to the "poor, bloody infantry" during a decade in which pacifism was a fad and it was assumed that a soldiers loved war and killing. The book glorified soliders during a decade in which returning soldiers were spat upon and called baby killers.

    Thanks to the movie very loosely based on the book, with its Nazi imagery, the word "fascist" is once again being used to describe both the novel and Heinlein himself.

    Taken from this web page
  12. Sierra Mike

    Sierra Mike The Dude Abides Staff Member

    I would definitely agree with this standpoint.

  13. ShinyTop

    ShinyTop I know what is right or wrong!

    Cool site, I am marking for future study.
  14. jamming

    jamming Banned

    This actually incorrect if you read the book, it is about Federal Service not just military service, it could be scientific manning remote outposts like Pluto, or Construction Service like the WPA and CCC. The Peace Corps and VISTA hadn't been invented yet at the time but I think Heinlein would of included them if they had been invented yet. It was about putting something in for all they get back from the government, something that is more precious and personal than money which is time. It also takes some of the mystery out of government, in short seeing how it works take the magic out of it. Like believing in a massive conspiracy to hide UFO's from the Public for over 50 Years now, the government just ain't that good at anything. They didn't even keep the Manhatten Project a secret from the enemy during WW2.
  15. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    I stand corrected, Jim, I always thought it was solely military service.
  16. fritzmp

    fritzmp Fire Fire For Effect

    Having a vested intrest other than hand outs sounds good to me. It use to be property. The argument was if the property was $60 or the equivalent and you owned a donkey worth $60 and the day before you went to vote the donkey dies, who was voting, the donkey?

    That is a bit obscure, but having a vested intrest, business owner, home owner, property owner, makes sense. Adding public and military service to that list makes sense as well.

    Free tickets on the boat does not entitle you steer it.
  17. Jedi Writer

    Jedi Writer Guest

    Ah come on get off the draft soapbox and if you are old enough to die for your country you are old enough to vote emotionalism.

    First of all no one has been drafted in this country for nearly thirty years! Admittedly, since guys still have to register for selective service there is legally the potential to be drafted. But that isnt going to happen. It would take nothing short of an invasion of this country to make the draft a politically and socially acceptable institution again.

    As for the idea if you are old enough to die for this country you are old enough to vote is just poor reasoning and logic. You can die for this country or for any other reason at any age. That ability to die doesnt make you automatically emotionally or intellectually mature enough to vote. Heck it takes more brains to vote than it does to drink. And everybody used to know that, which was why the voting age was 21 until the emotionalism and feelings of guilt about the deaths of the Vietnam war, (average age of the enlisted man was 19), led to the passing of the 26th Amendment in 1971 and lowered the age to vote from 21 to 18.

    I was a military veteran at 17 and a Vietnam Veteran at 18. Therefore, by the logic of some the voting age should be lowered to 17, which is the legal age you can join the military with your parents permission. If you are old enough at 17 to die for your country.

    Finally as every old combat vet will tell you, when they were 18 or 19 and ordered by the sergeant or officer to charge a fortified and entrenched machine gun they would charge it with a gung ho yell! However most of those very same guys at their current age would respond to such an order with a Your ass! What are you nuts? You want to take it? Do it yourself, you moron!

    I wonder why the different perspective at the older age? The same reason why they never should have lowered the voting age to 18!
  18. RRedline

    RRedline Veteran MMember

    Sorry, but I disagree with you on this one. In fact, I wish they would stop allowing stupid people to vote. They must make a cutoff age SOMEWHERE. If they lowered it to sixteen, what about those mature fifteen year olds?

    Trust me...someday you will look back and remember how stupid you were. We all do.
  19. mikeky

    mikeky Member

    I'm not quite convinced on mandatory public service. I guess it goes against my tendency to think that the government should leave individuals free to decide on their own when, how, and if they should serve. As far as making service a condition of "citizenship" or some other similar reward, I envision the segregation of society into tiers, not unlike that of British nobleman vs. peasants, or Indian's caste system, which I can't believe would be a good thing.

    As far as lowering the voting age, I think 18 is a fair age since at that point each person is theoretically responsible for themselves and so have a vested interest in how the government will affect their ability to earn a living, etc.
  20. Techie2000

    Techie2000 The crowd would sing:

    Finland requires citizens to serve either in the military or do mandatory community service.

    RRedline: Everyone looks back in the past to reflect and laugh at how stupid they were, however I feel that there are many 15 year olds and older that are ready to vote, know the process, and understand the issues and their impact on the world. What more is there to making a decision except picking the candidate who's views you most agree with?

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