After the school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, suddenly leftist politicians cared about the opinions of children (so long as those children are pushing for gun control, a long-time leftist goal). Some even talked about how they thought that younger people, who tend to lean liberal in their politics (perhaps due to a lack of life experience and indoctrinated liberal education), should be able to vote.
Now, Representative Grace Meng, a democrat politician representing New York’s 6th Congressional District, has gone one step further. She is sponsoring a resolution that hopes to decrease the age to vote to 16-years-old, which would, of course, require a constitutional amendment. It sounds like a pathetic attempt to undermine the 26th Amendment in order to preserve leftist hopes of a ‘blue wave’ that doesn’t appear to be manifesting.
Yes, Representative Meng of the 6th District (a heavily Asian district which includes much of Queens and leans heavily to the left) put forward a resolution earlier in August that would repeal the 26th Amendment to the Constitution as it currently exists.
In its place would be an amendment that declares no one in the United States who is sixteen or older shall have their right to vote denied or ‘abridged’ by federal or state governments on account of their age.
This measure would have lowered the age to vote in both local and federal elections in the District of Columbia to 16.
Allen, a democrat, admitted that he did this because he saw high school students participating in the ‘March For Our Lives’ event in the city, which sought to protest gun laws (and the concept of civilian ownership of firearms as a whole).
The last time the United States change the legal voting age was in 1971, when the passage and ratification of the 26th Amendment to the Constitution resulted in the age limit being lowered across the country from 21 to 18 years of age.
However, unlike this current proposal, there was an actual reason behind the change in 1971, besides the idea that leftist politicians want more votes for their agendas.
In 1971, the United States was still embroiled in the Vietnam War, and 18-year-old men were being drafted right out of high school if they couldn’t get into college or weren’t well-connected enough to avoid service via other means.
People at the time, including a number of politicians, reasoned, and rightly so, that any person old enough to be shipped off to fight on behalf of their country was old enough to have a say in its policies.
A common slogan of the day, especially among those 18-year-olds who were in danger of being drafted to fight in Vietnam, was actually “old enough to fight, old enough to vote. “
On March 10, 1971, the United States Senate voted 94-0 to pass the amendment, which would guarantee that the voting age 18.
In Congress on March 23, of the same year, the amendment passed by a vote of 401-19.
Richard Nixon signed the amendment after the requisite states ratified the amendment, and on July 5, 1971, the voting age was lowered to 18 across the country.
These people earned the right to vote based on the idea that they were serving in the military, sometimes against their will, but had no say in government.
The same cannot be said for the 16-year-olds of today, who are sitting in schools and will likely never face the draft in their lifetimes.
In the United States, you can’t purchase a pint of beer or a shot of whiskey unless you’re 21. You can’t purchase a handgun, a right guaranteed in the Second Amendment, unless you’re 21 or older.
A 16-year-old is not trusted to be intelligent enough to choose whether or not he wants to buy a pack of cigarettes, a premium cigar, or some pipe tobacco.
A 16-year-old has not even reached the age of majority, where they are held accountable for their actions as an adult (except for specific circumstances) if they commit a crime.
Why, then, should they be given the vote?
Rights and duties. 18-year-olds got the right to vote, because they had a duty to leave behind their families and loved ones and pick up an M16 and a ruck to fight in a humid jungle.
What comparable duty do 16-year-olds have? Why stop at 16, if they just have some arbitrary right to vote because leftists want more votes from kids with no life experience and no responsibilities?
Why not let people as young as 14, or 12, or even 10 years of age vote?
Thankfully, this legislation is not likely to get far, as even democrats will have a hard time selling the idea to their constituents. Still, it’s interesting to see how much they suddenly care about one ‘right’ when it gives them the opportunity to undermine an enumerated right, such as the Second Amendment.