Aardy R. DeVarque (aardy) wrote,
Aardy R. DeVarque

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Should 18-year-olds be allowed to vote?

I'm going through some old high-school-era stuff of my father's, and came across this lovely bit of journalism that was relevant then, but I think it's mildly humorous now.

Quoted from Every Week Illustrated (a supplement to Every Week), Sept. 12-16, 1960, p. 13:

Should 18-Year-Olds Be Allowed To Vote?

YES Most 18-year-olds are mature enough to vote. In school, young people get training in history and citizenship. They're exposed to news and educational programs on radio and television... Thousands of 18-year-olds have worn the uniform of the Republic with distinction. If a person is old enough to serve in the armed forces, he or she is old enough to vote sensibly.
  Taxation without representation is unfair. Thousands of people in the 18 to 20 age bracket pay taxes. Many are married and have families....

NO We can't afford to take the risk. True, some 18-year-olds are emotionally mature. They hold jobs and pay taxes. But who can way that all young people suddenly reach maturity at 18? Who can say that most are not subject to hero-worship and snap judgments? Voting is a serious matter, requiring maturity and careful thought. Hitler and Mussolini, the World War II dictators, lowered the voting age to 18--and exploited the emotions of their youthful followers.
  Young people aren't demanding a change. If they really wanted to vote, they could put pressure on adults to get present laws changed.... Perhaps most [teenagers] feel that youth is a time for learning and living; adult responsibilities can come later. In any event, the "old-enouth-to-fight, old-enough-to-vote" argument is invalid. Soldiers are given orders. Voters must make their own decisions.

Feudalism: Serf & Turf
Tags: humor, politics, voting

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