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The Flag of the World

-G. K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy

This here blog is a glimpse or two or three at the condition of the 'fortress of our family' through the eyes Timothy Goddard, a Christian writer with an unhealthy interest in politics living in the Puget Sound area.

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Friday, September 19, 2003

 

Voting rights, Wesley Clark, and why the fate of the nation should not rest in the hands of teenaged girls.

Hello, all. I, too, am back from hiatus, and have been jolted into blogging again by this article from ABC news, claiming a nationwide surge of proposals to lower the national voting age from 18 to 16 years of age.

Now, I am no opponent of youth. Youth are great. Let them learn about politics and take civics classes and work in political campaigns. Let them hold mock elections and ponder the finer details of American history and political science. But all this should be in preparation for, not in concert with, the right to vote.

Anyone who lived through the Vietnam war, or, like me, studied it in school, knows that the 26th Amendment lowered the voting age to 18 so that the soldiers who were risking their lives for their country could also have a say in how that country was run. But there is a great distance between an 18-year-old soldier and a 16-year-old McDonald's trainee. This point was underscored yesterday, when I overheard a high-school discussion on the Democratic presidential candidates. General Wesley Clark had just thrown his hat into the ring, and they were discussing who he was.

"Wesley?" a 17-year-old girl said. "Like in the Princess Bride? Oh, he's so CUTE!"

And we want her VOTING? I propose, ladies and gentlemen, that if we offer sufferage to the 16- and 17-year-olds of this nation, Wesley Clark, John Kerry, Howard Dean, Joe Leiberman, and President Bush need not worry about who will become the next president;the answer will be obvious.

Another latte, President DiCaprio?

Of course, I know that they could never have that much power, and even if they did have the right to vote, they probably wouldn't. But why waste our time and tax dollars on the issue? Two years is not that long. If they want to vote so badly, let them study hard so that they will be well-informed, skilled voters when the time comes.

Heaven knows, we need them.
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