October 30, 2011

Matt Yglesias says "Let Children Vote."

The notion is: they probably won't, but the ones who do would probably "come from an unusually dedicated and informed sub-set of American teenagers."

Matt himself is, despite appearances, already old enough to vote. His idea reminds me of one of my earliest political opinions. It was 1960. I was 9. I said: "If kids could vote, it would be a landslide for Nixon." It seemed so unfair! If only kids could vote.

Speaking of unfairness, the voting age changed from 21 to 18 in the year I turned 21. It was 1972, my first chance to vote for President, and suddenly all the 18 and up kids could vote too. Of course, I voted for McGovern. Now, to be realistic, if the voting age had been 18 all along, 1972 would still have been my first presidential vote. I was only 17 in 1968. It was so unfair. But I was able to inform my unduly conventional parents about my (unusually dedicated!) support for Eldridge Cleaver. Peace and Freedom!

Oh, I know what you're thinking. How did she get from Nixon to Cleaver in 8 years? It's called teenage.

65 comments:

lewsar said...

juiceboxers of the world, unite!

ndspinelli said...

I think children should be able to vote..male children.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

I think you should get to vote only IF you pay taxes.

C R Krieger said...

UTEC, here in Lowell, MA, has been working on a Home Rule Petition to lower the voting age for local elections to 17.  The Secretary of State has ruled it "unconstitutional".  But, then, this is the Commonwealth where the Attorney General has said "it is not illegal to be illegal".

Please don't scoff.  UTEC is doing good work here in Lowell, as we try to integrate several different minority populations in an area with high unemployment (granted, not like Detroit).

Regards  —  Cliff

Bob_R said...

Matt Yglesias said something stupid. My prejudices about the world are confirmed.

Alex said...

In my opinion the privilege to vote should be earned via:

* citizenship
* a written/oral test that proves sufficient knowledge of history, economics and government

If a 9yo can pass that, god bless him. I suspect many of our 18-21yo products of the edumucational system will not.

Revenant said...

I think you should get to vote only IF you pay taxes.

Agreed.

ignatzk said...

Dust Bunny Queen said...

I think you should get to vote only IF you pay taxes.


I'm for that.

Alex said...

Let's refine that some more. You should only be allowed to vote if you are a net giver. Plenty of poor people technically pay an income tax, but receive EITC and other government programs. You have to prove that you give more to the government then you receive to qualify.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

You have to prove that you give more to the government then you receive to qualify.

I'm for that.

ignatzk said...

Students should vote in their parent's home district.

MayBee said...

How hard is it to get kids to do anything? Put them on a bus and send them to the polling place. Or have a teacher hand out/collect absentee ballots.

Where does Yglesias get the idea that kids would have to be self-motivated to get to the voting booth?

Alex said...

Of course the net takers will never allow such a thing to take place. They love the idea that they can vote themselves the sweat & blood of others. That's what it's really all about isn't it? That and taunting us like Ritmo/garage do.

rhhardin said...

The reason children are made small and weak is to limit the damage they can do.

There's no point in letting the vote too.

Shouting Thomas said...

Rhetoric 101 and Soul on Ice! What a memory!

A very earnest young white woman taught that course, and she actually had a crush (almost but not quite consummated) on me. I was all of 18 years old and I thought she was an old lady. At most, she was 24.

I remember how enthusiastically and brilliantly that liberal young woman explained that, of course, it was just a matter of revolutionary justice for Cleaver to advocate the rape of white women.

Jesus Christ! The things that seem to make sense when you're a kid.

richard mcenroe said...

Yglesias is diligently searching for new Democrat voting blocs, since the party is busy exterminating its existing African American voting base(nationwide abortion average 55%, as high as 70% in some states). They need a desperate and dependent bloc that will vote its dole check. That's why they're pushing for indocumentados. Legal Hispanics are less suitable since too many of them still indulge in fascist practices like raising families, starting businesses and opposing gay marriage.

Kids are perfect. You don't have to educate them into ignorance, they're born that way, and there's no way they can support themselves.

Nature's Democrats!

MayBee said...

Just try to imagine how much kids would enjoy some walking around money.

mesquito said...

Well, the Democrats need to find something to make up for their losses due to voter ID laws.

Shouting Thomas said...

Some years later, as feminism gained traction, and rape became the cause celebre, doubt about fashionable liberal causes began to creep into my consciousness.

How could raping white women be a good thing that every good liberal agreed with back during the days when Cleaver was fashionable?

How we were supposed to do an immediate about face and denounce rape as a class act of violence that men committed against women when the fashion changed?

Larry J said...

We already allow liberals to vote. They're as naive and uninformed as not very bright children.

The Heathen Republican said...

So, if I refuse to drive my 13 year old to the polling place, am I engaging in voter suppression? Have I violated her civil rights?

Anyway, this is a losing proposition for Democrats. It's Republicans who are still having children.

caplight said...

Sounds like it's time to bring out Max Frost and the Troopers doing, "Shape of Things to Come," from the film "Wild In the Streets." (1968)

http://vodpod.com/watch/114510-max-frost-the-troopers-shape-of-things-to-come

traditionalguy said...

That lends a whole new meaning to candidates kissing babies.

But we have enough trouble with Social Security without the losers voting. That would be like letting Madoffs most recent investors vote on Ponzi Schemes.

sorepaw said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Methadras said...

Yglesias the idiot loves the thought of his own stupid idea. Aside from his bourgeois thinking, I see this as another attempt to appease favorite cheerleader, Little Miss Sullivan.

Methadras said...

If children could vote, Justin Beiber will be your next president or Sponge Bob Square Pants.

Titus said...

Stupid liberal.

C R Krieger said...

You have to prove that you give more to the government then you receive to qualify.

Does that include the subsidy for your business?

Regards  —  Cliff

Mary Beth said...

Don't conservatives usually have larger families?

Sixty Grit said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Coketown said...

Why stop at children? My rottweiler faces rent discrimination every time I look for a new apartment. She's also been relegated to second-class citizenship in federal parks and many kennels.

Plus, Nickelodeon already does a kids' vote for presidential elections. In fact, children seem to skew slightly to the right of the general population:

In 2008, 2.2 million people participated in the event.[1] Both major candidates participated, and filmed television commercials promoting the event. Participants were allowed to vote, without any voter eligibility or verification, on a non-partisan page of Nickelodeon's website that outlined the candidates' positions on various issues. Barack Obama received 51 percent (1,167,087 votes), and John McCain received 49 percent (1,129,945 votes)

Palladian said...

Little Yglesias should read a book called "Lord Of The Flies" to get an idea why giving children power is a bad idea.

ooonaughtykitty said...

>> Dust Bunny Queen said...
I think you should get to vote only IF you pay taxes.

Right on!

ooonaughtykitty said...

Isn't Matt one of the 'JournoList' members?

Sixty Grit said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
edutcher said...

They should take their cue from the insurance actuaries and restrict the vote to anyone 25 and up.

That's when young males stop trying to wrap themselves around telephone poles. I'm sure there's a similar effect among women.

Mary Beth said...

Don't conservatives usually have larger families?

It's called the Roe Effect.

In another few years, we take over.

Chip S. said...

I wonder how children would vote on abortion.

My guess is that Yglesias's proposal would have consequences that would not make pro-choicers happy. For one thing, it gives Catholics a force mulitiplier. For another, kids would probably identify more with fetuses than with pregnant women.

Does Yggy ever think through his ideas fully before hitting "publish"?

The Crack Emcee said...

You supported,...Eldridge Cleaver? [chuckle]

I don't even know why we talk to you,...

Ann Althouse said...

I was 17!

Jose_K said...

you should get to vote only IF you pay taxes...

If they can be jailed and put to death penalty, they have the right to vote.
Anyway, as I always say to my students in the class about voting rights, remenber the Simpson´s chapter when a curfew went to the ballot.

rcocean said...

"I was 17!"

Precisely why we shouldn't let minors vote. In fact, lowering it to 18 was a mistake, given that large number of 18 year olds don't have jobs, aren't in the servic and aren't married.

traditionalguy said...

Wait a minute here. Alcohol is forbidden to the under 21s.

Suppose the 12 to 20 crowd are the only sober ones come election day.

We should lower the drinking age to 12, or demand a re-vote.

Beldar said...

As George W. Bush always said of his years of dissipation and drinking, "When I was young and irresponsible, I was young and irresponsible."

timmaguire42 said...

No, that's not what I was thinking.

I was thinking McGovern to Obama in 36 years--that's a lot of time for not much maturation.

Scott said...

I think little Matty should pause and reflect on how the kind of glib shit he and his cohorts spout makes the left as a whole look unserious.

jgm said...

Billy "We weren't terrorists" Ayers has advocated giving children the vote for years.

'Nuff said.

jamboree said...

From what I see, they either have no idea about politics, or they are trained from such a young age now with the beliefs of their politically-oriented parents, that it would be pointless.

Besides, if it still comes down to two candidates from major parties, it doesn't really matter who can vote because that's not much choice at all. It's the same kind of false choice you offer your crying two-yr-old: Do you want mac n cheese, or pockets? Nowhere on the list is ice cream, chocolate, or striped seabass sautéed with grapes.

Yawn. I think I'll just wait it out until children can run for Congress and start implementing their policies.

Dr Weevil said...

I just posted a longish piece taking off from this one. Short version: children just love the idiotic totalitarian rants of Shakespeare's Jack Cade and Dick the Butcher (who said "First, let's kill all the lawyers!"). Long version is here.

wv: cinicato - Italian for "turned into a cynic by observation of American politics".

Bruce Hayden said...

You have to draw the line somewhere, and 18 is as good a place as any, esp. since that is the draft age (though we haven't drafted for 39 years now), when you can sign up for the military w/o permission, when young adults are treated as adults in criminal matters, when contracts for non-essentials are not voidable by the minor, etc.

Sure, I would love to limit the franchise to maybe the ages of 40-75 (moving up as we age, of course), to federal income tax payers, and maybe just to males. After all, women are obviously too emotional to vote rationally, as evidenced by the election of Bill Clinton.

Most 18-21 year olds don't have the knowledge to vote responsibly. But, they have many of the adult responsibilities that result from voting, so I think that it would be immoral to take the vote away from them (and, as Ann and many others here probably remember, the draft was one of the big reasons that the voting age was moved from 21 to 18 - if you could be drafted to fight in a war halfway around the world, you should have the right to vote on it).

Kids younger than 18 do not have the legal obligations or responsibilities of those 18 and older. And, so I see no overwhelming reason to give them the vote.

rcocean said...

No jobs, no responsibility, no taxes, and completely dependent on others.

Are we talking about Children or Democrats?

rcocean said...

"After all, women are obviously too emotional to vote rationally, as evidenced by the election of Bill Clinton."

This is a joke of course, but the sad reality is that for every Politically engaged woman like Palin, Feinstein, Althouse, and those who post here, there are 5 who are complete political ninny's.

Of course, if women couldn't vote we'd have to do without the political opinions of:

Oprah, Rosanne Barr, Jane Fonda, Woopy Goldberg, and Debra Wasserman-Shultz.

William said...

Eldridge Cleaver: There's a guy that got away with it. I just read his Wikipedia entry. He wasn't just a serial rapist. By his own admission, he committed quite a few other crimes, and he probably had a long list of unacknowledged other major felonies...He makes everyone who supported his various cons look bad. Radicals, Republicans, blacks, third world nationalists, women: he played them all for his own ends. He was a con man in a class with Bernie Madoff.....I remember reading his book. There was a blurb from Norman Mailer on the cover. I didn't think the book was a self serving pile of crap. He really knew how to finesse serial rape and make it seem like a growth experience....I'm ashamed of my vapidity. Someday someone should make a movie about some leftist hero--Sacco, Alger Hiss, Eldridge Cleaver--and play up their mendacity and the gullibility of the crowds to which they preached. But no, they'll remake Elmer Gantry. The only slick preachers are Christians, and the only rubes are their flocks.

John said...

Voting rights are conferred by states, not by the federal government. There is no, none, zip, nada, right for anyone to vote in the US Constitution.

Indirectly, there is a right to vote for representatives. States have to let anyone who can vote for the state legislature vote for Congressmen. (Later amended to include senators) but there is no federal requirement that state legislatures be elected at all.

Nor is there any federal requirement for states to hold elections for presidential electors.

States can set any requirements they want for who can vote. There are some limits. They can't keep people who would otherwise be elegible from voting based on sex, age over 18 or race.

But there is no US Constitutional reason why states could not let 6 year olds vote. Or illegal aliens. Or even non-residents.

So perhaps Yglesias shoudl start with his own state and get them to let children vote. If it turns out to be a good idea, other states will follow.

John Henry

Steven said...

Here's an idea, Matt: Persons too young or too retarded to be responsible enough for the State of Texas to execute for first-degree murder are too young or too retarded to be responsible to have any say in how the country is run.

You pick the minimum age and the minimum IQ test result of your choice, Yglesias, and we'll apply it as the standard for both.

Revenant said...

It would be interesting to see a bicameral legislature where one body was popularly elected (the normal way), but the other was elected with voters' votes weighted by their prior year's tax payments.

So one group representing the popular will, the other representing the people who actually contributed to the government.

Jane said...

My sister remembers chanting with her friends and doing the moves:

"Up with Nixon! Down with McGovern!" in public school kindergarten.

This was in Pennsylvania.

George said...

You should only be able to vote if you have proof of home ownership, if you work and make over $50,000 a year.

Pat said...

The youth vote would probably skew Republican, not Democrat. Remember, the McGovern crowd (and I was one of them back then) all were convinced that the young voters were not being counted by the pollsters and that they would come out in droves for George. Instead, they went for Nixon overall, albeit by a much lower margin than the overall voters.

Still, stop the presses, another stupid idea from Yglesias. He's worse than a stopped clock

Alex said...

Actually the youth vote is Democratic these days. 80% of 18-29yo voted for Obama in 2008. I have no reason to believe that will decrease in 2012, especially with his promising to forgive student loans.

Kirk Parker said...

Crack,

I did too... but I was only 14 at the time. Quite a few of us in 9th grade were wannabe radicals, and it didn't hurt that the (much) younger brother of Cleaver's VP candidate for WA* was a part of our circle.

But I got better... even before I reached voting age.

---------------
*For some reason, the P&FP Party fielded different candidates for VP in different states.

marklewin said...

wild in the streets http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rRLwV2xafpk

Joe said...

On the bright side, Democrats won't have to get dead people to vote.

Indigo Red said...

In '72, I was 18 and voted for McGovern because all my friends did. Even while casting my vote, I felt uneasy as I had a classmate, Irene, who bucked the consensus in English class and quietly took the slings and arrows as the sole supporter of Nixon. For the next few decades, I wondered what she knew that I didn't; now I know. And Irene - well, she successfuly treated my mother's breast cancer three years ago and the practice is in danger of closing due to socialized health care.

J said...

Stupid at 9, stupid at 21, and stupid in 2008.

Will you finally smarten up in 2012?

Antioco Dascalon said...

Right now we have an incoherent set of principles for voting. Voting is either a write for all citizens, no matter their IQ or level of maturity, in which case children should be able to vote. Or it should be based on some objective, relevant measures, such as ownership of property (as it used to be) or passing a Constitutional literacy test or serving in the military or paying taxes. Imagine if all children could vote (and if children were younger than 5 their parents could proxy vote) that would be a huge boon for conservatives since married people with children are overwhelmingly conservative. If only veterans or those who passed a test could vote, we would also get a much more conservative outcome. There is merit behind each of these proposals, but the current voting age of 18 is totally arbitrary and probably maximizes Democratic votes. I'd say those under 16 and over 25 are more conservative than 16-25, since the former are influenced by their parents and the latter have some real-world experience.