Should kids be allowed to vote?
Kevin Drum on the “Kids Vote” initiative:
You can count me among the vast throng that thinks, in general, that this is a silly question. Kids can’t vote for the same reason they can’t do lots of things: because millions of years of human history informs us that children aren’t capable of looking out for themselves. They need adult supervision. We make the same judgment toward others who are deemed unable to look after themselves — the mentally ill, elderly people suffering from dementia, etc. — so this is hardly something unique to children.
The mentally ill and elderly people suffering from dementia are not denied the right to vote. Needing adult supervision is not the minimum requirement for disenfranchising an individual. Even most felons can vote. Opponents of lowering (or abolishing) the voting age should choose a different line of argument than the one presented by Drum.
For the record, I’m with Jonathan Bernstein when he writes:
I’m at this point in favor of a lower voting age, and haven’t heard a winning argument against going down somewhere around 14 give or take a couple of years; I’m intrigued, but not entirely sold, on vote-from-birth. And I’d either abolish completely the minimum age for holding office or set it at the voting age.