[guest post by JVW]
I was catching up on some newspapers from earlier in the week when I came upon an editorial published in my local paper, the Daily Breeze (part of the Southern California News Group) that touches upon the irritating child activism that we were discussing last night. The editorial reminds us that California Democrats hope to lower the state’s voting age to 17, and the editorial board rightly warns against it:
Silicon Valley Assemblyman Evan Low, D-Campbell, says there are now enough Democrats — who have long coveted the full power of the youth vote — to pass his legislation lowering the voting age to 17. Even so, it will have to face voters in 2020. Some might pull the lever for anything that makes them feel like a change agent. But in this case the change is not all it’s cracked up to be. Low’s own rhetoric is a giveaway. “Lowering the voting age will give a voice to young people,” he says, “and provide a tool to hold politicians accountable to the issues they care about. Young people are our future, and when we ignore that we do so at our own peril.”
[. . .]
An expanding youth vote is prized by Democrats not to keep California politicians honest, but to keep them in power, consolidating their moral control over the public and private lives of voters.
Not all fans of younger voting are so self-serving. But the taste for child activism is itself dangerous in its substitution of symbolism for experience and ideology for a proper education into prudential judgment. Some don’t see much value in a traditional civics education. They’re convinced justice is easily taught, by drumming into kids the proper hierarchy of rights claimants and the proper distribution of power and money. Even a child can recite the rules of this doctrine, leaving them with little more complex a task to perform than periodically voting a straight ticket.
Hear, hear. Naturally this new voting age could not possibly go into effect for federal elections without first modifying the Twenty-sixth Amendment to the Constitution, but consider the fact that cities such as San Francisco now allow some illegal aliens to vote in local elections, even if they are still prohibited from voting in federal and state elections. Adopted statewide, this will almost certainly lead to voting cock-ups as various political machines are simultaneously lobbying to have all elections — local, state, and federal — contested on the same day. Given the rather lax nature of California voter registration, why shouldn’t all of us assume that thousands of underage and noncitizen voters would end up casting state and federal ballots if those plans come to pass?
Thanks for the passion, kids, but let’s at least wait until you can stay out past midnight before we let you raise our taxes and vote yourself a bunch of free stuff.