The good news, I guess, is that the watered-down “anti-hate” resolution isn’t the lamest Democratic legislation to be proposed today.
Ayanna Pressley is one of the Democrats’ progressive freshmen, the same group that brought us the Green New Deal and three days of mainstreaming dual-loyalty smears as acceptable criticism of Israel’s supporters. (Pressley specifically shilled for Ilhan Omar by insisting that she’s the real victim in all this.) It’s also the same group that sent Trump a letter today encouraging him to keep his mitts off Nicolas Maduro, not just by ruling out military intervention but by lifting the sanctions we’ve imposed to try to loosen that socialist degenerate’s grip on power in Venezuela.
They’re the Good Ideas™ caucus. Lowering the voting age to high-school sophomores and juniors? Just another Good Idea™.
The compelling argument for lowering the voting age from 21 to 18 during the Vietnam era was that it was unfair to send an 18-year-old abroad to risk his life for his country without letting him help decide who’ll shape the country’s foreign policy. The argument for lowering the voting age from 18 to 16 is … I’m not sure. Every point Pressley makes in the clip about younger teens having a stake in the future of issues like climate change and gun control is also true of 14-year-olds or 12-year-olds. (The interest young voters might have in limiting Congress’s ability to pile up astronomical amounts of debt that they’ll be on the hook for naturally isn’t mentioned.) Are 18-year-olds and 16-year-olds so meaningfully intellectually different that the former should vote while the latter shouldn’t? I don’t know. Are 16-year-olds and 14-year-olds so meaningfully intellectually different that the former should vote while the latter shouldn’t? All “age of maturity” assessments are somewhat arbitrary, but Americans have been fine with 18 for most matters for a long time. Why change it?
You know why. Young adults are among the most lopsided Democratic demographics in the country. If Democrats could enlarge that group via simple legislation to include people who are even less in touch with the demands of adult life than 18-year-olds are, they’d be fools not to. There’s not a chance of this bill becoming law, of course (it couldn’t even pass in D.C., for cripes sake), but Pressley knows that. She sees this as part branding exercise, I assume, and part pander. Wanting to let kids vote is dumb but it’s certainly an outside-the-box proposal, and the Good Ideas™ caucus is all about thinking outside the box. They’re shakin’ things up, refusing to let the old guard tell them what is and isn’t possible! But also, today’s 16-year-olds are tomorrow’s 18-year-olds. Kiss their ass a little now and maybe it’ll earn Democrats some extra loyalty from them when they come of age in 2021.
One hundred and twenty-five Dems voted for this today, plus one Republican(!). Exit question: Which Republican is going to counter by proposing “demeny voting” instead? If you want pro-family policies, that’s one way to encourage it.
.@RepPressley introduces amendment on lowering voting age: "In this country we affirm that when a person walks into the voting booth & pulls that lever, there is no meritocracy or hierarchy. The booth is the equalizer…Some have questioned the maturity of our youth. I don't." pic.twitter.com/dJtTHD0kRk
— CSPAN (@cspan) March 7, 2019