First freshman Ayanna Pressley floats this inane idea, now here’s Madam Speaker rubber-stamping her logic as if it were the most obvious thing in the world.
Do these people have brain damage?
How long has this been a thing on the left, anyway?
Here's one heck of a take from @mattyglesias in 2015 on voting age: "If pushed, I'm willing to go all the way and say that anyone regardless of age should be allowed to vote if they are capable of actually casting their own ballot."https://t.co/c18hAStSKQ pic.twitter.com/iN9uqndig0
— Jeryl Bier (@JerylBier) March 14, 2019
This is the second group of people deemed ineligible for reasons of basic fitness whom leftists are eager to let vote, for a shrewd ideological reason. The first is illegals, who are barred by statute from voting in federal elections but are already able to vote in some blue-district local elections. A Rasmussen poll last year found 54 percent of Democrats in favor of letting illegals vote so long as they pay taxes. A different poll taken around the same time found 54 percent of Dems against it; between the two surveys it seems safe to say this is a roughly 50/50 proposition — and that’s party-wide. Among the ideological left support must be much higher. I don’t recall hearing Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez weigh in specifically on the subject but how could she oppose letting illegals vote when she seems not to accept the concept of “illegal immigrants” in the first place?
Letting kids vote is both similar and different. Illegals are barred from voting on grounds that they don’t necessarily have a permanent stake in the country’s direction and may not know the fundamentals of American civics to the extent citizens do. (Although it’d be hard to know less about America than Americans do.) Kids are barred for the same basic reasons, plus the fact that we’ve all been kids at some point and remember that there were eight or nine million things about adult life, government, markets, and on and on that we didn’t grasp at the time. We were ignoramuses. Many 18-year-olds are ignoramuses too, but as a matter of fairness, someone who’s eligible to be conscripted and sent abroad to fight and die should be eligible to help choose the people who make that decision. Sixteen-year-olds aren’t similarly eligible to be drafted so why should they be eligible to vote?
The through-line between the two groups is this simple: The left wing of the Democratic Party is fundamentally a revolutionary movement, as the rise of Bernie Sanders and astounding popularity of AOC attest. They want to remake America in big broad ways, not tinker at the margins. If that’s your task then it makes sense to want to expand the electorate to include ineligible constituencies who aren’t as aware of American civic traditions and therefore don’t feel as bound by them as American citizens of age do. It’s much easier to move the Overton window among people who don’t know the Overton window is there, to borrow a political concept that’s momentarily in vogue. You want to pack the Supreme Court? End private health insurance? Spend $93 trillion on the Green New Deal? The average middle-aged taxpaying schlub won’t go for that but a 16-year-old might. An illegal might. Why wouldn’t they? What do they care, or know?
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) March 14, 2019