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Should We Lower the Voting Age to 16?
by Causes
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  • Gail
    02/27/2018
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    I do not think the voting age should be lowered to 16. Unfortunately not enough students are learning to think critically these days. There is such a strong glamour veil at work in America, whereby adults and kids worship celebrities, as if value comes from externals rather than intrinsic worth. Maybe if we required civic participation as part of high school or college graduation, their understanding might be increased. But the truth is, given how many people were blindly swayed by political bots on social media as evidence by how many folks passed headlines and messages onto others without checking for credibility of these reports, I do not have faith that enough research and thought will go into their vote. We have a problem with adult voters who are too interested in voting for the “winner” instead of the person who will do the most good for the largest number of their constituents. When one of my sons was in high school, the school always did an election within the school concurrent with the Presidential elections. True to form, most students voted blindly the same as their parents without questioning the underlying beliefs or reasons. They held debates and only a small group took it seriously enough to question the talking points and look for the deeper issues that need to be examined if we are to be a literate and informed citizenry. The frontal lobes are fully developed around 25 or 26. I think 21 is a good voting age as most young adults start to question their parents beliefs by then, and have a little life experience that shows them that life is not black and white, but mostly lived in the gray area, where compromise and compassion are needed to implement solutions to today’s problems. Those adults who take extreme positions and refuse to budge are not serving the public good but rather are simply getting an ego ‘hit’ off their self righteous position. Most everyday people know what give and take means. Kids can still be vocal and organize and aspire to be part of the process so they learn and look forward to the right to vote. But I do not think they are ready at 16.

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