Friday, November 12, 2010
I know we're not generally supposed to take Ann Coulter seriously at this point, but I have to admit that she's come up with a somewhat unique political stance: repealing the 26th Amendment and raising the voting age back to 21.
We must repeal the 26th Amendment.
Adopted in 1971 at the tail end of the Worst Generation's anti-war protests, the argument for allowing children to vote was that 18-year-olds could drink and be conscripted into the military, so they ought to be allowed to vote.
But 18-year-olds aren't allowed to drink anymore. We no longer have a draft. In fact, while repealing the 26th Amendment, we ought to add a separate right to vote for members of the military, irrespective of age.
As we have learned from ObamaCare, young people are not considered adults until age 26, at which point they are finally forced to get off their parents' health care plans. The old motto was "Old enough to fight, old enough to vote." The new motto is: "Not old enough to buy your own health insurance, not old enough to vote."
Eighteen- to 26-year-olds don't have property, spouses, children or massive tax bills. Most of them don't even have jobs because the president they felt so good about themselves for supporting wrecked the economy.
Brain research in the last five years at Dartmouth and elsewhere has shown that human brains are not fully developed until age 25 and are particularly deficient in their frontal lobes, which control decision-making, rational thinking, judgment, the ability to plan ahead and to resist impulses.
Unfortunately, we didn't know that in 1971. Those of you who have made it to age 26 without dying in a stupid drinking game — and I think congratulations are in order, by the way — understand how insane it is to allow young people to vote.
Oddly, this might not be the best move for Republicans. Based on anecdotal evidence from the Republican and Democratic Election Night parties, the GOP seems to have a more enthusiastic core of youth support.
However, maybe Coulter is on to something, albeit a little off. If having the sense of responsibility that comes with wealth is the tipping point of whether someone has enough sense to vote, maybe we should just restrict voting to property owners? Maybe just get rid of voting altogether? Might make things easier, really.