By Joshua Wiebelhaus – Almost everyone below the age of eighteen has almost no interest in politics. They get angry but they don’t study the laws or actively engage in learning what is going on.
Why? Simple, they can’t do anything to change anything. Why would young people learn about politics when they can’t do anything with what they learned, most high school students forget what what they learned, after a year which is coincidently the exact age where they can start to vote. So they learn about government only to forget it just before they can vote.
That’s like telling a baby all about being potty trained, the history of the toilet, how toilets work and then not giving it a toilet until its three. Not gonna work.
The answer to this is simple; allow teenagers to start voting on local politics at younger ages giving them more voting abilities as they grow older. Schools should teach children from kindergarten to vote by letting them vote on progressively more important things.
From what books they should study in class to eventually who should be mayor or state senator and finally when they are eighteen who should be president. I will tell you why government and politics classes are ineffective, why minors should be allowed to vote, and how a younger voting age could benefit the country.
Minors should be allowed to vote because this would give motivation to learn about the government in which they live as well as getting more of the country’s population to vote.
The objection most adults have with minors voting is that young people are not mature enough to make such decisions that will impact so many people. However people only learn through experience so to solve this minors should be allowed to vote in local politics.
This would allow them to see the result of their voting and ease them into voting for things of greater importance. Minors are judged with a double standard of being too immature to vote but then expected to make adult decisions and be judged by adult standards.
According to the National Youth Rights Association in many states people under the age of majority can be taken to a court of law and judged as an adult for crimes they committed; minors are judged mature and responsible adults when they commit crimes but not when they wish to vote.
The reason why government and politics classes are currently ineffective. Government and Politics classes teach one about the government and how its run but they don’t teach their students to make choices. If you are studying pottery you don’t just learn how to make a pot you get your hands dirty with the clay and form it with your hands. But when we learn politics we only learn the how we don’t actually vote we don’t watch politicians form our opinion and then vote we wait until we are eighteen and then we can finally practice what we have learned.
According to FairVote evidence suggests that the earlier a person casts a ballot the more likely they are to develop voting as a habit. Dr. Maltz found that it takes twenty one days to build a habbit. So even if a person could vote from infancy for the presidentail election that would only be five times by the time they were twenty. Five times? I take out the trash everyday and I don’t even remember to do that! And people wonder why voter turnout is so low. To build voting as a habbit a person would have to do it at least once a semester starting from first grade through highschool this would give them 24 times to vote building voting as a habbit. This is important because almost half of the US population does not even bother to vote for the president. If government and politics classes were working we should see people taking more of an interest in their countries future. A recent survey by the University of Pennsylvania showed that little more than 36% could name all three branches of the U.S. government, just as many could not name a single one.
A younger voting age would be beneficial for the country, because it would make it a society of people who really know and care about the politics of their country and who want to do something to benefit their community. The country is made up largely of an ignorant populace and one who doesn’t believe that they can make a change.
A survey from the Washington Post showed that 28% believed they were too busy to vote and 16% just weren’t interested. They are told they are too immature to make a decision that doesn’t even fully depend on them yet suddenly at the magical age of eighteen they become mature. But the mindset that their voice is unimportant remains with them. A lower voting age would create a more educated populace on current events.
A country that claims to treat everyone equally, but only when they turn eighteen is not really a country where everyone is equal. If our vote doesn’t count now, why does it count later?