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For Mature Audiences Only
American Thinker ^ | July 21, 2009 | Randy Fardal

Posted on 07/21/2009 12:07:21 AM PDT by neverdem

Almost four decades ago, the 26th Amendment lowered the US voting age to 18.  At the time, most neurologists believed that the human brain was fully developed by about age 12, so allowing Americans to vote at 18 seemed like a safe move.

But parents of teenagers knew that was nonsense, and new research is confirming those parental observations.  Since the voting age was lowered in 1971, scientific advancements such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) allowed researchers to get detailed three-dimensional images of developing brains.

Although human brains typically reach their adult size by age 12, they are far from being mature.  MRI analysis now shows that the planning and decision-making part of the brain -- the dorsal-lateral prefrontal cortex -- typically isn't fully developed until we are about 25 years old.  Car rental companies already guessed that was the case simply by studying accident statistics: Most don't rent cars to anyone under 25.

Discoveries in brain science appear to be influencing lawmakers and judges.  Some state legislatures have cited the research in banning the use of cell phones by teenage drivers.  Supreme Court justices were given briefs on teenage brain development as they prepared to ban juvenile death penalties.  If the Supreme Court thinks 17-year old brains aren't even capable of deciding not to commit premeditated murder, could slightly older brains be wise enough to handle far more complex decisions such as voting?

Nature and Nurture

Normal adolescent brains go through synaptic pruning as they mature.  Until our early 20s, gray matter thins slightly.  Meanwhile, white matter thickens -- sometimes up to age 40.  White matter is comprised of myelin sheaths that encase axons and let them transmit data up to a hundred times faster.  Consequently, our brains become more efficient at doing specialized things.  That must be what allowed Ted Williams to count the stitches on a fastball or Milton Friedman to realize instantly that a debate opponent was attempting to invoke the Broken Window Fallacy.

But how does the brain decide that things like baseball or economics are special?  The leading theory is that the pruning process is "neural Darwinism" -- use it or lose it.  Our brains learn which connections are important and gradually eliminate the rest, allowing us to think and behave like responsible adults.  Therefore, nurture appears to be quite influential in intellectual maturity, since nature alone doesn't control the physical configuration of our brains.

If our increasingly maternal society coddles its children, could we be stunting their intellectual growth?  Perhaps our overprotected children's brains are not maturing properly if the "adult" neural links are little used and the "childish" ones continue to experience rush-hour traffic.

A Psychology Today story says coddling can lead to "endless adolescence":

Using the classic benchmarks of adulthood, 65 percent of males had reached adulthood by the age of 30 in 1960.  By contrast, in 2000, only 31 percent had.  Among women, 77 percent met the benchmarks of adulthood by age 30 in 1960.  By 2000, the number had fallen to 46 percent.

If America really has become a nation of adolescent adults, and 40 is the new 20 intellectually, then restoring the minimum voting age to 21 would mitigate only a small portion of the harm they do to our political system.  Besides, we'd just be dealing with the symptoms of childish thinking, rather than curing it.

Contrast today's voters with Tom Brokaw's "Greatest Generation".  That group was forced by a prolonged economic depression and a deadly war to grow up quickly.  Following World War II, the Greatest Generation took adult jobs, such as engineer, scientist, and entrepreneur.  They became community leaders that solved problems, not community activists that exploited problems for selfish gains.  Under their leadership, America simultaneously fought domestic Neo-Marxists and government censorship while making freedom and prosperity available to all.

America still has great engineers, scientists, and entrepreneurs.  But today's culture seems to have far more admiration for those whose professions involve things that children typically do in a schoolyard: playing basketball, singing, dancing, telling jokes, or pretending to be a pirate.  Obama supporters might ask him about his bowling prowess or what gifts he will bestow upon them, but he gets no serious questions about the economics and physics of pending global warming legislation.

Eventually it will dawn on them

Most Leftist voters can be given scientific evidence that carbon dioxide levels lag global temperature levels by centuries and they still embrace the illogical belief that carbon dioxide fluctuations affect temperature.  It must be the same brain malfunction that leads a child to conclude that a rooster's crowing makes the sun rise.

However, immature brains do a lot of learning from trial and error.  That probably is why coddling retards their development.  Sometimes it takes a car wreck to get adolescent adults to drive safely, and Mr. Obama is turning the economy into a financial car wreck.  Polling trends show that voters are starting to realize that Mr. Obama is driving the economy like a drunken maniac.  That's why he hit the accelerator in his Leftist grab for money and power: he knows the authorities are on the way. ("There's no time to read the bill; just pass it so I can sign it")

But if Mr. Obama's policies are losing support, why is he personally still popular?  It is because immature people commonly identify with a charismatic pop figure.  Consequently, any criticism of that pop figure seems to his fans as criticism of them.  In their adolescent minds, Obama voters simply are defending themselves.

It's darkest just before the dawn

If coddling has produced a nation of gullible adolescent adults, is America headed into a societal death spiral of irrational Leftist policies and another Dark Ages?  Probably not, for these reasons:

Beat them at their own game

If American Leftists and conservatives were competing in private industry, analysts would say that the conservatives have better products and the Leftists have better marketing.  Fortunately, organizations that have both usually win in the long run -- even in a nation of gullible consumers and voters.

Former VP candidate Sarah Palin certainly is a good marketer and she also might have a good product.  Many voters hope to learn more about her leadership skills and her knowledge of economics, science, and foreign policy to gain a better understanding of what she actually is pitching.  Some believe they already have enough information to support her in a presidential run.  A few worry that she is a conservative version of Mr. Obama: form without substance.

Regardless of Palin's knowledge and wisdom, Leftist leaders are keenly aware of the marketing threat she poses, as demonstrated by their apoplectic attacks on her.  It effectively is an endorsement of Palin from the world's best political marketers.

Perhaps Palin will not run for office again, but if any charismatic, knowledgeable Reagan/Thatcher protégés campaign for House or Senate seats next year, most of them will win.  That's why turncoats like Colin Powell will attempt to dissuade them from running.  By then, the economy probably will have recovered from its car wreck, but even the mentally adolescent voters will be a bit wiser because they'll still have scars from that disastrous joyride they took with the Democrats.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; Editorial; Extended News; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: brain; elections; maturity; neurology; obama; psychology; voting; youthvote
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1 posted on 07/21/2009 12:07:22 AM PDT by neverdem
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To: Tired of Taxes

Marking to read more later.


2 posted on 07/21/2009 12:14:17 AM PDT by Tired of Taxes (Dad, I will always think of you.)
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To: neverdem

The start of the article loses me immediately.

The voting age wasn’t lowered due to psychologists: it was lowered due to the draft. Asking people to fight at the age of 18, regardless, meant that they should have a vote in what they were fighting for.


3 posted on 07/21/2009 12:14:19 AM PDT by wireplay
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To: wireplay
That is why too that you could go into a beer joint and have a 3.2 beer. Old enough to fight old enough to drink.
4 posted on 07/21/2009 12:20:16 AM PDT by guitarplayer1953
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To: wireplay; neverdem

Wireplay is correct. If you’re old enough to fight and die for your country you should be allowed to vote.


5 posted on 07/21/2009 12:20:50 AM PDT by Artemis Webb
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To: neverdem
It's darkest just before the dawn

so that's what he meant....:


6 posted on 07/21/2009 12:29:12 AM PDT by wardaddy (Flame and Citron....great movie about Dane resistance........Sarah Palin, there is no substitute)
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To: neverdem

“Virtually no one ‘wises up’ and becomes a Leftist”

Ha! This tickled me.


7 posted on 07/21/2009 12:36:15 AM PDT by Boucheau
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To: neverdem

It’s a thought-provoking read, but I’m WAY past sick of the “It can’t happen here” bullsh*t.

So many on the right are convinced of this WHILE WE’RE IN THE MIDST OF TRYING TO STAVE OF SOCIALIZED MEDICINE!

Too much confidence, or evidence of a patriotic bromide, for this man’s comfort.


8 posted on 07/21/2009 12:39:51 AM PDT by Boucheau
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To: Artemis Webb; wireplay
If you’re old enough to fight and die for your country you should be allowed to vote.

Our U.S. Armed Forces are voluntary now. If you're not a member of the U.S. Armed Forces, you shouldn't be voting until at least 25 years old, if not older. Look at who the young knuckleheads elected.

9 posted on 07/21/2009 12:41:32 AM PDT by neverdem (Xin loi minh oi)
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To: Artemis Webb
Wireplay is correct. If you’re old enough to fight and die for your country you should be allowed to vote.

If your parents sign you off, you can go in the service at 17 or even younger. Should we give 17 year olds the right to vote? Granted, you can't be drafted until you are 18, but by the time you are drafted it is too late to vote to influence the policies that got you drafted in the first place, so there's really no point in granting the vote based on that fact alone.

I think we should allow property owners and veterans to vote. Nobody else.
10 posted on 07/21/2009 12:43:12 AM PDT by fr_freak
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To: neverdem

The author may not have fully represented the social and political pressure behind the reasons the voting age was lowered when it was — but I can say that I myself was nearing 18 at the time, and this made lively discussion in our home.

My elder brother and sister were in favor of the change, neither one being subject to the draft do to their educational status and technical college majors (although calling up my elder brother would have been a great thing, I believe - it would might have made a man out of him).

My high school graduate parents both argued against the change (my army veteran dad had been a firm Democrat until George Wallace came along and then supported his independent candidacy), and their reasoning was very much like the ones cited in this article, except that they used words like social and politcal “maturity,” rather than refering to brain scan activity. I believe they were correct, and I even believed it when I was 16 and 17, and took their side in the arguments in our house. Of course it was fun, too, telling my brother and sister that they were too immature to vote.

This was in the San Francisco Bay Area, by the way, and in the hippie—anti-war era, too. When I looked around at my high school classmates, I figured then that this was a bad decision — to lower the voting age. I was one of very few in school that would voice anti-McGovern comments — I was parroting my dad.

The car-rental and accident statistics illustrations are very good, and Congress would have been wise to pay more attention to these things.

Actually, the first presidential candidate I got to vote for was Gerald Ford. But I still feel that I understood very little, relatively, my maturity in the issues was too lacking, until my wife and I stood in line in 1980 to vote for our beloved Mr. Reagan. At that time I was already 24, and my wife 23, and I had spent 6-1/2 years in the U.S. Air Force.

I would favor raising the voting age back to 21, but it will never happen until the modern hippies who follow people like Obama have voted in our complete national destruction.


11 posted on 07/21/2009 12:46:14 AM PDT by John Leland 1789
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To: fr_freak

Well, I agree with that. I would like to go back to the original Constitution but I am apparently a freak of law.

My dad joined the Army when he was 14, does that grant him the vote?


12 posted on 07/21/2009 12:46:46 AM PDT by wireplay
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To: wireplay
Asking people to fight at the age of 18, regardless, meant that they should have a vote in what they were fighting for.

That's the way it was sold. But the fact is that while being 18 means you can hold a gun and shoot it where you are told, it does not follow that you have the capability to judge what should be shot at.

Btw, the draft ended about that same time, but the voting age was lowered anyway. Which tells me that this selling point was just that, and not the real reason.

13 posted on 07/21/2009 12:56:09 AM PDT by thulldud (It HAS happened here!)
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To: fr_freak

Then laws created by that government only pertain to veterans and property owners.


14 posted on 07/21/2009 1:40:54 AM PDT by Rodebrecht (If everybody just left everybody else alone, everybody would be a lot happier.)
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To: neverdem

I think most young people would be willing to raise the voting age in exchange for the drinking age to be lowered.


15 posted on 07/21/2009 1:47:44 AM PDT by Cheap_Hessian
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To: Rodebrecht
Then laws created by that government only pertain to veterans and property owners.

Do laws created by the current government cover 17 year olds, felons and resident non-citizens? You do realize that the original Constitution only allowed male landowners to vote, right? The Founders knew that giving the right to vote to the chronically irresponsible was an incredibly bad idea. The last 60 or more years have borne that belief out.
16 posted on 07/21/2009 1:58:04 AM PDT by fr_freak
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To: fr_freak

I don’t think subjecting a large portion of the population which has reached the age of majority and committed no crime to an oligarchical rule is the solution to the problem.


17 posted on 07/21/2009 2:02:20 AM PDT by Rodebrecht (If everybody just left everybody else alone, everybody would be a lot happier.)
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To: neverdem
America has a high "breakup value". In a doomsday scenario, the country would be reorganized into two nations, just as is being proposed for Israel. Leftists might migrate to a nation of settlements in the Northeast, with all the corruption and squalor of Cold War East Berlin. The rest of America then would be liberated to flourish in freedom and prosperity
18 posted on 07/21/2009 3:15:51 AM PDT by central_va ( http://www.15thvirginia.org/)
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To: neverdem
America has a high "breakup value". In a doomsday scenario, the country would be reorganized into two nations, just as is being proposed for Israel. Leftists might migrate to a nation of settlements in the Northeast, with all the corruption and squalor of Cold War East Berlin. The rest of America then would be liberated to flourish in freedom and prosperity

Agreed.


19 posted on 07/21/2009 3:17:28 AM PDT by central_va ( http://www.15thvirginia.org/)
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To: Boucheau
“Virtually no one ‘wises up’ and becomes a Leftist”

Arlen Specter and Jim Jeffords come to mind.

20 posted on 07/21/2009 3:23:55 AM PDT by liberateUS
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To: neverdem
I say bring back the property ownership requirement with an exception for military veterans or go with Robert Heinlein's "veteran only" voting from Starship Troopers.
21 posted on 07/21/2009 3:29:39 AM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet (I am Jim Thompson!!)
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To: central_va
America has a high "breakup value". In a doomsday scenario, the country would be reorganized into two nations, just as is being proposed for Israel. Leftists might migrate to a nation of settlements in the Northeast, with all the corruption and squalor of Cold War East Berlin. The rest of America then would be liberated to flourish in freedom and prosperity
Leftism is a process, not a steady state. Every state has its discontents and that vents into left wing movements. Done right leftism acts as a pressure relief valve, letting unhappy members of society vent and become more productive.

Getting rid of the liberals will only help in the short run. Until you figure out what the causes of liberalism are, you'll always have liberals.

22 posted on 07/21/2009 3:30:29 AM PDT by ketsu (It’s not a campaign. It’s a taxpayer-funded farewell tour.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

I second that!

Or raise the voting age to 21 and allow the military to vote at 18. That takes care of the “Old enough to fight, old enough to vote” (Only those who actually “fight” get to vote at 18)


23 posted on 07/21/2009 3:49:33 AM PDT by SAMWolf (The difference between God and Barack Obama is that God doesn't think he's Barack Obama)
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To: liberateUS
Arlen Specter and Jim Jeffords come to mind.

Those two did not belatedly mature into Leftists, that is what they were all along. They simply dropped the pretense of being in any way conservative.

24 posted on 07/21/2009 4:23:12 AM PDT by Charles Martel ("Endeavor to persevere...")
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To: neverdem
A Psychology Today story says coddling can lead to "endless adolescence":

No kidding. Just take a look at DU.

The DUmmies all live in mommies basement, are surrounded by empty pizza boxes and post from their Commodore 64 which is connected to a 14.4K modem.

25 posted on 07/21/2009 5:02:45 AM PDT by Condor51 (The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits)
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To: neverdem

A young woman recently posted something on FR about her friends wanting to know why she married so early...at 27! There was a time when many women were grandmothers at that age or shortly after! I replied to her that I recall having a woman asked me what was wrong with me because I didn’t have a wife and children...at 23! When I was in high school we had student bus drivers who did an admirable job, the minimum age for a driver was 16. Contrary to what might be expected today they did not wreck the buses every day, the state saved a lot of money, they paid the student drivers thirty five dollars a month.

I suspect the problem is less one of at what age the brain naturally develops and more one of the brain having no demands made on it. A child will remain a child if society never demands adulthood.

At 14 on the farm I was expected to do man size jobs after school, on weekends and during summer “vacation”. I was already becoming a problem solver and figuring things out for myself. Now I have a 34 year old stepson with a university degree who is working at a part-time job, is unmarried and will probably stay that way and can’t figure out how to do the simplest little task without being shown how to do it.


26 posted on 07/21/2009 5:52:12 AM PDT by RipSawyer (Change has come to America and all hope is gone.)
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To: thulldud
But the fact is that while being 18 means you can hold a gun and shoot it where you are told, it does not follow that you have the capability to judge what should be shot at.
Btw, the draft ended about that same time, but the voting age was lowered anyway

I would like to raise the age but you are wrong on both counts. GIs between the ages of 17 to 21 have a lot of responsibility and for some of them the judgement required of them will be higher than what they encounter in their civilian jobs during the rest of their life.

The draft ended almost two years after the voting age change.

27 posted on 07/21/2009 8:49:45 AM PDT by ansel12 (Romney (guns)"instruments of destruction with the sole purpose of hunting down and killing people")
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To: wireplay
On topic, but actually not - I think there should be a higher minimum age for all offices, from the presidency on down. Not so much because of brain maturity, but because if you can't get into politics until you are 40 years old you have to have a life before you become a politician.
28 posted on 07/21/2009 10:02:41 AM PDT by conservatism_IS_compassion (The conceit of journalistic objectivity is profoundly subversive of democratic principle.)
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To: ansel12

I am not wrong. If the voting age had been changed only for military veterans, then you would have a point. But that was not the goal.


29 posted on 07/21/2009 1:13:28 PM PDT by thulldud (It HAS happened here!)
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To: thulldud

You were wrong in your insult to the military, your claim was wrong about what responsibilities that enlisted men face.

You were wrong that the draft ended about the same time.


30 posted on 07/21/2009 1:21:45 PM PDT by ansel12 (Romney (guns)"instruments of destruction with the sole purpose of hunting down and killing people")
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To: ansel12
I repeat, I was not wrong.

Political changes don't happen all in a minute; both the voting age and the draft were Nixon projects, and they happened in a realistic time frame.

As for your claiming that I insult the military...I have not the words.

31 posted on 07/21/2009 1:37:45 PM PDT by thulldud (It HAS happened here!)
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To: neverdem
Our U.S. Armed Forces are voluntary now. If you're not a member of the U.S. Armed Forces, you shouldn't be voting until at least 25 years old, if not older. Look at who the young knuckleheads elected.

Even with a voluntary military we still allow people to enlist at the age of 18 (or 17 with parental consent).

I think a good argument can be made that 18 year old's are closer to being children then they are to being adults. Of course, we don't allow children to enlist. Not even if the child wants to, and not even if we think a stint in the military would be good for the child. If 18 year old's really *are* kids then the minimum enlistment age should be raised.

If 18 year old's are not wise enough to help choose our elected leaders, nor even wise enough to be allowed to buy a beer, how could they be competent enough to sign several years of their life away to Uncle Sam ?

32 posted on 07/21/2009 1:45:43 PM PDT by timm22 (Think critically)
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To: Rodebrecht
I don’t think subjecting a large portion of the population which has reached the age of majority and committed no crime to an oligarchical rule is the solution to the problem.

It would hardly be oligarchical rule, anymore than it is now. Anyone can be a property owner, and most can be veterans. An actual oligarchy would be rule by a few, which is then usually passed down through heredity. How many property owners do we have now? How many veterans? How many people can become either?
33 posted on 07/21/2009 1:54:56 PM PDT by fr_freak
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To: thulldud
There was roughly a two year time separation and a presidential election between the 18 year old vote and the end of the draft.

I find this (below) dismissive and insulting of soldiers (including Corporals and Sergeants that range in age from 18 to 21.

"But the fact is that while being 18 means you can hold a gun and shoot it where you are told, it does not follow that you have the capability to judge what should be shot at."

34 posted on 07/21/2009 2:02:48 PM PDT by ansel12 (Romney (guns)"instruments of destruction with the sole purpose of hunting down and killing people")
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To: fr_freak
I think we should allow property owners and veterans to vote. Nobody else.

Would anything besides real property count to qualify one as a "property owner"?

What if the property was acquired by gift, inheritance, or some kind of settlement? Would that person still get to vote?

35 posted on 07/21/2009 2:12:55 PM PDT by timm22 (Think critically)
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To: ansel12
It is neither dismissive nor insulting, and I ask that you refrain from pinging me further about this matter. Not many things get my dander up, especially online, but the reiteration of your false perceptions certainly does.

I wish you a good day.

36 posted on 07/21/2009 2:13:04 PM PDT by thulldud (It HAS happened here!)
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To: timm22
Would anything besides real property count to qualify one as a "property owner"?

What if the property was acquired by gift, inheritance, or some kind of settlement? Would that person still get to vote?


This is all pie in the sky stuff, and so pointless to talk about the fine details at this time, but for the sake of argument, I'd say keep it simple: it doesn't matter how you got it. If you own real property (and only real estate - cars, boats, computers, etc. don't count) you can vote. The fact that you own the property is enough to give you a stake in things. That was always the idea. As it is now, welfare rats for for democRats because they raise taxes on OTHER people to give to the welfare rats. But if the same people voting were the ones affected by taxes, the outcomes would be much different.
37 posted on 07/21/2009 2:22:03 PM PDT by fr_freak
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To: thulldud

Your portrayal of the duties and responsibilities of 18 to 21 year old men in their first or sometimes second enlistment was dismissive.


38 posted on 07/21/2009 2:25:14 PM PDT by ansel12 (Romney (guns)"instruments of destruction with the sole purpose of hunting down and killing people")
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To: ansel12
I portrayed nothing about such duties. My statement envisioned political decisions onlym which is what voting is about. I say again, I do not wish to discuss this with you.

At least, not today.

39 posted on 07/21/2009 2:32:29 PM PDT by thulldud (It HAS happened here!)
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To: neverdem

Okay, I turned 18 in ‘82, and I wasn’t an idiot. (Well, not politically, anyway.)


40 posted on 07/21/2009 2:35:51 PM PDT by RichInOC (No! BAD Rich! (What'd I say?))
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To: timm22
Even with a voluntary military we still allow people to enlist at the age of 18 (or 17 with parental consent).

I think a good argument can be made that 18 year old's are closer to being children then they are to being adults. Of course, we don't allow children to enlist. Not even if the child wants to, and not even if we think a stint in the military would be good for the child. If 18 year old's really *are* kids then the minimum enlistment age should be raised.

If 18 year old's are not wise enough to help choose our elected leaders, nor even wise enough to be allowed to buy a beer, how could they be competent enough to sign several years of their life away to Uncle Sam ?

Did you ever consider how the word infantry was derived? If the government needs warm young bodies, it will get them, either willingly or not. They should have the right to vote and drink whatever they want.

41 posted on 07/21/2009 2:48:02 PM PDT by neverdem (Xin loi minh oi)
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To: thulldud

Military personnel from 18 to 21 have usually been around a lot more than a lot of people older than them.

I would have much more trust in the voting savvy and political decisions of a 20 year old in the military than the average 25 year old that has never been in.

That is why the military overwhelming votes republican.


42 posted on 07/21/2009 2:50:27 PM PDT by ansel12 (Romney (guns)"instruments of destruction with the sole purpose of hunting down and killing people")
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To: neverdem
They should have the right to vote and drink whatever they want.

Who is "they"? Everyone of enlistment age or just those who are actually serving?

43 posted on 07/21/2009 3:01:46 PM PDT by timm22 (Think critically)
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To: timm22
Who is "they"? Everyone of enlistment age or just those who are actually serving?

Active duty and reserve component personnel of the U.S. Armed Forces should be able to vote.

Alcohol drinking should be allowed to return to 18 years old for being legally permissible as a separate matter.

44 posted on 07/21/2009 3:20:52 PM PDT by neverdem (Xin loi minh oi)
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To: neverdem

The Broken Window Fallacy.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parable_of_the_broken_window

Directly applies to what usurper Marxist Obama and the criminal and insane Congress are doing right now.


45 posted on 07/21/2009 3:25:59 PM PDT by bvw
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To: neverdem
Active duty and reserve component personnel of the U.S. Armed Forces should be able to vote.

Why not all people of enlistment age? The law says that a typical 18 year old has the maturity to decide, on his own, to sign away several years of his life fighting for his country. How can we then change the law to say he lacks the maturity to give his largely inconsequential vote in an election? That seems wrong to me, both morally and as a matter of common sense.

If a typical 18 year old enlists and then changes his mind once his first deployment comes up, we don't just give him a pass. It doesn't matter if he says, "Hey, I was just a kid and I didn't know what I was getting into. I hadn't experienced life enough yet. I was too naive." Rightly or wrongly, we hold that as he was signing the dotted line he was old enough to be held to his very grave promise.

But when another typical 18 year old wants to give his voice on who will represent him in Congress, we are supposed to say "Sorry, you're just a kid and you don't know what you are doing. You haven't experienced life enough yet. You're too naive."

Maybe 18 really is too young for both. I just don't see how someone can be mature enough to enlist but not mature enough to vote.

The government may like such a double standard because it makes their job easier, but as citizens we are supposed to make the government do what is right, not what is easy.

46 posted on 07/21/2009 4:26:24 PM PDT by timm22 (Think critically)
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To: timm22
Maybe 18 really is too young for both. I just don't see how someone can be mature enough to enlist but not mature enough to vote.

The government may like such a double standard because it makes their job easier, but as citizens we are supposed to make the government do what is right, not what is easy.

If you have to fight, then might makes right. It's that simple. Veterans learn a great deal of maturity. In our history, in the organisation of militia units many of the officers were elected by their men.

47 posted on 07/21/2009 5:05:25 PM PDT by neverdem (Xin loi minh oi)
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To: neverdem
If you have to fight, then might makes right. It's that simple.

Is there any principled reason we should not let 16 year old's enlist with parental permission?

I'm sure there are practical reasons this might not be a good idea...younger recruits might be too weak to fight, too hard to train, etc. But if those obstacles were not present, and assuming there is no national emergency, do you believe it would be acceptable for the government to allow under-17 minors to enlist in the military?

48 posted on 07/21/2009 5:12:18 PM PDT by timm22 (Think critically)
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To: fr_freak
I think we should allow property owners and veterans to vote. Nobody else.

Twenty-one or older and a property owner, a veteran, or active duty military.

I'd consider Fire/Rescue/EMS under 21 as well.

People who have responsibilities tend to take responsibility seriously.

If it was just a "Property owner" the Acorns would be buying up sections of desert and deeding them out by the square inch for free...

With a square mile of land, they could register everyone in the country and a century worth of dead folks, too.

49 posted on 07/21/2009 8:26:51 PM PDT by Smokin' Joe (How often God must weep at humans' folly. Stand fast. God knows what He is doing.)
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To: timm22
But if those obstacles were not present, and assuming there is no national emergency, do you believe it would be acceptable for the government to allow under-17 minors to enlist in the military?

I want even grunts to have a high school diploma.

50 posted on 07/21/2009 8:38:40 PM PDT by neverdem (Xin loi minh oi)
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