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You'll hear a little of this and lot of that on Light On Light Through - my reviews of great television series, my interviews with authors and creative media people and their interviews of me, my political commentary, thoughts about my favorite cars and food and space travel, discussions of my music, and a few of my readings from my science fiction stories. These are usually audio and a few are video.  In the first years, starting in 2006, I put up a new episode at least once a month.  More recently, it became more or less often than once a month, usually a lot less often.  But in the Fall of 2018, I began getting more in the mood to podcast, and you can expect new episodes now a little more frequently.  - Paul Levinson

Kucinich at Dem Debate: "I Would Give 16-Year Olds the Vote"

Sep 27, 2007


You see the Democratic Presidential Debate at Dartmouth last night? You gotta love Mike Gravel. Asked by Tim Russert how he could run for President and be trusted with the nation's fiscal responsibility, when he ran up a big unpaid debt, Gravel proudly shot back - hey, look who I stuck with that debt, I stuck the credit card companies with a $90,000 debt, and they deserved it!

But probably the most important point from an underdog - maybe the most important point made by any candidate - came from Dennis Kucinich, who said he not only favored lowered the drinking age to 18, but the voting age to 16. I seriously support such a lowering of the voting age - I've been saying for years that it should be lowered to 14 - an age at which, according cognitive psychologist Jean Piaget, people have completely adult reasoning processes, and have had them for at least two years.

Among the top tier Democrats, I thought John Edwards did splendidly  last night. He comes across as the most human - the least political - and made some points against Hillary and Obama on stopping the business as usual in Washington. I especially liked Edwards' solution to the social security crisis: rather than raising the cap (it's currently $97,000+), create a window, in which income earners won't pay social security tax above the current cap, until they reach a much higher level of income.(I actually most favor Ron Paul's solution of letting people below a certain age opt of social security - but Edwards' is at least an innovative solution, which doesn't punish people in the upper middle class).

But, yeah, let's lower the voting age to 16.   Certainly we adults have not voted all that brilliantly in the past few elections...

 


Julia
over ten years ago

Piaget was clueless.

But, throwing him aside- it needs to be lowered. I am 17 years old, a college sophomore. I pay my own utility bill, I buy my own groceries, I file my own tax returns, I handle my own life. The American emancipation process is so (intentionally) bloated and inefficient that I have no hope of gaining emancipation until I\'m 18 anyway.

I seriously doubt that I am the only person in my situation. I have met 18 year olds and 80 year olds who were completely clueless in political affairs, and I\'ve met 16 year olds who could quote any passage of the constitution, verbatim.

Whatever significance these two years of age have in determining responsible voting ability is vastly overshadowed by the dangerous line of civil liberty that the government oversteps in refusing to represent them.

We have the right to work and the obligation to pay taxes, but receive no representation from the people whose salaries they pay. We are treated as adults not if we read a newspaper, but only if we commit a grand felony. The government has no right to refuse the vote to any taxable section of its population that is capable of an intelligent conversation- Women, Blacks, and 16-year-olds alike.

Paul Levinson
over ten years ago

I don\'t think Piaget was clueless - but otherwise I agree completely with your reasoning, and thanks for the comment!

Paul Levinson
almost twelve years ago

ada - that\'s in part my point - there is no clear demarcation between children and adult as far as thought process is concerned ... I\'ve known my fair share of people in all decades of life who don\'t think clearly enough to vote ...

Jason: so? That shows you had some intelligence back then.... :)

mike: Doesn\\\\\\\'t matter what Kucinich\\\\\\\'s motives are - what counts are whether his ideas make sense...

leeOT
almost twelve years ago

18 may be too young but 16 is retarded

swarms909
almost twelve years ago

I think this is a brilliant idea. It will help get people more interested in politics at a younger age. Preparing for voting by learning about the candidates in a race could be taught in the classrooms. If the younger folks get introduced to the voting process, they may be more likely to continue to vote throughout their lives because let\\\'s face it: the percentage of people who vote is appalling.

Paul Levinson
almost twelve years ago

leeOT: judging by your level of argument, you would be about, what? 8 or 9 years old?

swarms: agree completely!

ada
almost twelve years ago

Not that I disagree in theory, but using Piaget to backup any point should probably be done lightly, as no developmental or cognitive scientists have paid him any heed in years. In fact, cognitive neuroscientists these days would tell you that at least the reasoning and inhibition portions of the brain are not thought to be fully developed until age 25.

Jason Millner
almost twelve years ago

When I was 16 I wanted to vote for Jesse Jackson.