When it comes to atrocities that spark political debates, each side reaches for whatever advantage they can get to work in their favor. This includes so-called “news networks,” especially CNN, who after the Parkland shooting began to gather high school students who attended the school to asked them to talk about guns are. This naturally lead CNN to ponder the question of whether or not 15 through 17-year-old kids should be able to vote, since they would most definitely vote the right way.
“The real adults in the room are the youth from Parkland, Florida, who are speaking out about the need for meaningful gun control laws. They are proving that civic engagement among young people can make a difference. The ironic part? They can’t even vote yet,” wrote law professor and CNN contributor Joshua Douglas.
Douglas argues about how teen brains are fully developed, and how they’re proving that by calling out all the right politicians (just Republicans) to stop having such a close relationship with the NRA. Douglas argues that these kids are having rallies, because apparently having a rally warrants we take you seriously.
I’ve lately found that means the exact opposite, but to each his own.
To save you some time, the entire article boils down to Douglas lamenting the fact that people who would vote like he would vote,can’t vote. Oddly enough, this line of thinking was nowhere to be found when teens that age turned out for the March for Life event, or when they’re participating in pro-Republican college groups, but perhaps he just missed them.
Douglas’s opinion — oftentimes shared by a large swath of the left — is, of course, a ridiculous sentiment. We don’t allow 16-year-old kids to serve in our military, trust them with alcohol consumption, or gamble, and all for good reason.
Sixteen is an odd time for any human. You’re on the cusp of adulthood, and beginning to shed off the status of child. You know enough to be slightly dangerous, but not enough to stop many adults from thinking what you’re declaring is laced with sometimes eye-roll worthy ignorance.
While a teenager’s feelings or opinions should be heard, they should also be weighed with a wizened lens. It would be unfair to say that a 16-year-old’s thoughts aren’t legitimately valid, but they’re very often lacking in life experience and should be taken with a grain of salt. For one, teens often think with their heart more than their head, and navigate life using their feelings as their compass more than their still developing common sense. Contrary to media narratives, thinking with your heart is not the most noble of ways to think, and it actually leads to massive mistakes that can take a lot of work, time, or money to fix.
And kids that age make a LOT of mistakes in that vein. That’s par for the course, and part of learning about independence. They have to make mistakes with money, relationships, jobs, and responsibilities. They have to learn that using your heart to decide your actions isn’t always the best idea. They have to learn to look before they leap.
That’s not what Douglas and CNN are pushing, however. They’re pushing for these kids to vote because they know that many will leap before the look. They know that all they have to do is sell a feeling, and many of the kids will vote accordingly. Rest assured, they don’t care about the kid’s feelings, but they do want their vote turning the tide. If they did care about what the kids thought, there would be greater outrage when it comes to YAF events being shut down by colleges.
Proof that they don’t even trust the kids for their part is in how desperately the left is arguing for the fact that 18-year-olds shouldn’t be able to buy long guns. They won’t trust 18-year-olds to handle a rifle, but they will trust younger than that to help decide the fate of a nation?
This CNN article isn’t really promoting the idea of the kid’s voices being heard at the polls, but using them for their votes. Rest assured, if these kids were guaranteed to vote Republican or Libertarian, this article never would have seen the light of day.
I get that the Parkland kids went through a harrowing experience, and my heart goes out to them. However, I don’t want them deciding the fate of my rights regardless, whether they agree with me or not. I don’t want them voting on how our taxes will be used or gathered, seeing as how they don’t have to pay any themselves. I don’t want them helping decide military matters, seeing as how many can’t even serve yet.
They just aren’t ready.