T Nation

Repeal 26th Amendment?


"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.

The meager tax young people paid for vehicle licensing fees on their cars threw them into such a blind rage that in 2003 they uncharacteristically voted to recall the Democratic governor of California, Gray Davis. Wait until they start making real money and realize they share a joint-checking account arrangement with the government! Literally wait. Then we'll let them vote."


Sounds good to me.


Sounds good to me too. I'm also in favor of a voter competency test before you can cast a ballot.


How about if you're retired and collecting social security benefits you can't vote either. Or I know if you are receiving any government funding at all you shouldn't get a vote. I mean come on why just us young guns that don't know jack about the world. We need the older folks to spoon feed us everything anyway. They know best right?? (sarcasm).


Yep. Why should people with little to no stake in the country get to participate in deciding the fates of those who DO have a stake in the country?

That's a pathway to dissolution and destruction.


Something tells me that HH would fail this test miserably. You guys are forgetting that there are many, many checks on public opinion that the Founding Fathers specifically made part of our govt to ensure that an uneducated portion of the electorate (or any portion for that matter) cannot dominate policy. Federalism, separation of powers, the Bill of Rights, the right to vote for our Senators and Representatives, an independent judiciary and our current form of representative govt all act to curtail public opinion. Why curtail its effect on govt?

Simple. There is no such thing as one public opinion. There are an infinite number of public opinions. Our system is designed to eliminate the possibility that one group can dominate public policy. I'm not against the concept of voter competency whatsoever. In fact, we already have such a thing in place. It's called citizenship and adulthood. Anyone who thinks that the 18-26 crowd (the demographic with the lowest amount of voter participation) can have any meaningful impact on public policy that goes above and beyond the impact that another group can have is being misled.


None of what you've written explains how the system we now have prevents those with little or no stake in the system from corrupting the system and using government to milk the public, favoring one group over another.

Look at how old people used the government to make serfs out of the young, sticking them with Social Security and Medicare. When those young people realize how the old people fucked them over, they'll want to renege on all the goodies. Repealing the 26th would prevent that and allow the old to keep robbing from the young.

Serfdom is the natural fate of the innocent in this system.


Since we're all Americans here, we ALL have a stake in the country and the amount of that stake is immaterial. One person equals one vote and that's it. We expect that by the age of 18 people will have the mental capacity to vote with responsibility, especially since by that age we expect them to also be able to understand how their votes can affect their lives in the here and now and in the future. If the age of 18 is not a sufficient age for meeting this standard, then so be it. But unless the Constitution be imperfect, the problem is not with the 26th Amendment but with the electorate.

This is all a bunch of bullshit HH and you know it. It's a total cop-out to blame the 26th Amendment for the problems of this country. We are a representative democracy and the success of that depends on the participation of the populace. If the populace is not voting the way you think it should it does not mean that we should simply take the vote away from them. I am absolutely positive that I could find about a million reasons why YOU shouldn't be voting either. In fact, this may be the case for everyone on this site, myself included. But the solution is not to remove my vote or yours or anyone else's. It is to educate the populace even further about politics and the direct effect it has on us.

Of course, I've already stated as much on another thread here. Democracies become stronger when more and more people actively participate in it and when their participation comes from an educated stance. I suspect that you do not want the youth to vote because you assume that they are mostly liberal and any way to keep more liberals away from the ballot boxes is all right with you. That's what this really comes down to. Nobody who truly cherishes democracy would seek to remove the vote from a segment of the adult population in lieu of further educating them about the political process. Beyond that, most of what you write on here sounds like it comes from the mind of a school child. I could say the same thing about a few others on here, and they would say the same about me....and they could probably make a pretty good argument for removing my vote. But none of this strengthens democracy.

You're a teacher, right? Well, if the 18-26 crowd is entering the electorate wholly unprepared or uneducated, I place the blame squarely at your feet as well as at theirs and at the feet of their parents. And if you do not understand how or why checks on public opinion such as federalism, the Bill of Rights, the right to elect representatives at the local, state and federal level, the separation of powers and an independent judicial branch of govt are effective, then it seems to me that YOU are the one who should be required to study up for a voter competency test.


Why does anyone think smart voters will prevent government corruption?

Power corrupts. Limit the government.


Yeah, really. I mean, what the hell makes a "smart voter" anyways? Last I checked, the Constitution doesn't specifically grant us the right to be protected from the idiocy of others, or from ourselves.

So what's the criteria? Knowledge of our governmental system? That would eliminate HH for sure since he apparently has no clue how checks on public opinion have already been built into the Constitution.