In the wake of the recent school shooting in Florida, a particular group of survivors have been received as youth activists in support of much harsher gun regulation. The media, predictably, have been fawning over their actions, giving them the national platform attainable only, apparently, by striding over the corpses of their classmates to speak on a matter that, by their own admission, they know very little about. Suggestions for the gun regulation fall into the same tired categories we’ve heard before—make the age restrictions higher, limit certain kinds of ammunition, blanket bans, etcetera—only this time, they’re coming from the mouths of babes.
The promotion of these teenagers as anti-gun activists has spurred open conversation about the political actions of children. Talk of lowering the voting age to sixteen was readdressed by a Harvard Law professor, on the basis that—according to him—children have better bullshit detectors than adults, something clearly evidenced by the way they unilaterally parrot whatever sludge comes drooling out of their favorite celebrities’ mouths. A lower voting age is little more than an obvious attempt to secure another voting bloc for the Democrats or whatever liberal party is bound to subsume them.
Generally, expanding the liberal conception of rights over peoples tends to make the entire country worse off. We saw this with the so-called liberation movements for women over the last century, and for workers in the century before that. Instead of expanding meaningful political involvement, the expansion of suffrage reduced the actual impact of direct political action and made everyone involved much easier to manage by a centralized, bureaucratic state. And on top of this, rather than improve peoples’ lives by extending a plethora of so-called rights to citizens of legal age—rights to education, a “fair wage”, social security, among others, all backed up by the purse of the State, of course—people instead got dumber, lazier, and even more impulsive with their earnings than they had been before.
This is what I mean. They’ll tell you that kids these days are so oppressed that they can’t even have a voice in the sham of a political system called our democracy. Next it’ll be this: they aren’t even allowed to sign up and fight in our military—drop the enlistment age! And then drop the conscription age, too! Better get Bobby registered for the draft when he’s twelve—and at this rate, Sabrina too.
Backtracking a bit, this professor also defends himself against the obvious criticisms by pointing out how important it is to have a better publicly-funded education system. It’s worth mentioning that the one we presently have is radically overfunded, but like a true extortionist’s racket, none of the money goes anywhere meaningful. It only serves to prop up the public unions officials, administrators, and periodically even the teachers, while new installations jokingly referred to schools get plopped down once every fifteen years to appease the bitter taxpayers whose children are being robbed from them one brain cell at a time. It’s almost as if the public education system only serves to humiliate and degrade the students that attend it, and to force a level of maturity on them well below what their age would have suggested a few generations ago. But I repeat myself.
The fact of the matter is that if we’re basing direct political dialogue on levels of maturity, then suffrage would not be based primarily on age in the first place. It would have remained something of a privilege for an elite ruling class that was never expanded to include the illiterate, short-sighted morons that democracy inevitably has to appeal to as the lowest common denominators. Turning eighteen is considered adult enough in our culture, despite the current generation having been either unwilling or unable to move out of their parents’ households until well into their twenties, despite the de facto marriage age hovering close to thirty, and despite common parlance increasingly referring to college students, young tradesmen, and even soldiers as ‘kids’. And it’s hard to criticize these accusations when entire swaths of middle-class millennials have bought pet carriers instead of baby strollers and turned lounges into video game rec rooms instead of nurseries. It’s almost as if the culture itself is trying to remind us that we don’t have warriors, we don’t have intellectuals, and we don’t have workmen—all we have are a bunch of overgrown boys pretending, through imitation, to be all of those things while they’re expected to reap the consequences of those realities. We’ve left the voting age at eighteen because we claim to call that adulthood, and yet in practice, so few of us actually believe it. And so few millennials seem to want it.
Heck, how about this: just abolish voting restrictions altogether. If you’re willing to entertain the idea that teenagers should vote—a group that, historically, are willing to do the stupidest, most retarded feats imaginable purely because they were dared to—then what you really want is a political system so degraded and confused that policy will cease to make sense at all. Let five-year-olds vote—in some countries, the State seems to believe that they can suddenly decide not to be boys anymore, and voting seems less radical than that. Turn politics into a giant offshoot of the entertainment industry except instead of run by foreign pundits that speak in goofy accents and make lame jokes, it can be run by overweight clowns in dinosaur costumes who speak in rhyming lullabies. The more complicated, counterintuitive, bloated, and insane the system gets, the easier it’ll be for the people at the top to stay there. And all, rhetorically, by the will of that faceless sludge of mass known ambiguously as The People.