Letters to the Editor

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VOTING: Minimum age to vote should return to 21

Letter by Lyle Laws, Puyallup on July 20, 2012 at 3:19 pm with 86 Comments »
July 20, 2012 3:19 pm

When I learned that some young people in Massachusetts were pushing to lower the voting age to 17 in local elections, I gave them credit for trying but do not agree with them. In fact, I think the age requirement should be raised back to 21. Why?

It is always tempting to spend other people’s money.  And since many, if not most, of the folks under the age of 21 contribute very little in federal, state and local taxes, they are often eager to support candidates who are happy to put the rest of us deeper in debt by supporting irresponsible, unrealistic legislation in return for votes.

Along with proof of age and citizenship, a high school diploma should be required to demonstrate that those who are asking for the right to choose candidates and determine public issues possess the basic knowledge to help them make informed decisions.

However, all U.S. citizens serving in the military should be granted full majority rights, including the right to vote and be served in bars. If young people are old enough to put their lives on the line for their country, they are old enough to choose its leaders and drink its wine.

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Leave a comment Comments → 86
  1. Why not limit voting to white males who own property and have served in the military?

  2. Fibonacci says:

    ehill
    Considering how dumb some people are (buying any rightwing Faux News propaganda) that comes down the pike), I think there should be a test people take before being allowed to vote. The age does not matter, but some semblance of knowing what is going on, some sort of basic reasoning ability, and basic intelligence in voters would be nice, rather than an arbitrary age or ethnicity requirement.

  3. MyBandito says:

    Once a citizen has reached the age of 18 they become part of the workforce, contributing to the economy.

    The letter writer seems to be trying to skew the voting demographic simply to enhance his party’s chances. No other reason for his opinion comes to mind.

  4. lylelaws says:

    ehill,

    I can’t believe what a coward you are for trying to portray me as a racist.

    As far as I am concerned a racist is someone who tries to silence others by screeming “RACISM” to try to intimidate others who don’t agree with them, and you are a classic example.

  5. LeePHill says:

    Lyle is milking the cow as usual.

    I’m sure he is enjoying his medicare and social security which are insurance pools using “other peoples money”

  6. itwasntmethistime says:

    MyBandito — If 18 year olds were a significant part of the workforce we wouldn’t have just passed a health care law ensuring kids could stay on their parents’ policies util age 26. It used to be you got kicked off at 18 unles you were enrolled in school. It looks to me like they want all the privileges of adults with none of the responsibilities.

  7. Way not 30 – the minimum age one has to be to serve in the House?

  8. Wow, Lyle is off his game this week. He missed being one of the last two e-mails of the week and getting its link on the TNT Home Page.

    It’s similar to being the last bidder on E Bay.

    Well there is always next Friday.

  9. lylelaws says:

    LeePHill,

    I appreciate my Medicare and Social Security benefits, and I contributed to both funds for 40+ years.

    How about you?

  10. lylelaws says:

    Fibonacci,

    How about passing the test of graduating from high school?

  11. MyBandito says:

    AH! The test. Now one should have to pass a test to be able to vote? Not in my country. Being an 18 year old citizen is enough.

    Does the word disenfranchise mean anything to you?

  12. Insane letter, again.

  13. APimpNamedSlickback says:

    xring:

    It’s 25 to serve in the House; 30 for Senate.

    Lyle:

    So, you would allow the dumbest 18 year old grunt who barely graduated high school the vote, yet deny it to the valedictorian who went onto an Ivy League school to study government? You would deny the vote to a disabled 18-20 year old who has an understanding of government and perhaps has gainful employment where he’s paying his share of taxes, but can’t serve in the military due to his disability?

    The age requirement is universal, gives no respect to physical ability, social status, educational achievement, or wealth. There is definitely a problem with our system, but it’s not the voting age; it’s the electorate. How about instead of taking the vote away from some people who already have it, let’s focus on making civics a requirement again so that every person who has reached voting age will have at least a very basic understanding of government before casting a vote.

  14. itwasntmethistime says:

    Pimpy — That’s a great idea. I agree we should require voters to pass a civics test before we can vote. Too bad the protectors of the lazy will never let that happen.

  15. “I can’t believe what a coward you are for trying to portray me as a racist.”

    I can’t believe what a moron you are for thinking that’s what I was trying.

  16. lylelaws says:

    APimpNamedSlickback,

    That “dumbest grunt” you are talking about is protecting your right to insult him, and, by the way, he is employed and paying taxes. Are you?

    How many people who didn’t finish high school would be able to pass a civics test?

    If you don’t mind my asking have you ever served in the military?

  17. Sorry, but by the time I was 18, I was working and paying taxes. Anyone who is of working age, should be able to vote.

  18. bobcat1a says:

    Careful guys, research has shown that Fox News viewers are the least well-informed voting adults.

  19. lylelaws says:

    ehill,

    So, “Why not limit voting to white males”?

    You and LeePHill are both pathetic in the way that you try to silence people by constantly trying to brand other contributors as racists of some kind when you can’t come up with anything logical to say.

    Get some new material.

    By the way, would having to have “served in the military” keep you from voting?

  20. Frankenchrist says:

    I was working AND paying taxes when I was 16.

  21. averageJose says:

    21 with a valid ID.

  22. charliebucket says:

    this letter takes the cake for me on why I am terrified of today’s conservatives.

    surely it is a joke. right?

  23. surething says:

    Yawn.

  24. alindasue says:

    I was also working and paying taxes at age 16.

    Personally, I think age 18 is the ideal age for people to start voting. The required Civics and Current Events classes they took in high school are still fresh in their minds and they are more aware than they have ever been about what’s going on in the world – and most of them are more involved in the issues of the day than they’ll ever be again.

    Too soon they’ll be like the rest of the population too caught up in their daily lives to pay attention to current event. The majority of them by age 30 – if they still vote at all (over half usually don’t)- will be basing their votes on news soundbites and campaign commercials.

    Also, Mr. Laws, when I was 19, newly married, and broke enough to be part of that “40% who don’t pay taxes”, I was less likely to vote “to spend other people’s money” than I am now that I am an older home owner who is contributing thousands more in taxes each year than I had ever before. Age and experience don’t necessarily make one less likely to vote for tax increases and public spending when needed.

    And… before you ask me (as you seem to have everyone else), I spent the first six years of our thirty year marriage as an army wife.

  25. APimpNamedSlickback says:

    Lyle:

    Clearly you took offense at my “dumbest grunt” comment, and I admit, it was not the best wording. Still, the point I was getting at was not to insult servicemen and women, but to say that the presumably least civically-informed member of your favored group would be granted a right that is withheld from potentially better-informed members of your disfavored group; the latter having to wait for the right because you perceive them to lack the wisdom to cast a proper vote, while imputing said wisdom to the former based on a career choice. The suggestion you raised in your letter lacks a logical basis.

    I realize that the serviceman I referred to is protecting my right to insult him – even though that is not what I was doing and, ironically, if the hypothetical serviceman were actually insulted, that would only support my point. I also realize that he is employed and paying taxes; it’s just that your letter suggests that you think the only 18-20 year olds who can appreciate work and understand the their tax burden are those serving in the military. That is a flawed assumption.

    To answer your question, though, I don’t know how many people who don’t finish high school could pass a civics test. My guess is not many, but then, I would also guess that just as few high school grads that went to school in the past decade or so could do so seeing that civics hasn’t been a requirement in that time. I never suggested a civics test to vote – rather, I suggested making civics a required course. Preferably conducted during one of the years where students are still legally required to attend school. I believe that would be until age 16 in Washington, so 9th or 10th grade.

    And finally, no, I don’t mind your asking. No, I did not serve; not that that has any bearing on this subject. You see, like all of my buddies who joined up after high school, I tried to as well, but a congenital heart defect kept me out.

    I have worked and paid taxes, though, ever since high school. And believe me, I understand a hard day’s work and the pain of having Uncle Sam take a huge chunk out of my paycheck. But had your plan been the law, I wouldn’t have been able to vote until I was 21 – basically because of a disability – and yet I would have been taxed without representation. Hardly the American way, huh?

  26. “So, “Why not limit voting to white males”

    Here’s a clue, Lyle. Quoting a few words out of context is considered to be intellectually dishonest. Here’s the entire quote: “Why not limit voting to white males who own property and have served in the military?”

    Since it apparently went over your head, the point was to show that you want to restrict the right to vote because you don’t like the way that some citizens vote. Too bad, so sad. Your dream of returning this country to the 1870’s isn’t going to happen.

    “You and LeePHill are both pathetic in the way that you try to silence people by constantly trying to brand other contributors as racists of some kind when you can’t come up with anything logical to say.”

    I didn’t accuse you of anything. Feeling guilty, are you?

    By the way, would having to have “served in the military” keep you from voting?”

    Irrelevant.

  27. I was stationed in “West Germany” when I was 18, only to be sent to Lebanon where over 200 Marines lost their lives in a terrorist bombing. I am not worthy to vote until age 21?

  28. I agree we should require voters to pass a civics test before we can vote.

    The first formal voter literacy tests were introduced in 1890. Whites were exempted from the literacy test if they could meet alternate requirements that, in practice, excluded blacks. These included demonstrating political competence in person or showing descent from someone who was eligible to vote before 1867 (the post-Civil War civil rights constitutional amendments 13, 14, and 15 were enacted in 1865, 1868, and 1870, respectively).
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Literacy_test

    Congress abolished literacy tests in the South with the Voting Rights Act of 1965, and nationwide in 1970.
    http://www.umich.edu/~lawrace/disenfranchise1.htm

  29. If a voter could not pass the test linked below, he/she should not be voting. 60% is the passing grade.

    http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/story/2012-04-26/imiigrant-civics-test-americans-fail/54563612/1

  30. rooster_02 says:

    Lyle, that was one stupid letter. Thanks for the laugh.

  31. MyBandito says:

    This guy writes every week. His goal is to be falidated,(having his fallacies validated) by the number of comments his provocative letters generate. He plays a timing game to be the last one on Friday so his can be on top all weekend, generating more and more comments and arguments.

    The topic of this one is ridiculous. Only a fool would suggest that voters be tested and that the age limit be changed just to disenfranchise certain voters.

  32. Harry_Anslinger says:

    If you can give your life in service to our country in our military you should be able to vote and have a say since elections can to some extent change the odds of military intervention/conflict. Pretty simple math. If I was under 21 I would be so incredibly appalled at the inability to do this simple math.

  33. Harry_Anslinger says:

    So Lyle has a knack for writing absurd letters with naive, ignorant, and for the most part simpleton premises just to get attention. Seems to work well for him.

  34. lylelaws says:

    beerBoy,

    Nice attempt to weave accusations of bigotry and racism into the thread as ehill and LeePHill do so often..

    I wouldn’t have expected anything less from you.

  35. lylelaws says:

    MyBandito,

    I guess I might as well confess since you have exposed my “Send them in on Friday” strategy.

    However, I only send them in every other week because I want to leave some space open for you if you would be willing to sign off on your comments by using your real name.

    “Falidated?” Now that is quite a word. Thanks for letting me know what it means, since Mr. Webster didn’t know either.

  36. TNT must like lyle’s letters……

  37. MyBandito says:

    Ah! The old “I’m better than you because I use my real name” game.

    Falidated is a word made up by fanciladi. It fits.

  38. lylelaws says:

    BORG,

    Did you miss the section of my letter that said that anyone who enlisted in the armed forces should be permitted to vote?

    I was 18 too when I enlisted in the military and barely 21 when I was discharged.

    I didn’t get to Germany, but I had a great time in Japan when our ship was there for three weeks.

  39. sandblower says:

    This is the part I like: “It is always tempting to spend other people’s money. And since many, if not most, of the folks under the age of 21 contribute very little in federal, state and local taxes, they are often eager to support candidates who are happy to put the rest of us deeper in debt by supporting irresponsible, unrealistic legislation in return for votes.”

    He makes it sound like it’s the truth with no proof what-so-ever and I bet he actually believes it. What it does say by inference is that he does not like young people in general. He is also a pro when it comes to deciding for the rest of us which pieces of legislation are irresponsible and unrealistic.
    In summary, Mr. Laws is the expert by whom we should all abide.
    How about some gun control to stop the killings like we had in CO Lyle? Surely you have an answer.

  40. Ok sorry! Discharged early! Hopefully nothing serious.

  41. Lyle – if you believe that providing a historical context for requiring the passing of tests in order to vote is an “attempt to weave accusations of bigotry and racism into the thread” then maybe you see a connection between the historical Jim Crow laws and the more recent suggestions to “fight fraud”…..

    I didn’t make that connection. You did.

  42. averageJose says:

    Mybandito… since some of the regulars who post anonymously (like beerBoy and LeeP) continually harp about anonymous commenters, I have to say… Lyle definately has a one-up on the rest of us.

  43. MyBandito says:

    No he doesn’t. Most of the comments that he racks up are his own.

    What is your real name, averagejose??????

    No guts, no glory.

  44. If you’re old enough to serve in the military, then you should also be able to vote for those who’s foreign policy positions you support, and vote against those you do not.

  45. continually harp about anonymous commenter

    yet another bogus claim from you.

    I have pointed out when YOU have complained about anonymous commenters and how that seem a bit…ahem…hypocritical. But that is very different from “continually harp(ing) on”

    And…..as we all know…your virtual life on this site is based upon archiving me and a few others so you can point out our failings – cite or shut up.

  46. LeePHill says:


    lylelaws

    July 20, 2012 at 4:50 pm

    LeePHill,

    I appreciate my Medicare and Social Security benefits, and I contributed to both funds for 40+ years.

    How about you?”

    Well, since you asked, I’m presently contributing to make sure you can collect. That’s the way it works.

    Read your own letter for a refresher in how you castigate younger voters for “spending other’s money” and then look in the mirror. This county is the UNITED States.

    As to your allegation that ehill accused you or racism, I chalked that up to either your inability to read or the knack of pursposeful ignorance that conservatives love to use to redirect conversations.

    Fear not, you’ve gotten your weekly feed.

  47. LeePHill says:

    Hey kids!! Wanna vote? Wanna have a say in your government? Just enlist in the military and get sent to multiple wars and by the time you return, you’ll be 21 and have the right to vote.

    (I thought we wanted an all volunteer military)

  48. Military Service – the path to full citizenship…..as long as you are already a citizen.

  49. [total tangent alert]

    Middle Eastern politician poses with bible he tore up! We should go in and turn them into glass! We should…..oh….wait a minute…..he is an Israeli…………………….never mind.
    http://www.thenational.ae/news/world/middle-east/israeli-politician-tears-up-bible

  50. averageJose says:

    beerBoy, cite (or shut up) where I have EVER complained about a commenter’s anonymity.

  51. MyBandito says:

    The letter writer wrote, “It is always tempting to spend other people’s money.”

    WE spend our money. We elect those (the government) who represent us. I’m not sure just how you, and others like you, have decided that this is considered, spending “other people’s money.”

    Do you consider this money, your money, or are you just as guilty of being just as tempted “to spend other people’s money” when you vote?

    Just another lame attempt to disenfranchise certain voters.

  52. So aJ….if you have never complained about another k-hill’s names then I must not have EVER “harp(ed)” on – and never is definitely not “continuously”.

  53. Lynnwoodfats says:

    Lyle,
    My hat’s off to you. You have them all dancing like marionettes.

  54. LeePHill says:

    another name…..::::sigh:::::

  55. Plz vote yes 4 buses! Sorry Lyle for stealing your space!

  56. Only if we cut the old folks off. And btw, Willard would be too old to run LOL

  57. aislander says:

    I do believe one should have skin in the game in order to vote to skin someone else…

  58. lylelaws says:

    TheSlag,

    Just wondering if you watch Al Sharpton on MSNBC because he, like you, seems to think that it is somehow shameful or funny to be named “Willard”

  59. lylelaws says:

    BORG,

    I joined the USCG in January of 1952 and was discharged in July of 1954 as were all the people I enlisted with who had not attended special training classes in Grotten Connecticut.

    Were you wondering if I had been given a Section 8, or if maybe, like John Kerry I had received three Purple Hearts in thrity days without missing a day of duty.

    Did you get an early out for some reason?

  60. scooter6139 says:

    All this talk of Military service = Citizenship = Voting would make a wonderful movie. Put it in a war context and it could be a great action movie!

    Oh wait, they already did that. Starship Troopers anyone?

    So that would make Lyle “Fleet” then, not “Mobile Infantry”?

  61. aislander says:

    Takers will always vote to take.

  62. averageJose says:

    Nice try bB… the exchange was about a commenter’s anonymity… now you are switching to another k-hill’s names.

    No, I’m not surprised… that’s what you do.

  63. nice try aJ – you made a false accusation at me that you CLEARLY cannot substantiate and now you are dancing around trying to make it my issue.

    But….you did get my attention – which is clearly what you wanted by mentioning my name in your response to mybandito.

  64. To clarify – I acknowledged that I ONCE commented about YOUR comments about anonymous posters to point out that that seemed a bit hypocritical for an anonymous poster to criticize others for posting anonymously.

  65. Harry_Anslinger says:

    So the answer is to exclude citizens in a specific age demographic who have been deemed legal adults from having a say in their own governance and write them off as unable to form intelligent voting choices? OR maybe Lyle could take some responsibility and help increase voter education through his own efforts? Otherwise he is simply advocating age discrimination over voters rights. What does Lyles own words say about Lyle?

  66. Lyle: Excellent! Not one but 3 purple hearts, war hero! No section 8, thought you were seriously injured in the war…..

    Yeah, medically discharged due to the Anthrax shots before Desert Shield/Storm; my body and the shot just couldn’t play together! 15 years USAF.

  67. MyBandito says:

    Lynnwoodfats saud, “Lyle, My hat’s off to you. You have them all dancing like marionettes.”

    Now that’s falidation. Validating an absolute fallacy.

    And this averagejose guy has totally lost his way. But he keeps trying, bless his little heart.

  68. alindasue says:

    lylelaws said, “…seems to think that it is somehow shameful or funny to be named “Willard”.”

    It is neither shameful nor funny to be named “Willard”. It’s a good respectable name. However, Mitt Romney has, for whatever reason, chosen to go by his middle name “Mitt”. Calling him “Willard” is just as disrespectful as calling President Obama “Hussein”. Both gentlemen deserve to be called by their official chosen names.

    It is quite clear from the conversations that most of you are well over the age of 21. It is also quite clear from the name calling and disrespectful means of addressing people that thrives in these forums, that age is not necessarily a good indicator of maturity. Is an 18 year old who votes according to his conscience any less mature than a 40 year old who has to resort to name calling to get his point across in a political debate?

  69. Lynnwoodfats says:

    MyBandito-Keep on dancin’

  70. LeePHill says:

    Lyle – how about a link to a website where your military records can be seen? If the President of the United States has to show his birth certificate in public, I think it’s only fair for you to show us something to back up all of your military prowess that you claim.

    You want to take pot shots at other vets and decorated vets, but for all we know you are an internet military dodger that 4-F’d for dancing in your grandmother’s ballgown during your draft physical.

    bB – as to Jose….he’s packing about 6 names, as best I can figure, and pointing fingers at others, including me. I wonder if he’ll ever get over “ehill” not being my son, as he delusionally claims.

  71. Scooter – the real world model for the Starship Trooper Government was Switzerland.

    Aislander – works both ways – current GOP will always vote to take from the poor, working, and middle classes and give to the rich.
    The only other Willard I ever knew was also a rat.

  72. aislander says:

    So…how can you “take” from those who don’t have anything, xring? Seems to me the producers, well, produce–that is, create wealth that wasn’t there before, meaning more for everyone. Prosperity doesn’t “trickle down,” it expands unless something is taking the wind out of the economic sails.

    The taking really goes only one way. Failures use the government to steal from the successful, and the result is that less is produced and the poor have even less, all courtesy of the the government and the Democrat party.

    But, I guess less is okay with the left as long as someone else doesn’t have more…

    You don’t make the weak strong by making the strong weak…

  73. SafewayOrangeSoda says:

    “Congress abolished literacy tests [] nationwide in 1970″.

    One look at the string of presidents we’ve gotten since then makes one think that maybe those literacy tests aren’t such a bad idea…

  74. averageJose says:

    9:29 illustrates the disconnect.

  75. averageJose says:

    less is okay with the left as long as someone else doesn’t have more

    BINGO!

  76. The calls for service records from a guy who dodged service is close to funny. Almost, but sad and pathetic.

    No pride or shame on the left. Perhaps shame, but masked with arrogance.

  77. LeePHill says:

    “CT7 says:
    July 22, 2012 at 10:43 pm The calls for service records from a guy who dodged service is close to funny. Almost, but sad and pathetic”

    First of all, CT7, you don’t have a clue as do what “dodging the service” was. You sit there with a computer in front of you and choose to remain ignorant on the subject.

    Second, if I DID “dodge the service”….at least I’m honest about it. All of you internet warriors haven’t displayed one thing to prove you’ve done what you claimed.

    “no pride or shame”……did you REALLY type that? It’s incredibly silly. You should be ashamed.

  78. LeePHill says:

    http://www.thesmokinggun.com/documents/celebrity/deferments-helped-trump-dodge-vietnam

    A little free education.

    If Trump was a draft dodger, I might have been…..I needed 3 student deferments to catch up with him.

  79. You don’t make the weak strong by making the strong weak…

    Here comes the uber-mensch to save the Fatherland!

  80. “No pride or shame on the left. Perhaps shame, but masked with arrogance.”

    Look up projection. I think you’ll find your picture.

  81. I fear the army of sheep lead by a lion more that an army of lions lead by a sheep.

    Richard the Lion Hearted

  82. sumyungboi says:

    Voting age should be twenty one. You must be twenty one to purchase a handgun, you must be twenty one to consume alcohol, but you can vote on those matters for several years before you can legally partake in any commerce regarding these items? And that’s just a couple of examples. Just doesn’t make sense.

  83. Harry_Anslinger says:

    Old enough to enlist and die = old enough to vote.

    boi(ironic)so you want the age of enlistment to be 21? I have to assume that since otherwise your logic points to lowering the drinking age to 18.

  84. Time to return to the “Lord and Manor” of old England???

  85. Lyle, it doesn’t matter what the age is. Liberals never reach maturety at any age. They remain child-like throughout their lives. We could allow grade school kids to vote and we’d get the same results from them as we do liberals.

  86. Lyle, it doesn’t matter what the age is. Liberals never reach maturety at any age. They remain child-like throughout their lives. We could allow grade school kids to vote and we’d get the same results from them as we do liberals.”

    Projection. Look it up.

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