"Do I think that is harsh? Not really. We need more people in this country to vote with their brains and fewer with their hearts. If we voted with our brains, we would have never had Obama as President. Nor Clinton. Nor would we ever have Beto. Enough said."
I cast my first vote when I lived up in Maine. It was 1972, I was on active duty, and the Presidential race was between Richard Nixon and George McGovern of South Dakota. Legal voting age was 21 back then, and in 1972 I was 22 years old. Many young men on the base were excited by this unconventional (at that time) candidate from the prairies of South Dakota. Others, liked the familiar face and mannerisms of the current Commander-in-Chief, Dick Nixon.
One of the guys on the base came from a very strong Democrat family in Delaware. He was a HUGE McGovern supporter. Wanted me to wear a McGovern button on my jacket when I was off duty. I declined. But at 22, I was conflicted. The "cool thing" to do was vote for McGovern, the underdog. Even though one of his campaign promises was to gut the military. That really bothered me.
Finally, after a lot of soul searching, I made up my mind. The military was just too important to gut. The week before the election, I told my friend from Delaware I was going to vote for Nixon. That was the last time he ever talked to me. Welcome to politics.
Why do I tell this story? At age 22, for my first time voting, I almost fell for the "shiny penny". Even though Nixon did a dumb thing which forced him to resign, he was still the best choice of the two.
For the next election in 1974, I can't remember if I voted or not. I was out of the active Navy and living in Minnesota. I was 24, and still informed enough to cast a thoughtful vote. In fact in 1976, when Fritz Mondale was the new "shiny penny", his name was already being mentioned as future President. I though having him as President would be cool, as we could have a President from MN. It for that reason alone, I came close to voting for the Carter-Mondale ticket. It took one of my conservative friends to talk me off of that ledge!
I was in my 30's when I first really started using my head during elections. Not in my 20's, not 18, and certainly not 16. Actually, when I was 16, I did not know my butt from a six pack of beer. Even after serving four years active time in the Navy, and then graduating from the University of Minnesota, my voting brain was still pretty scrambled. I really needed to be in the work a day world, owning a home, raising a family, to really understand how government affects my life.
All this being said, why in the world would Democrats want 16 year old kids to vote? DUH! They know how uninformed kids are. They are counting on them to be uninformed. Just like with immigrants who don't understand the issues yet, 16 year old kids are low fruit on the tree for Democrats.
Looking back at my life, at what age did I vote when my vote really mattered? When I say mattered, I mean when my vote had some thought behind it? Age 30. Therefore, I would advocate that the national voting age be raised to 30. And legal immigrants not be allowed to vote until they have lived here five years.
Do I think that is harsh? Not really. We need more people in this country to vote with their brains and fewer with their hearts. If we voted with our brains, we would have never had Obama as President. Nor Clinton. Nor would we ever have Beto. Enough said.