Raznor's Rants

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Friday, February 07, 2003

The Vote

Alex Koronknay-Palicz, president of National Youth Rights Association writes in Counterpunch on lowering the voting age:

The movement to lower the voting age has begun. On January 28th, an ordinance was introduced to the Anchorage, Alaska city council that will lower the voting age to 16 for city elections. After a short but busy period collecting signatures to put the measure on the ballot the local group led by high schooler Corey Rennell has asked the city council to enfranchise them as local voters. If the council decides to pass the ordinance it will become just the second government body to lower the voting age since the 1970s. Last year the city council in Cambridge, Massachusetts passed an ordinance lowering the voting age to 17 for local elections. Local youth groups in North Dakota and Washington, DC are busy working on the issue in their areas as well.

The success of any or all of these campaigns may spawn similar campaigns in cities and states all across the nation. It is coming. Youth are demanding a voice, they are demanding the vote. Allow me to explain why. The last decade was the worst decade for youth in our collective national memory. Despite a great increase in wealth, the public lashed out at our teenage minority in what has grown to be a national hysteria. Curfew laws restricted movement, dress codes silenced individuality, zero-tolerance polices made crimes out of trench coats and saying "bang", and boot camps emerged as prisons to send anyone who resisted. Against all evidence to the contrary, the public readily accepted Columbine shooters Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris as standard bearers for an entire generation. Despite a plummeting rate of youth crime and a skyrocketing rate of youth volunteerism, the 90's saw an anti-teen witchhunt that is persisting even now into the next decade. Tired of no respect, many youth are determined not to let the last decade repeat itself.

What the article doesn't mention is that along with this have been movement to try kids as adults without giving them any rights as adults. It's all part of the whole vengeance fetish people in this country have developed to fuel their whole moral-superiority-lust. But so long as we do this, why not let the kids have a voice on it.

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