The Instigator
kasmic
Pro (for)
Losing
2 Points
The Contender
Romanii
Con (against)
Winning
8 Points

People younger than 18 should be able to vote in the U.S.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
Romanii
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/18/2014 Category: Politics
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,630 times Debate No: 59137
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (16)
Votes (2)

 

kasmic

Pro

People younger than 18 years old should be able to vote in the United States of America.

This will be a short debate.
Round 1 for con is acceptance.
Romanii

Con

I accept.

Please note that Pro has not set a *minimum* age limit.
Debate Round No. 1
kasmic

Pro

Thanks Romanii for accepting this debate, I hope it is a good one.

Resolve: "People younger than 18 years old should be able to vote in the United States of America."

I will prove just that.

Outline
A: Voter Eligibility.
B: Taxation without representation is tyranny.
C: Purpose of voting
D: Every Citizen should have the right to vote

A: Voter Eligibility

15th amendment
"Section 1. The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude." (1)

19th amendment
"The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex." (2)

26th amendment
"Section 1. The right of citizens of the United States, who are eighteen years of age or older, to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of age."(3)

It is curious to me that we live in a society that aggressively favors age discrimination.

(1)http://en.wikipedia.org...
(2)http://en.wikipedia.org...
(3)http://en.wikipedia.org...)

B:Taxation without representation
""No taxation without representation" is a slogan originating during the 1750s and 1760s that summarized a primary grievance of the British colonists in the Thirteen Colonies, which was one of the major causes of the American Revolution. In short, many in those colonies believed that, as they were not directly represented in the distant British Parliament, any laws it passed taxing the colonists (such as the Sugar Act and the Stamp Act) were illegal under the Bill of Rights 1689, and were a denial of their rights as Englishmen."(1)

As one of the causes of the American revolution, "taxation without representation" was viewed as tyranny. Yet today if you are under the age of 18 and you have a job making money you are required to pay and income tax. Third from the bottom on this link shows those under the age of 18 still pay taxes. (2) This is Tyranny, but would not be if they had representation via voting rights.

(1)http://en.wikipedia.org...
(2)http://www.irs.gov...

C: The purpose of voting
"A man without a vote is a man without protection." " Lyndon B. Johnson (36th U.S. President)(1)

Without the ability to vote how does person protect themselves from the tyranny of others? How does one promote their own interests?

(1)http://www.brainyquote.com...

D: Every citizen should have the right to vote.

When talking about the voting process Hillary Clinton said: "Voting is the most precious right of every citizen"." (1)

If taxation without representation is tyranny, and In the United States it is believed that liberty is an unalienable right.(2) It should be a right of every citizen regardless of age to vote and in so doing have representation.

(1) http://www.brainyquote.com...
(2)http://www.archives.gov...
Romanii

Con

Thanks to Pro for his opening argument!
I will go ahead and utilize this round to present my own case and refute Pro's contentions.


Neg Case:

Firstly, let us observe that this resolution does not simply support lowering the voting age a few years; it supports eliminating the age limit entirely, allowing voting for ALL people under eighteen, ranging from infants, to small children, to teenagers.
Now, there do certainly exist politically savvy teenagers who are able to make intelligent voting decisions, but I will argue that, for the most part, people under the age of eighteen, especially the children and infants, are subject to ideological indoctrination due to their lack of intellectual maturity, and are most likely going to just copy the political opinions of their parents.
What eliminating age restrictions does, then, is that it gives individuals with children the ability to double, triple, or even quadruple their say in the government by indoctrinating their children to cast their votes a certain way! This is absolutely unfair to all of the nation's other individuals, who only get one ballot per person.
Thus, eliminating age restrictions undermines one of the core tenets of democracy: that all citizens should have an equal say in the government.

Now, on to Pro's contentions...


A. Voter Eligibility

Pro argues that since historically we have been eliminating restrictions on voting, including the gender and race restrictions, we should go ahead and remove the age restriction too. However, there is an obvious problem with this... race and gender have no demonstrable effect on one's ability to have independent political opinions, whereas age most certainly does. And, extending the logic presented in the neg case, that lack of intellectual independence means that age restrictions are mandatory in order to avoid inequality in representation

B. Taxation without Representation

Pro: "As one of the causes of the American revolution, "taxation without representation" was viewed as tyranny. Yet today if you are under the age of 18 and you have a job making money you are required to pay and income tax. Third from the bottom on this link shows those under the age of 18 still pay taxes. (2) This is Tyranny, but would not be if they had representation via voting rights."

This may seem like a valid argument at first, but upon closer inspection, it is baseless. "Taxation without representation" is just a phrase with some historical significance; Pro has not provided any real Constitutional basis for us to believe that all instances of 'taxation without representation' need to be disallowed. And it certainly is not viewed as "tyranny" anymore, as Pro claims; non-citizen residents of the United States are not allowed to vote in federal elections, yet they are all still taxed quite regularly [1][2], and there hasn't really been any substantial resistance to the practice...
This contention is completely founded on the unwarranted assumption that all instances of "taxation without representation" are bad.

C. The purpose of voting
D. Every citizen should have the right to vote


Both of Pro's points here are based in abstract, idealistic logic. I can just cross-apply my initial case here to show that the practical harms that allowing minors to vote causes is enough to override such logic.
And anyways, in both contentions, Pro supports the assumptions underlying them with random quotes by notable politicians, which is definitely NOT sufficient warrant for us to accept them.



All of Pro's contentions have been refuted, and the neg case still stands. The resolution has been negated.


SOURCES
[1] http://www.irs.gov...
[2] http://www.irs.gov...
Debate Round No. 2
kasmic

Pro

Thank you Romanii for your refutations,

My opponent observed that the resolution "supports eliminating the age limit entirely, allowing voting for ALL people under eighteen, ranging from infants, to small children, to teenagers." He went on to conclude "there do certainly exist politically savvy teenagers who are able to make intelligent voting decisions,""

My Opponent just admitted that there do exists in our society citizens who are deprived the right to vote due to age despite them being capable of their own beliefs, interests, and prefrences.

Consider how intelligent the average voter really is"

"In 2011, Newsweek asked 1,000 Americans to take the standard U.S. Citizenship test, and 38 percent of them failed. One in three couldn"t name the vice-president."(1)

"About 1 in 4 Americans can name more than one of the five freedoms guaranteed by the First Amendment (freedom of speech, religion, press, assembly and petition for redress of grievances.) But more than half of Americans can name at least two members of the fictional cartoon family, according to a survey.

"The study by the new McCormick Tribune Freedom Museum found that 22 percent of Americans could name all five Simpson family members, compared with just 1 in 1,000 people who could name all five First Amendment freedoms." (2)

Here is another link that shows more of the same (3)

Turns out many of those who can and do vote are not particularly "politically savvy" unlike those teenagers my opponent says
"certainly exist." If we were to exclude the less politically savvy adults from voting it would be argued that we have taken away their unalienable right to vote. Therefore it is not reasonable to restrict one from voting due to intelligence.

He goes on to that children "are most likely going to just copy the political opinions of their parents". "What eliminating age restrictions does, then, is that it gives individuals with children the ability to double, triple, or even quadruple their say in the government by indoctrinating their children to cast their votes a certain way! This is absolutely unfair to all of the nation's other individuals, who only get one ballot per person."

The same was argued about giving women the right to vote, giving their husbands two votes instead of one. As it turns out many women do vote with their husbands and many do not.

As far as if it would be fair to give individuals with children the ability to double or quadruple their say in government, does not an adult with three kids under the current set up only have one vote to represent four peoples interests? That in not fair either.
Remember I am in no way advocating that parents vote for their kids but that the kids have the ability to vote because they are citizens. It would be a hard case to prove that the average voter in the U.S.A. is not "subject to ideological indoctrination due to their lack of intellectual maturity."

My opponent says ""Taxation without representation" is just a phrase with some historical significance; Pro has not provided any real Constitutional basis for us to believe that all instances of 'taxation without representation' need to be disallowed."
Con is correct that there is not real Constitutional basis to believe that all instances need to be disallowed. I never argued there was, however the historical significance has had a huge impact on our society today and in many ways is a part of American culture. Many Americans still believe it is tyranny to tax without representation.(4) I certainly agree.

Considering that many citizens who have the right to vote do not vote, it is a shame that we keep some citizens who would like to vote from voting just due to age.(5)

Conclusion:
To my delight it seems that Con at heart agrees with me as he stated in his argument that ""..one of the core tenets of democracy: that all citizens should have an equal say in the government."
I agree. All Citizens regardless of race, gender, and age, should have an equal say in the government.
This is a no brainer Vote Pro!

(1)http://www.salon.com...
(2)http://www.alternet.org...
(3)http://www.publicpolicypolling.com...
(4)http://en.wikipedia.org...
(5)http://www.fairvote.org...
Romanii

Con

Thanks to Pro for his counter-rebuttals.

Note that Pro has not objected to my interpretation of the resolution; this means that infants, toddlers, and small children ARE included in "people younger than 18".


NEG CASE

Pro: "Turns out many of those who can and do vote are not particularly 'politically savvy'...If we were to exclude the less politically savvy adults from voting it would be argued that we have taken away their unalienable right to vote. Therefore it is not reasonable to restrict one from voting due to intelligence... It would be a hard case to prove that the average voter in the U.S.A. is not 'subject to ideological indoctrination due to their lack of intellectual maturity.'"

First of all, I would like to point out that this is not about "intelligence" or "political awareness", as my opponent seems to be implying; it is about a *lack of independence*. It is about possessing the mental faculties to independently make decisions. Even if an adult is what we might consider "dumb", they still possess the faculty of independent thinking, being able to make their voting decisions based on their own prior knowledge and information gathered from political campaigns.
However, a child can do no such thing. It is simply a matter of neurological development; a child is much, much more susceptible to indoctrination (i.e. blindly accepting whatever is told to them) due to a lack of intellectual maturity.
Parents would practically be casting the ballot for them (literally so, in the case of very small children & infants), which, by the logic presented last round, is unfair to those without children and violates a core tenet of democracy.

Pro: "The same was argued about giving women the right to vote, giving their husbands two votes instead of one. As it turns out many women do vote with their husbands and many do not."

That was based on a misconception of the past. However, we now know that gender has no effect on a person's independent decision-making capacity. This is not the case regarding age, as explained earlier, rendering this point to be nothing more than a false comparison.

Pro: "My Opponent just admitted that there do exists in our society citizens [politically savvy teens] who are deprived the right to vote due to age despite them being capable of their own beliefs, interests, and prefrences."

This is true, but that is simply the nature of democracy: majority rules. If the majority approves of a law that the minority does not, then the minority still has to live under the majority's law. In the same way, since the majority of people under the age of eighteen are not capable of independent thinking (thus warranting the existence of age restrictions), then the tiny minority of "politically savvy teenagers" has no choice but to cope with the age restrictions.

Pro: "As far as if it would be fair to give individuals with children the ability to double or quadruple their say in government, does not an adult with three kids under the current set up only have one vote to represent four peoples interests? That in not fair either."

This is, by far, Pro's most compelling objection to my case. However, it is ultimately based in rhetoric... Pro claims that allowing parents to vote for their children allows one person to represent the interests of four people. But looking at it from a more objective perspective, we see that the other three people, due to their lack of participation in the process, aren't really having their interests represented, anymore. It is much more logical (and respectful to their personal sovereignty) to just *wait* for the three people to gain the intellectual capacity to vote independently before allowing them to vote; that way, they will actually be representing themselves when they vote. This is what the implementation of an age restriction accomplishes.


AFF CASE

All but one of Pro's contentions here were refuted via cross-application of the neg case, so really, the only contention of his left that I must refute is his one regarding taxation without representation.
Pro concedes that taxation without representation is not disallowed by the Constitution, instead attempting to prove that it is commonly viewed as tyranny by the American population by citing a Wikipedia article which lists some instances of people protesting against it. However, he has failed to address my example of non-citizens being taxed without representation, which involves far more people than in any of the examples in the Wikipedia article, yet is not at all protested against by the American populace.
It is clear that taxation alone is not grounds for representation; thus, Pro's contention fails.

In addition, Pro brings up what seems to be a new argument: "Considering that many citizens who have the right to vote do not vote, it is a shame that we keep some citizens who would like to vote from voting just due to age."

But this is easily refuted by the rebuttal made earlier about majority rule in democracy: because most people under age eighteen are not capable of voting, the few minors who are capable and do wish to vote are still bound by the age restrictions.


CONCLUSIONS

-- Removing the voting age restriction allows for individuals with children to have more say in government than those without children, which violates a core tenet of democracy (equal say)

-- In a democracy, majority rules. The existence of a small population of politically savvy teens does not warrant removing the age restriction

-- Parents cannot properly represent the interests of their children, as Pro claims, because *they aren't their children*. It is better to wait for them to grow up and *actually* represent themselves, in accordance with the age restriction.

-- Taxation alone is not a sufficient basis for representation, so one cannot use that as a reason for minors to be allowed voting rights


The resolution is negated.
Vote Con :D

Thanks to Pro for the challenge, and to anyone who takes the time to judge this debate!

Debate Round No. 3
16 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Romanii 1 year ago
Romanii
I'd be down for that in a while... a long while...
Posted by kasmic 1 year ago
kasmic
We should redo this debate.
Posted by Romanii 2 years ago
Romanii
Yeah, I have no idea how I got the source points here... the source points clearly belong to kasmic in this debate.
Posted by kasmic 2 years ago
kasmic
Conservative101, I understand your critic of the debate, I just do not know how I lost the sources portion. Could you clarify for me?
Posted by Romanii 2 years ago
Romanii
Woah, I just realized that this is my 70th debate...
Posted by Romanii 2 years ago
Romanii
@rings:
I agree. I thought this would be an easy win XD

@debatability:
Will do!
Posted by debatability 2 years ago
debatability
remind me to vote on this
this looks like a good debate
Posted by rings48 2 years ago
rings48
The ages for the debaters really feels like it needs to be flipped. I really want to hear Con's final round, this is actually a way better debate than I thought it would be.
Posted by kasmic 2 years ago
kasmic
although, I did make this same argument when I was under 18.
Posted by Romanii 2 years ago
Romanii
LOL, and I'm actually 15 XD
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by Conservative101 2 years ago
Conservative101
kasmicRomaniiTied
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Total points awarded:05 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro does not think to look deeper into the question of what 'rights' are and how people possess them, while con reveals the political abuse that will certainly result if we allow 3-year-olds to vote.
Vote Placed by RyuuKyuzo 2 years ago
RyuuKyuzo
kasmicRomaniiTied
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Total points awarded:23 
Reasons for voting decision: Well argued by both sides. pro's case would have been stronger had the resolution specified a new minimum age, rather than trying to argue that there should be no age limit ta all, as there wasn't much of a case for giving children the right to vote outside of allowing them the ability to vote in their political interests (if they even have the capacity to ave any). Ultimately, I just don't see a strong enough justification for giving children the right to vote. In theory, it's unfair for only 1 or 2 people in a house of 4+ to be able to vote within their interests, but these children won't be deprived of their vote forever (as con pointed out). Pro had strong and numerous sources, but I was ultimately unconvinced.