The Instigator
maxh
Pro (for)
Losing
27 Points
The Contender
Ragnar_Rahl
Con (against)
Winning
29 Points

The voting age in the United States should be eliminated

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/1/2009 Category: Politics
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 1,792 times Debate No: 7645
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (8)
Votes (10)

 

maxh

Pro

The voting age in the United States should be eliminated for several reasons. First, this country was founded on 'no taxation without representation'. Despite this, in the 2008 presidential debate, over SEVENTY MILLION citizens, a majority of whom did pay taxes, were denied the basic democratic right to vote merely for having been born in the wrong year. Second, it's discriminatory. We've had laws in the past that arbitrarily denied the right to vote (laws against women or black people voting), but we have found such laws to be unfair. Furthermore, if a law against people over a certain age existed, it, too, would quickly be found unfair and discriminatory. It's time to extend the same respect to those under eighteen. Finally, the fourteenth amendment clearly forbids refusing people rights due to their belonging to a certain class of people. In the case of today's voting age, that class is those people who are under eighteen years of age.

For these reasons, I urge the nation to eliminate the minimum voting age.
Ragnar_Rahl

Con

"First, this country was founded on 'no taxation without representation'."
Great, all the more reason to reduce the representation, so as to encourage more people to stop that form of armed robbery known as "taxation."

"Second, it's discriminatory. We've had laws in the past that arbitrarily denied the right to vote (laws against women or black people voting), but we have found such laws to be unfair."
Being a woman or a black has nothing to do with one's qualification to perform the relevant tasks to voting. Being a toddler does.

"Finally, the fourteenth amendment clearly forbids refusing people rights due to their belonging to a certain class of people."
The resolution speaks of whether this "Should" happen, not whether the Constitution demands it. As such, I shall not bother rebutting this piece of irrelevancy.

Young children are clearly subject to influence from their parents, thus, in effect, granting extra votes to parents-- something absurd considering our population issues and the many subsidies parents already get. Since parents of young children are on the whole more likely to support that robbery which is taxes than those people who are not currently parents (given their motive to support government schools), such would have a negative effect on our respect for property rights as well.

Should the voting age be altered? Maybe. Eliminated? Surely not.
Debate Round No. 1
maxh

Pro

"Great, all the more reason to reduce the representation, so as to encourage more people to stop that form of armed robbery known as 'taxation.'"
If indeed there was no taxation, perhaps this argument would be relevant. But even then, there's no reason to restrict voting, though one reason to permit voting is eliminated.

"Being a woman or a black has nothing to do with one's qualification to perform the relevant tasks to voting. Being a toddler does."
Oh? And how would that be? Before you try to use 'various studies' as proof, keep in mind that there were various studies showing that women and blacks were less qualified to vote. There are also studies showing that young people are at least as capable of voting as older citizens.

"The resolution speaks of whether this 'Should' happen, not whether the Constitution demands it. As such, I shall not bother rebutting this piece of irrelevancy."
I would consider a constitutional demand a very great reason for why something should happen. Are you saying we should no longer follow the constitution?

"Young children are clearly subject to influence from their parents, thus, in effect, granting extra votes to parents"
Of course, as are most people. "We should remember, too, that many people today vote at first, and often for many years after, exactly as their parents voted." (Holt, John. Escape from Childhood. New York: E.P. Dutton & Co, 1974. p. 169)

"Since parents of young children are on the whole more likely to support that robbery which is taxes than those people who are not currently parents (given their motive to support government schools)"
The same government schools which are totalitarian enclaves of which young people would often prefer not to attend. There's little reason for young voters to support them when their parents would not be in the voting booth with them.
Ragnar_Rahl

Con

Ragnar_Rahl forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
maxh

Pro

"That is a logical failure. The argument is for the purpose of ELIMINATING taxation (by providing people another reason to oppose it). Obviously, then, the reverse is true-- it is relevant to the extent that taxation currently exists."
The right to vote should not be a gambit in your anti-taxation campaign.

"That is a copy of the expected social studies cirriculum [sic] for Kindergarten. Obviously, this wouldn't be taught if most pre-kindergartners [sic] already knew it. Such things are so simple not only are they needed for competent voting, MUCH MORE is needed for competent voting."
During last election season, Howard Stern had a segment covering voter knowledge. Numerous adults were asked who they supported, but then, when quizzed as to their political beliefs, often had the exact opposite beliefs as that candidate. Clearly we don't use knowledge as a prerequisite for voting.

"I am saying that in any context 'Should,' the constitution is irrelevant because it CAN BE CHANGED to match what should be. It has been before. The constitution, mind, at one point encouraged slavery :)."
The constitution certainly can be amended, but in two hundred years, I can think of no amendments that restricted the right to vote, only expansions. Why would this trend be reversed to codify an equally discriminatory reason as previous amendments ended?

"I was not speaking of intellectual influence. I was speaking of the fact that a toddler's ONLY SOURCE OF INFORMATION is usually their parents. Rates of deviance from parents may not typically become too high, but they clearly rise with age, because the level of influence falls."
Weren't you just saying things could change? It would be much easier to change, for example, school lessons and youth-oriented television programs than to change the constitution. Your claim that young people have no other source of information than their parents is simply false. Even if currently the only source for political information is parents, if the voting age were eliminated, other sources of information would spring up.

"No young child would be allowed in a voting booth alone-- nor any older child if their parents disagreed with them. Absentee ballots would likely be the only way most could 'vote,' and those would likely be filled out with the parents right there, withholding privileges and tearing up the ballot if the child should vote 'wrong.'"
I think I've heard this before, where was it? Oh right, the early 1900s! "No wife would be allowed in a voting booth alone. Absentee ballots would likely be the only way most could 'vote,' and those would likely be filled out with the husband right there, withholding privileges and tearing up the ballot if the wife should vote 'wrong.'" But that didn't clearly doesn't happen often enough to deny women the right to vote. Nor would your situation occur often enough to deny the most basic right to vote to those under a certain age.

In closing, I would like to point out that even if all of your arguments were correct, it wouldn't matter. The right to vote is, of course, a RIGHT. It is not a "privilege", it is in fact a right (that's why we call it the "right to vote", not the "privilege to vote"). There are no qualifications on rights! In short, you are basing your entire argument on the false premise that rights can be restricted. As an argument based on false premises is clearly wrong, I urge voters to support me with their votes.
Ragnar_Rahl

Con

"
The right to vote should not be a gambit in your anti-taxation campaign."
There is and can be no such thing as a "right" to vote. Rights are inherently negative, i.e., they dictate what someone else CAN'T do TO you, not MUST do FOR you. Any other interpretation means that they are "rightfully" your slave.

"
During last election season, Howard Stern had a segment covering voter knowledge. Numerous adults were asked who they supported, but then, when quizzed as to their political beliefs, often had the exact opposite beliefs as that candidate. Clearly we don't use knowledge as a prerequisite for voting."
Irrelevant, the resolution speaks of what we SHOULD do, not what we currently do.

"
The constitution certainly can be amended, but in two hundred years, I can think of no amendments that restricted the right to vote, only expansions. Why would this trend be reversed to codify an equally discriminatory reason as previous amendments ended?"
Because discrimination is not inherently evil. In order to live you have to learn to discriminate between food and poison. Likewise, to have a good political result you have to learn to discriminate between supporters of good policies and supporters of poor ones.

"
Weren't you just saying things could change? It would be much easier to change, for example, school lessons and youth-oriented television programs than to change the constitution."
It would not be easy (or posisble) to change the fundamental dependency of children. Turning voting children over more to what you have already admitted is a "totalitarian school system" and thus having that system vote pork to itself by means of the children it controls is even worse than letting parents have the extra votes.

"Your claim that young people have no other source of information than their parents is simply false. Even if currently the only source for political information is parents, if the voting age were eliminated, other sources of information would spring up."
Other sources that parents would permit their children to attend, even when those other sources sought to teach the opposite policies to those the parents support?

"
I think I've heard this before, where was it? Oh right, the early 1900s! "No wife would be allowed in a voting booth alone. "
Women are intellectually and physically capable of being independent. Infants and toddlers are not.

"In short, you are basing your entire argument on the false premise that rights can be restricted. "
In short, you are basing your new argument on the false premise that there can be a "Right" to command another innocent individual-- to enslave them-- the essential premise of the "right to vote." Democracy, "Voting rights, have no other meaning than to declare that the minority is an unequivocal slave of the majority.
Debate Round No. 3
8 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 8 records.
Posted by Ragnar_Rahl 7 years ago
Ragnar_Rahl
Lol
Posted by wjmelements 7 years ago
wjmelements
"No one should be aloud to vote in a democratic society."

The above proposition makes more sense.
Posted by RoyLatham 7 years ago
RoyLatham
A ridiculous proposition. There is no law or Constitutional right against discriminating against incompetence.

Con's reference to Libertarian theology was irrelevant, but he nonetheless made the correct logical arguments as well.

Incidentally, research using brain scan technology shows that young people have an inherent difficulty in relating their actions to the consequences of their actions. That's a serious defect for voting.
Posted by Ragnar_Rahl 7 years ago
Ragnar_Rahl
"and yet he brings up a totally useless point about the current tax systems."
How is it useless? If taxes are bad, and taxes are more likely to be gone if the voting age is not eliminated, clearly that is a reason not to eliminate the voting age. The only way someone could consider it "useless" is if one completely ignored the nature of politics-- making something look even less appealing is usually necessary to get rid of it.
Posted by Ragnar_Rahl 7 years ago
Ragnar_Rahl
"
The same government schools which are totalitarian enclaves of which young people would often prefer not to attend. There's little reason for young voters to support them when their parents would not be in the voting booth with them."
No young child would be allowed in a voting booth alone-- nor any older child if their parents disagreed with them. Absentee ballots would likely be the only way most could "vote," and those would likely be filled out with the parents right there, withholding privileges and tearing up the ballot if the child should vote "wrong."
Posted by Ragnar_Rahl 7 years ago
Ragnar_Rahl
I very much did not notice the time rules...

"
If indeed there was no taxation, perhaps this argument would be relevant."

That is a logical failure. The argument is for the purpose of ELIMINATING taxation (by providing people another reason to oppose it). Obviously, then, the reverse is true-- it is relevant to the extent that taxation currently exists.

"
Oh? And how would that be? Before you try to use 'various studies' as proof, keep in mind that there were various studies showing that women and blacks were less qualified to vote. There are also studies showing that young people are at least as capable of voting as older citizens."
(http://school.familyeducation.com...)
That is a copy of the expected social studies cirriculum for Kindergarten. Obviously, this wouldn't be taught if most pre-kindergartners already knew it. Such things are so simple not only are they needed for competent voting, MUCH MORE is needed for competent voting.
And what studies do you have to show that toddlers are capable of voting competently? Or infants?

"
I would consider a constitutional demand a very great reason for why something should happen. Are you saying we should no longer follow the constitution?"
I am saying that in any context "Should," the constitution is irrelevant because it CAN BE CHANGED to match what should be. It has been before. The constitution, mind, at one point encouraged slavery :).

"Of course, as are most people. "We should remember, too, that many people today vote at first, and often for many years after, exactly as their parents voted.""
I was not speaking of intellectual influence. I was speaking of the fact that a toddler's ONLY SOURCE OF INFORMATION is usually their parents. Rates of deviance from parents may not typically become too high, but they clearly rise with age, because the level of influence falls.
Posted by maxh 7 years ago
maxh
Thanks, PokerJoker!
Posted by PokerJoker811 7 years ago
PokerJoker811
I have to say, maxh makes the more convncing argument. I'm still kinda unsure on the issue itself, but judging solely on the merits of the debate quality, maxh is clearly ahead. Ragnar commented on the irrelevance of the constitutional argument, and yet he brings up a totally useless point about the current tax systems.
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Vote Placed by thett3 5 years ago
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