It's no secret that President Barack Obama targets the younger audience with his political rhetoric at every opportunity. There is a logical and obviously rewarding reason for this political strategy. College age voters are still developing their prefrontal cortex. What exactly does that mean you ask? Well, brain mapping technologies show that the average teenager’s brain looks slightly different from an adult’s.
The biggest differences lie in the prefrontal cortex – a part of the brain associated with reasoning and judgement - in the networks of brain cells that link the cortex to regions of the brain that are less about reasoning and thinking and more about emotion.
Using such tools as functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and positron emission tomography (PET), scientists have peered into teen brains and found that typically, until a person hits his early to mid-20s, his prefrontal cortex is still rapidly changing. So are the cell endings and chemical connections that link the cortex to parts of the brain associated with gut impulses.
As long as we continue to allow 18 to be the legal voting age we are going to see Politicians getting more and more active in the social networks, youtube videos, podcast, any thing else that they know teens use. The strategy is simple, get them emotionally charged using a topic that they feel teens can relate to. If you can get them emotionally involved in your message it will not matter if you have the necessary experience for the job.
This is why colleges are a great target. Younger audiences congregating in a very liberal environment. It's perfect for someone that has a strategy to prey on the youth and their scientifically proven disadvantage of a still developing prefrontal cortex.
In closing I just want to say that I personally feel that when an election is held for the next President Of The United States we should have experienced informed voters with life experience at the ballots. Not people that (Scientifically Proven) are still growing mentally in the judgement and reasoning part of their brain. I don't want to sound like i'm attacking the youth but it's a fact that they are emotionally driven and too often heavily uninformed, misinformed and vote on emotion.
I understand the people that post that if they can fight for our country then they can vote. I agree with that part. However, I also think that it's a valid point that if your medically and scientifically proven to make poor choices and suffer in using good judgement due to a immature frontal cortex then maybe we should draw the lines on the age where we have truly become an adult with full use of that important part of our brain. So if you serve then you can vote seems like a reasonable compromise on the military issue. The idea that just because a person is not allowed to vote until the age of 21 or 25 is reasonable to me. They are not allowed to drink until 21. This is because they need to be able to use a grown up mind to make that grown up choice. Again, if you serve the country in military that is different. But I also feel that if you served our country then you should have the legal right to drink. I guess I feel that if you are going to draw a line then the line should be at the age where your brain has developed enough to make good logical choices. By raising the legal age to vote it wouldn't violate their rights. They are still American citizens. It just delays that right to vote until you hit the new legal age. Otherwise we are currently violating the rights of all children by not allowing them to vote either. This new law would stop the politicians from hawking the colleges. Also, stop most of the preying on kids for votes because they are disadvantaged in judgement. I can't see how it would be cutting out pieces of voters that we want to head to the ballots, I see it as allowing all voters nationally to become mentally developed and capable of using their best judgement. BTW, I read all the replies and rebutals posted to make sure I was informed enough to vote here as well. ;)
In our society we are treating people up to 26 as children. I see the arguments where 18 year olds should be allowed to vote because they VOLUNTEER for the military. Prior to the 26th amendment they were still allowed to VOLUNTEER for the military. It was only after drafting people during Vietnam that the age to vote was lowered. I propose the question, Should we insult the brave men and women who volunteer to fight for our country by allowing those we dont to vote as well? Less than 1% of Americans server in the military, and less who are under 25, those are the only who would "have their civil liberties violated"
According to the University of Rochester Medical Center, the human brain doesn't fully develop. This means that 18-year-olds and not as mature and they're not very trustworthy while they're making decisions for their country. The maturity level has a dramatic increase when it comes to the age difference. Although they may be under the influence, they're still more likely to be more politically involved, and they don't need to listen to their friends.
Most 18 year olds will tell you that they should be able to vote because they are mature enough and ready to make their own decisions. But, if you ask those same 18 year olds about the economy or immigration or race relations or any other topic that is important in America, you'll quickly discover how little they actually understand. The Bernie Sanders campaign is a great example of this. Ask any of his supporters, most of who are around 18 years old, what a Democratic Socialist is and they have no clue. Ask what Bernie's policies are, and they have no clue..
Also, most adults over 30 years old can look back on their lives and will tell you that they had no clue about the world at 18. Myself and most other adults over 50 will tell you that in their late 20's they had came to a point where they realized how little they actually knew early in life. It is usually a point where most people realize how much their parents actually knew way back when..
If you are old enough to make the decision to volunteer for the armed services, you are old enough to vote for elected officials.
At age 18 you are also old enough to buy a house, take out loans, and make other major decisions. It makes no sense to raise the voting age by itself.
Besides it being a violation of a person's civil rights to deny them the right to vote based on there age after they are legally an adult. It wouldn't accomplish anything yes 18 year olds are brash and nieve when voting but they will be when they stay at 25 also. People don't tend to pay much attention to politics until they get close to being able to vote anyway.
When the U.S. began, you had to be an adult white male that owned property, to vote. Who's up for that, now? Heh - not too many would admit it, but there are some.
While the brain stops changing so fast, physically, during the 20s, there are plenty of life changes yet to come, and it often or generally makes a difference as we age. If we want a certain result from the electorate, we could pick and choose our perfect slice of the current voters, and decide who to exclude.
Things are not perfect, and I see the original poster's point.
Personally, I think there is a real issue of fairness, here. We send people to defend our country, sometimes to take bullets or even to die, people who are "still growing mentally in the judgement and reasoning part of their brain."
Pretty hard for me to see how we deny them alcohol, and really hard for me to see how we should deny them the vote.
I would not want the voting age to be up to 25 as it is treating younger adults as children like not letting them do what they want and be able to be more independent and responsible for themselves. Also it would take away all of their rights and privileges in what they deserve and should really have.
If you look anywhere on the internet, namely facebook pages, you'll find that there are just as many collectively stupid older people as there are young people. I don't think a little underdeveloped frontal cortex is going to make much of a difference as far as intelligence goes. Whether you like it or not, the average voter is relatively uninformed about the candidates outside the presidential position.
The reason minors aren't allowed to vote in the first place is because most likely they would just be counted as an extra vote for the parents. 18 is typically when a kid moves out and lives on their own. That's a good starting point for making independent choices and decisions. If we move it to age 25 because the brain isn't developed enough, we need to change the age of adulthood and everything it entails including taking out loans. Logistically, it would be a nightmare. Even if we could do that, it would make the age of independence still 25 and move the developmental milestone 7 years later than it needs to be. Basically, we'd just have a bunch of adult-children voting still. Brain development does not make us think rationally, experience does and you can't get experience without first experiencing life.
If young voters were so easy to nab, Republicans would be all over colleges. They're not, because they don't fit the voting criteria. Part of being a politician is figuring out how to include more voters into your demographic, if they can't figure out how to get college students, it's time to rethink their plans not knock out a sizable amount of the competition.
Of course twenty-five year-olds are more mature, but it does not mean that they are smarter. Some sixteen year-olds are more intelligent than some forty year-olds. Eighteen year old people are just as important and they live in this world too, therefore they should have a say in the world as adults.
People who are 18 usually head off to college, join the military, or even join the workforce already, by age 23 most of those who went off to college have graduated and are working now as well, meaning the majority of that age group is working full time jobs well before the age of 25... And also paying taxes. America was founded on no taxation without representation and that should hold true today. A large portion of that age group is helping the government pay its bills so it should have a say in who the government is.
When typing this opinion, I will admit that I am 18 years old. I am not on the "No Side" for this question because I am the age of what the topic is saying, I am on the "No Side" to show that most people misidentify an 18 year old with their own perception; we are all not irresponsible.
Many look at the younger generation of how irresponsible they are, they are factually not. In fact, most kids in other states, besides bigger states like California and Texas, are truly independent. At times, we make dumb decision; but other adults too; even those at much older ages. That is just a reputation influenced by numerous media; especially Fox News. So, why take away their rights because you do not "trust" these kids of voting?
Presented by the opposite opinions, they can use scientific facts; but that isn't "true" reality. Yes I admit that they are facts, but not what they are when put into action. Technically, by law, when a child turns 18; they can move out of their parents home by freedom of choice. That isn't science saying why they did that; that is self choice.
And if you deny that from an 18 year old, you are denying the trust factor; and making them less independent than before. Even though they might disagree on your own ideals, does not mean they are "bad". They have their own opinion, which makes them act and behave like a normal human.