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Letter: Children not responsible for themselves shouldn't have right to vote
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Voters wait in line to vote Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018, at the Friendship I precinct at Prince of Peace Catholic Church in South Hall County. - photo by Scott Rogers

Lowering Voting Age is a Bad Idea

I strongly agree with Patrick Maloney’s column that the voting age should be no lower than 18 years old. The arguments to do otherwise are political in nature and are the wrong reason to make these kinds of critical changes to our democracy.

Children who are not yet responsible for themselves as they start their journeys into adulthood are not qualified. (We could also say this about today’s 18-year-olds.)

This is especially true with the way our so-called political leaders have decimated the requirements to teach the history of the United States and to teach “civics” so that young people learn to respect the history and the sacrifice millions of citizens gave to make and keep our democracy strong.

A few months ago an NBC correspondent asked a group of college students questions like “Can you name the three branches of government?” A few made an attempt but most simply didn’t know the answer to such a basic question.

Seeing the statistics quoted in Mr. Maloney’s editorial should make us all mad as hell and cause us to call the Department of Education, U.S. and state legislators to account.

This is a situation that requires one-size-fits-all for all high schools in every state in the union. Our ignorant students are being short-changed from being taught how to be an American. Instead of all the distractions and excuses by our elected leaders, each and every one of them is complicit.

I’d like to think this education would do more than tell the story of the USA. I would argue it can also help improve the public dialogue and begin to restore a more civil tone in this country.

Once people on both sides of the aisle take a look in the mirror and realize their loose reins on government education is at the root of disrespectful citizens, maybe it will occur to them that requiring the same education for all during high school needs to be restored. Do it now!

All they need to do is decide it’s a priority and commit to get it done. Waiting only extends the ignorance another year, which should be unacceptable.

Larry Fast

Gainesville

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