I have become exceedingly frustrated with the growing length of one’s childhood in this country. In days of old an individual became a man or a woman at age eighteen and moved out of their parent’s house to make their way in the world. Admittedly this is very much a “Nuclear Family” ideal and very 20th Century, but indulge me for a moment if you will.
Today, the child turns eighteen and then goes off to college where they are not really considered adults, but sort of quasi-children who live out their carnal desires in a safe and regulated environment. They go to college in many cases to “experience life” rather than invest in an education that will create financial opportunity later on. As such, these quasi-children frolic for four years (five, six, seven or eight years in some cases for those “professional students”). After that, they oftentimes fail to find work and then move back in with mom and dad, where they continue on with the extended childhood. This pre-adulthood has been largely legitimized by the Obama administration extending health coverage to children as old as twenty-six years of age.
The problem for me as a libertarian/conservative is that young voters tend to vote for Democrats. The Democrats are fully aware of this of course, which is why back in the day they lowered the legal voting age from twenty-one to eighteen. Luckily for us, young people have an abysmal voter-turnout rate. I can only speculate as to why the young vote for liberal policies… I would venture to say that they haven’t worked for anything substantial yet and thus have “no skin in the game” and gain everything and lose nothing by supporting a heavier levy on the “rich.” They also live in a pseudo-socialist world where their parents and school administrators give them a comfortable existence in a world devoid of personal responsibility. A world of dorms, video games and helicopter moms.
There is another much-smaller demographic out there though. I group of young people who move out of their parent’s homes and immediately begin supporting themselves. People old enough to vote, not old enough to purchase alcohol and referred to as “kids” merely because of their age. Responsible they might be, but the world equates them with their pathetically pampered brethren. Members of my beloved military fall into this category.
It is my view that we need to set this dynamic on its ear. We should grant full adult status–voting, purchasing of alcohol, etc.–to only those that are legally emancipated. Those that provide for themselves, for perhaps a minimum of 75% of their own expenses let’s say.
Those that enjoy an extended childhood get none of the benefits of being an adult. No voting. No alcohol. No tobacco. No nothing.
This would of course drive the left into apoplectic fits, which suits me just fine. They are nothing more than intellectual and moral children anyway.
We need to take the political power away from those least qualified to wield it. We need to only grant it to those that truly are the grown-ups in this country. Those that cannot support themselves should not be part of the conversation in our constitutional republic. They quite simply lack the maturity to entrust with any sort of political influence or power.
To do otherwise invites the slippery slope of government taking over the role of “parent” for a nation full of children.