We have all heard the specious argument that if an 18 year old is old enough to join the Military, they are old enough to purchase and consume alcohol and vote. That is comparing apples and oranges. Let me preach on it:
We know with scientific certainty that the human brain matures fully in the middle of its 3rd decade or at about 26 years of age. But so much of our political society ignores science when they are not creating junk science. So, for the benefit of our youth, it makes sense that immature sapiens be guided by their elders until they have the full use of their cerebral potential. Makes sense.
“But, Sarge, what about that Military thing???” Glad you asked… Any of you that have served know that from the first day being sworn in until the last day of mustering out, the Military member is subject to a hierarchy of direct, and indirect supervision, orders and a set of very concise rules of behavior called the “Universal Code of Military Justice”. Every job has a clear and concise description and innumerable Standard Operating Procedures. Even an 18 year old soldier going into battle is under the direct control and orders of a higher ranking, more senior Non-Commissioned Officer. That same 18 year old, slurping down Bourbon or beer or going into a voting booth does so alone, without adult supervision. The implications of the first are obvious; the second are more subtle but just as significant. Any argument to the contrary is strictly, either A) Emotional; or B) Politically expedient.
I would propose that the Age of Majority at which one could make legal contracts, including joining the Military, Marrying and purchasing intoxicants, be raised to 26 and that parental or a designated mature surrogate be required to co-sign any such agreement or purchase from the ages of 18 through 25. At 26 we might assume that the newly designated adult might have a better grasp of the world around it, better risk assessment and long term planning skills as these are the last to develop as the Homo Sapiens brain develops.
The lowering of the voting franchise age to 18 was politically motivated. Much of our society and culture and all of our politics is is predicated on garnering or bolstering power into smaller and smaller pockets of governors. Originally, voting was restricted to land owners and women need not apply. There are signs, some quite disturbing, that women are finally being valued for their intellectual contribution and not just their uteri. This is only an affirmation of the science; but should we not listen to the science and apply the same to our voting franchise???
In point of fact, I believe that we should restrict the franchise to those adults who are not receiving fiduciary assistance from the government. This would not include Social Security Payments, which are our own moneys anyway, or Military Pensions and Disability Benefits. We, already, disenfranchise convicts and felons as well as certified mental defectives.
We deserve a government represented by competent adults, chosen by competent adults. Like Thanksgiving Dinner, having children at the adult table tends to inhibit the conversation…
Perfect? No, of course not, but better than what we have now. Feasible??? You tell me…