TOM WARD – Vote at 16? Are we nuts?

TOM WARD – Vote at 16? Are we nuts?

Well, I’m only one week removed from my minor complaint about Daylight Savings Time coming a bit early, when lo and behold, I receive my weekly Kiplinger Letter and learn there is a move afoot to make the time shift permanent for all 12 months a year. Do we really want very dark mornings all winter long?

“Proponents,” writes Kiplinger, “say daylight time brings economic, health and safety benefits,” as well as more productivity, fewer evening car crashes, and less depression. In this area, sunrise will be after 8 a.m. for much of December and January, with darkness until 7:40 a.m. many mornings. PTOs, says Kiplinger, are opposed. No kidding. Some kids will be waiting for school buses in pitch blackness.

Kiplinger makes this sound like a done deal.

Vote at 16? Seriously?

Last week, mercifully, most of Congress said no to allowing 16-year-olds the right to vote. Our representatives, David Cicilline and Jim Langevin, voted to approve the idea, floated by new Rep. Ayanna Pressley, Democrat of Massachusetts. It was, in my opinion, just another effort by Democrats to overwhelm any shred of conservatism left in our society.

Everyone (especially Democrats) knows that most young people are hopeful and idealistic, but have very little in the way of experience and life skills that might make them better citizens. Of course, there are some exceptions, like the students of Natalie O’Brien’s freshman We the People course in North Smithfield, who learn civics on steroids. Personally, I’d let any of her students vote. At least they understand the process, and better than most adults, frankly. Many kids, however, may be clueless beyond social media rants, comic memes, and disinformation. Civics education is gone from most schools.

Lost in history is the source of this famous quote. Was it Disraeli? Churchill? I’m not sure, nor is Google, but I will share it anyway: “Anyone who was not a liberal at 20 years of age had no heart, while anyone who was still a liberal at 40 had no head.” The Democratic Party is merely trying to put its demographic thumb on the electoral scales, much as gerrymanderers of both parties do.

A few 16-year-olds across America chimed in on Twitter last week about their possible new “right.”

Wrote “brix,” “When I was 16, my mom went out of town and I had a party and I tried making chicken noodle soup with vodka. Sixteen-year-olds shouldn’t vote.”

Wrote “Crystal,” “My 16-year-old turns his underwear inside out to prevent doing laundry. He can’t remember to put the milk back in the fridge. He’s not voting for president.”

As usual, most Americans have this right. Thankfully, so did most in Congress ... this time.

Aunt Becky in orange

Last week’s scandal regarding rich parents buying their kids’ way into elite schools had plenty of people outraged, as they should be. For every spot taken by a spoiled brat, a good kid was kicked to the curb.

I admit, my first thought was “When did USC (the University of Southern California) become an elite school?” My second thought was “Why does this surprise anybody?” Rich helicopter parents buying their coddled kids’ way into elite schools with bribes? This is shocking? Not to me.

Private colleges have the biggest con game going in America today, and ego-driven parents are more desperate than ever to look good within their circle of friends. The dirty little secret? Many schools aren’t worth the money. Why has Providence College gone from $43,000 to $67,578 in only 12 years?

As Jack Hough wrote in a Barron’s column Saturday, “The sticker price for the average private four-year college is now over $50,000 per year, including room and board. Do you know what else $200,000 can buy a 22-year-old? A $3 million retirement, if the money is invested at about a 6 percent per year return until age 68.”

It was only a few years ago that college debt crossed the $1 trillion mark. Today, it’s at $1.5 trillion, and it’s drowning a generation of young adults.

We’ve got college all wrong. The con game will collapse when parents smarten up. I’ll be leading the cheer squad when they do.

Ward is publisher of The Valley Breeze


So when Obamacare came about we were told we have to cover our "children" until they are 26 years old. Robert (Beto) O'Rourke recently admitted to writing some dopey stuff when he was 15-16 years old and we all should give him a pass for that, for he was a dopey kid doing foolish stuff much like most of us at that age. We don't want people under 21 to buy beer or cigarettes, yet they are somehow mature enough to vote? Langevin and Cicilline should be ashamed of themselves, but they won't be, for they'll vote for any ridiculous "progressive" idea that rears its ugly head.

Age 18 is appropriate for voting. It’s the age that you are no longer considered a minor and all rights kick in. That said, using anecdotes to prove such a point is terrible. As I’m typing this, I’m sitting at a bar having lunch in between appointments and a 50-something is drinking plenty of beers and donating to Keno at 3pm. Shall we discuss?

Re: daylight savings time----although adults would find it convenient for them to permanently keep it as such, as noted in the Editorial, it doesn't make any sense to do so because of the kids' situation of having to 'wait for school buses in pitch blackness'. It doesn't make any sense, especially regarding the SAFETY of the children?

Thank God that most of Congress said NO to allowing 16-year-olds the right to vote! At one time, my belief was that people should only vote at the age of 21, but then, thought about the draft-age requirement which is 18 years old. If one must register for the military at age 18, he/she should be able to also vote.

Re: 16-year-olds----Anyone in their right mind and who have children REALIZE that 16-year-olds are certainly NOT PREPARED to vote, nor do they really CARE to do so at that age. Submitting this “idea” to Congress for a vote just shows how DESPERATE the RADICAL LEFT is yearning for VOTES!

Another question is “Where has our OLD SCHOOL SYSTEM gone to---where students learned how to READ, WRITE and DO MATH?” First of all, CHILDREN do NOT belong in the “political arena”, especially at 16 years old. Yes, they can get involved in various Civic projects and study about them, but NOT be used as PAWNS to support a PARTICULAR political party. What has happened to DEBATES in schools where kids could learn about each other's views in a CIVIL manner? However, maybe that's not such a good idea anymore because, as we know, ADULTS are supposed to be “role models”, but most of THEIR debates [especially politicians] have now become a 'show of grandiosity and power'!

Many children/teens have literally “walked out of school” to RALLY for a certain CAUSE! Students BELONG in school.......NOT at a rally! “What has happened to RULES and REGULATIONS?” It's no wonder that many kids are CONFUSED in's, very often, because they have NO GUIDANCE, plus today's society has given them a feeling of ENTITLEMENT! So, can we blame them for wanting and 'taking' all the FREEDOMS they can get under these circumstances?

Let's face it.....on the other hand, kids are growing much faster these days than yesteryear; this is due to our SOCIAL MEDIA. Although social media is very good in many respects, it has, somewhat, become a DETRIMENT in that it's removed certain aspects of life, such as PERSONAL COMMUNICATION, i.e., FACE-TO-FACE COMMUNICATION! It's easy to HIDE behind a phone vs. openly addressing certain difficulties, e.g., physical and/or mental issue, etc....

On a positive note, there are still many children who have been fortunate enough to have the proper guidance in their lives and who make adults feel very proud of them. Some other children/teens have also been fortunate enough “to turn their lives around” by having been guided in a more positive direction.

In closing...... “Honest difference of views and honest debate are not disunity. They are the vital process of policy among free men.” - Herbert Hoover AMEN!

Ok, since Tom wants to use anecdotes to make laws, here's some:

16-year-old girl preparing to enter law school

High School Junior Helps Homeless

Do we really need anecdotes to show how dump people can be after they're 18? There's not enough room here to show that.

You hit the nail on the head; the idea of having children vote at age 16 was put forth by the democrats in order to shore up their base. Since teachers and professors vote in lockstep with democrats and since they have control over our children for 7 plus hours a day, it's a brilliant move on the their part. If this were to pass (no chance now, thank God) they could influence the kids all day and then lead them to the polls to vote for their buddies. We know how impressionable teenagers do and so do the democrats in congress.

You have a good point about teachers and professors voting in lockstep with democrats, etc..... We just have to look at our colleges in how they are trying to promote the POLITICALLY CORRECT language and also trying to RESTRICT Conservative views.

It wouldn't have made sense to give 16-year-old kids the RIGHT to vote yesteryear any more than it does now-----plus, the kids were taught History & Civics then. Those who have kids realize and understand that age 16 is not MATURE enough to be given that responsibility. It's sad to say, but even some adults shouldn't be given THAT responsibility!!!

Well, we know that the Democrats are very DESPERATE, due to the Hillary LOSS and now, that Pres. Trump has been VINDICATED. It's very easy to understand how they would/can be soooo DEPRESSED! It's also very SAD that they have CHOSEN to DESTROY AMERICA instead of trying to MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN! AMEN!