Voting as a Teaching Tool

The Boston City Council has approved a petition to allow 16- and 17-year-olds to vote in city elections. The city council’s next move is to submit its petition to the Massachusetts legislature for enactment. It’s the council’s rationalization for the move that’s instructive.

Progressive members of the City Council argued that lowering the voting age would help young people build a habit of voting and make them more likely to continue being politically engaged later in life.

And this:

When it comes to making a decision as to who’s going to represent them [16- and 17-year-olds], that has been denied to them.

This, especially, is egregiously misleading. Those children have parents representing them. Those parents vote. Those parents are the source of instruction.

Never mind, though. Voting isn’t important in choosing our political leaders. Nobody teaches American history in grade school anymore, apparently, or Civics in junior high, or Western Civilization at any age. No, voting has no importance beyond teaching children a measure of responsibility, because schools also seem to lack any other tools for teaching them ethics (Aristotle, anyone?) or morality (Aesop, or religion, maybe?).


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