Ever since the 1972 presidential election, when far-left South Dakota Sen. George McGovern got landslided back into the Stone Age, the Democrats have long pretended to be the party of moderation when it comes to the quadrennial contest for 1600 Pennsylvania.
Even when the nominee or the general temperament of the party was well to the left of center, the Democrats always pretended to be the party of the everyman. They’re not proposing anything extreme, they say. Main Street, not Wall Street. If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor. That sort of thing.
Well, in 2020, the pretense is gone, and the Democrats are partying like it’s 1972.
That idiot concept got new traction last year, when student activism in the wake of the Parkland shooting convinced everyone — and by everyone, what I mean is the media — that people who aren’t adults and are five years away from being able to legally take a drink are somehow responsible enough to vote. The reason Democrats think this bad idea should be pursued, of course, is that most of them will vote Democrat.
This idea has been kicking around for some time now and getting endorsements from minor Democrat functionaries. This past week, however, the concept got an endorsement from arguably the most powerful Democrat in America: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
“I, myself, personally — I’m not speaking for my caucus — I, myself, have always been for lowering the voting age to 16,” Pelosi said during her weekly news conference Thursday, according to Fox News.
“I think it’s really important to capture kids when they’re in high school, when they’re interested in all of this, when they’re learning about the government, to be able to vote.”
Yes, “capture.” I’m sure Speaker Pelosi didn’t mean it to sound so opportunistic or inadvertently truthful, but, well, there you go.
Also, I love the fact that she’s “always been for” minors voting when it just became an issue last year, and not even a serious one until the whole presidential rigamarole started at the beginning of this year.
So, now 16-year-olds voting is going to be a thing for the remainder of the process. However, as the perceptive Mike Huckabee reminded us in a tweet, another presidential candidate managed to provide the perfect counterpoint to Pelosi’s support of 16-year-old voting.
Beto’s excuse for writing sick stories about killing children: he was just a dumb 16-year-old who didn’t know any better. But hey, let’s lower the voting age to 16!
— Gov. Mike Huckabee (@GovMikeHuckabee) March 18, 2019
The former Arkansas governor was referring, of course, to Robert “Beto” O’Rourke. The former Texas congressman and Democratic presidential hopeful, in case you missed it, was revealed to be a teenage hacker in a recent story by Reuters.
And, not only was he a member of one of the most notorious hacker groups in the early days of the internet, he also wrote, um, interesting fiction that he posted on his personal bulletin board system.
“One day, as I was driving home from work, I noticed two children crossing the street. They were happy, happy to be free from their troubles…. This happiness was mine by right. I had earned it in my dreams,” Beto wrote in one particularly troubling short story.
“As I neared the young ones, I put all my weight on my right foot, keeping the accelerator pedal on the floor until I heard the crashing of the two children on the hood, and then the sharp cry of pain from one of the two. I was so fascinated for a moment, that when after I had stopped my vehicle, I just sat in a daze, sweet visions filling my head.”
The Reuters story also noted that Beto had stolen phone service to connect to bulletin boards, a potential felony if he racked up over $1,500 in charges.
“I’m mortified to read it now, incredibly embarrassed, but I have to take ownership of my words,” O’Rourke said Friday, according to the Chicago Tribune. “Whatever my intention was as a teenager doesn’t matter, I have to look long and hard at my actions, at the language I have used, and I have to constantly try to do better.”
“It’s not anything I’m proud of today, and I mean, that’s — that’s the long and short of it,” he added.
“All I can do is my best, which is what I’m trying to do. I can’t control anything I’ve done in the past. I can only control what I do going forward and what I plan to do is give this my best.”
Now, none of this really seems to have damaged Beto much — and, in fairness, it’s a bit difficult to definitively say that this should be held against him. Why? He was a minor.
However, the same logic cuts both ways. If you can’t necessarily be held fully responsible for your actions under the law, you also can’t be fully responsible for electing those who make the laws.
The Washington Examiner’s Logan Hall probably had the funniest take on this:
when i was 16, my friends and i bought a live lobster, put it on a leash, and walked it around the neighborhood at 2am https://t.co/8NBuLTCjYu
— Logan Hall (@loganclarkhall) March 15, 2019
Now, granted, that’s not writing fiction about killing children. There are also adults who probably do both of these things, but democracy can’t account for the addlepated.
It can account, however, for the immature — by demanding that Americans be adults to vote.
As Mike Huckabee pointed out, if we can excuse someone because of their age, we can also note that they shouldn’t be part of the governing process.
My guess is that kind of wisdom is going to get lost in the 1972 retro party that the Democrats seem to be having — but American voters who aren’t aligned with Nancy or Beto might find that logic a bit more appealing at the voting booth.
CORRECTION, March 19, 2019: As originally published, this article referred to George McGovern as a senator from North Dakota. He was, of course, from South Dakota.
We apologize for the error, which we corrected after it was pointed out by an astute reader.
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