Voting Issues for Kids

Reading articles at Kids Speak for America it became apparent to me that Kids Speak for America believe that our nations youth should become involved in politics at an early age. As a young parent I would agree that kids should be involved in politics.

As I look around it seems to me that too many people consider politics to be for adults only, an archaic way to think. Politics has a profound affect on young people before and after they become old enough to vote. Young people need to understand the issues and become involved in them.

During the last presidential election the Obama campaign did a amazing job at getting young people to vote. While I was taken in by his promise of change I found the only change to be for the worse and have been disappointed with my vote ever since. Many other young people have also found themselves disillusioned. While we may be disappointed in the performance of President Obama we should give credit to his campaign for getting young people to vote.

Today when I look at politics I find myself a bit more educated and as I look around I see many issues that should be of concern to teens and young adults. As teens and young adults we are the ones that are going to be paying future bills for today’s new spending programs. Spending though is not the only issue that has an affect on our life and many young people may be able to better relate to some of these other issues.

Should the Age of Consent Be Lowered?
A lot of young people have sex in their teen years. While I am glad that I waited until marriage to have sex many of my friends did not. While I believe you should wait until you are older and in a committed relationship before you have sex, my view is not the issue. The issue is, should the age of consent be lowered?

The age of consent generally refers to the age that a young person is considered legally competent to consent to sexual acts. In the United States the age of consent ranges from 16 to 18 with 30 states setting the age at 16, 8 states at age 17, and 12 states at age 18. There is even greater variety throughout the rest of the world.

Age of consent is an important legal issue as there are serious consequences for the violation of the age of consent, including punishment for child sexual abuse, statutory rape, illegal carnal knowledge, and corruption of a minor.

If an 18 year old has consensual sex with a 17 year old in a state where the age of consent
is 17, the 18 year old can be in serious trouble. The 18 year old may be criminally charged, jailed and even have to register as a sex offender. You may be such an 18 year old or may even be waiting until you are older to have sex. Either way, Age of Consent is an issue that you should care about.

Legal Drinking Age
In the United States the minimum legal age for purchasing and or drinking alcoholic beverages in public places is 21. This legal age is higher than many countries that have drinking ages ranging from 18 to 20. The reasons for having a legal minimum age include promoting safety, preventing abuse, and preventing children from having access to alcoholic beverages. Most states in the United States do allow the consumption of alcoholic beverages in the privacy of their homes under the supervision of their parents.
Are you for or against the lowering of the drinking age? Drinking age is certainly an issue that young people can become involved in.

Voting Age
In the United States the legal minimum voting age is 18. Until the middle of the 20th century the minimum voting age throughout the world was usually 21 years of age. The political issue surrounding the minimum voting age is that until a certain minimum age a young person lacks the necessary knowledge and judgment to independently cast a vote. Do you believe that the legal voting age should be even lower? If you do or don’t this is another issue you could become involved in.

Corporal Punishment
Do your parents or school still spank? If they do you may have threatened them by telling them you were going to turn them into child protective services. They have probably told you to go ahead for spanking is legal. In fact, the use of corporal punishment in the home is legal in all 50 states and 20 states still allow schools to use corporal punishment. There is a difference between a spanking and a beating and states do recognize that.

Proponents of corporal punishment claim that it has the benefit of being quick to administer, effective in deterring inappropriate behavior, and inexpensive. If you are on the receiving end of a spanking I am sure you would disagree! Critics claim that there are better disciplinary alternatives and that spanking lowers the self esteem of the child being punished and that it teaches young people to use physical violence. Obviously corporal punishment should be an issue that young people have an interest in either for or against.

In this article I have offered these political issues for your thought. These may or may not be issues that you have an interest in. These issues do suggest though that each and everyone of us regardless of our age is affected by how politicians and those of voting age. As teens and young adults we need to make our concerns and desires known.

Seth at Kids Speak for America likes to give OoRah and I want to give one back.

OoRah Kids Speak for America

~Denise~

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