Out of the Darkness

Responding to Reena’s prompt # 100 based on above:
https://reinventionsreena.wordpress.com/2019/10/24/reenas-exploration-challenge-110/

It is in the darkest hour that reason dawns, that hour of self doubt and confusion before enlightenment. Intuitively we stumble towards the truth, but become conflicted with the world’s unreasoning hysterical chatter. So we wrestle with our insecurities and try to separate the wheat from the chaff.

The unexamined life is not worth living.

Socrates

I have been wrestling with the merits of the youth movement that seems to be taking the developed world by storm in the last few months. Left leaning political parties are advocating for the voting age to be lowered to sixteen. Students are protesting in the U.S. on gun control due to the horrific shooting at U.S. schools. Students are striking from educational studies to protest lack of climate change action. Five students are suing the Canadian government for the lack of a sufficient climate change agenda….. and then we have Greta Thunberg, the sixteen year old Swedish messiah for climate change.

Do 16 year olds have the mental and emotional maturity to vote. In some countries, voting under the age of 18 isn’t controversial. Argentina, Austria, Brazil, Cuba, Ecuador, Nicaragua and Scotland all allow voting at 16. In the U.S. three cities in Maryland, Hyattville, Greenbelt and Takoma Park as well as Berkeley,California allow 16 and 17 year-olds to vote in local elections.

I have read numerous articles and listened to various politicians expound on this topic. A year ago I would have stated that 16 year olds are too immature to vote. Today my mind is in that black hole of self doubt. Does the internet, access to information and general advances in technology enable students to think more deeply and understand issues more intelligently than ten years ago? Are students smarter today? If we treat 16 year olds as mature adults do they respond in kind? The jury is out.

Are students manipulated by an adult agenda and dancing to scheming adult puppet masters? The five students suing the Canadian government are being funded by the Suzuki Foundation, a well known climate action organization. Greta Thunberg states that she is travelling the world on her own initiative with the support of her parents but questions are still being asked regarding funding for these costs. In both cases it seems the easy target is government rather than individual responsibility. It is a big public relations win for climate change organizations to have photogenic, articulate students to push their agenda. Organizations can come under heavy criticism, students not so much. Main Street Media love a face to front an issue, it plays so much better with the public.

This is my preferred approach to politics. To not hold on to past prejudices but to try and reason on a case by case basis. To research the internet for all answers both pros and cons……and there is a lot of confusing and biased information out there. In the end to weigh all the information and make the most informed decision I can. I am forever trying to escape my comfort zone and find new insights on issues.

In the year 1212, two youths, Nicholas of Germany and Stephen of Cloyes answered the popes call for a crusade to the Holy Lands. Through their oratory and out reach they persuaded 30,000 children to march to the Holy Lands. Their are varying versions of what actually transpired en route but the outcome was that two thirds of the children perished, a large number were sold into slavery and the remainder became disillusioned.

Emotion should not be the great decider when we undertake a political journey. Alas in many cases it is.

19 thoughts on “Out of the Darkness

    1. The % of activists like Greta Thunberg and Malala are extremely low but are media darlings and given a disproportionate amount of coverage because it plays so well with the media. I ‘m certain that the push to open voting age to 16 has more to do with politics than concern for the voting rights of a younger generation. I agree that the reasoning is to manipulate this voting demographic…….however….. do developed society shelter shelter their children too much.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. The thought arose, as India has about 70% population in the 17-35 age group, where the 16-18 band can generate considerable votes. It is easy to manipulate them as history books are being rewritten for school.

        There is a certain oversheltered segment here. There were interview clips on TV with youngsters who did not know the names of past and present leaders. They’ve grown up with cartoon films and unreal movies and learnt some ‘cool’ slang. It ends there.

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  1. thorough investigation and then pondering is vital to keep our hearts/minds open!

    Teens are very idealistic therefore also open to manipulation … I was shocked about those 30,000 who marched to the Holy Lands 😦

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I think rightly said, things need to be monitored and evaluated on a case by case basis. There are some extremely mature and intelligent 16 year olds and then there are some very dumb 66 too.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I live in such a self imposed little cloister all of these world events are news to me accept your Greta, and she was pretty unavoidable. I firmly believe every (wo)man should clean up his/her own yard, thus relieving us of the need to vote people in to see that it’s done properly.. I know that is an idealists approach, but it is the political posture I have maintained since i was sixteen, possibly even younger than that.
    A very well thought out piece Len, Just not in an arena in which I can comment intelligently.

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  4. I’m a very different person now than I was at 16. I shudder at the thought of what the impact my vote would have had if multiplied by millions. Looking back, I didn’t even get a real grasp of things until I was in my mid to late 20s. Would we have more thoughtful voters if the age was raised instead? 18 may be the best compromise and has been the standard for a long time. We have all been manipulated and influenced by conflicting information and outright deception for too long. We need to stop squabbling over the issues they want us to pay attention to, and start paying attention to the people behind the curtain! BTW, I still don’t know what the heck is going on and am mistrustful of the information that’s disseminated, it’s all contradictory.

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    1. We have just been through an unsavory two months with general elections in Canada. The Liberals won a minority government while the Conservatives garnered the popular vote. School students also cast a ballot in a national educational program. The results of this poll from over a million students aged 9-17 resulted in the Liberals winning a minority government and the Conservatives won the popular vote thus mirroring to some extent the actual election results. see. http://studentvote.ca

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  5. This is the best discussion- I love reading comments section – I cannot come to a conclusion – there are some very bright and aware 16 year olds and as was said up there – some very dumb and narrow minded “adults” my sons couldn’t wait to vote – they were enrolled as soon as they could – and it is their future but our present – interesting thoughts for the day

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    1. Thanks for your insights. The reduced age issue is an ongoing discussion with political parties……and I agree I also like a vibrant comment section on blogs that I read. Though it depends on the material. Political blogs are a trigger for most readers as we all have diverse views and are willing to share.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I rather like it when someone has an opposing view to me as long as they are interested in discussion and not just ramming their point home – sometimes I change my mind and I like it when that happens – which is the purpose of debate – sadly some people are losing the art of civilised debate.

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