The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Opinion It’s time to raise the voting age!

An ideally first-time voter displays a sticker. (Rogelio V. Solis/AP)

Where is the red wave I was promised? This cannot be! Something has gone wrong! These results — something is the matter with them. I would like to speak to an election manager, if one can be found.

After this disheartening news, I have been doing a great deal of soul-searching. Not my soul, which is, of course, perfect, but the souls of others. What, for instance, possessed Gen Z to put down their phones and Pokémon-Go-to-the-polls, and — worse yet — to vote for Democrats in substantial numbers when they arrived there?

There has been some mistake, clearly. And until we can get to the bottom of it, we have got to take prompt action to prevent this sort of thing from happening again. Change our platform so that anything in it is appealing to young people? Learn to take the campaign to online spaces? Make inroads on TikTok? No, God forbid.

That would suggest there is something wrong with our party, and there is nothing wrong with our party. When I look at our prominent acolytes and national figureheads I see nothing but total dominance! The party is great and everyone in it is savory and not oleaginous, from Ted Cruz to Mehmet Oz to Donald Trump and — of course! — all the Mikes! What could be unappealing to young people about all the Mikes?

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And our ideas?! Top-notch! Forcing people to give birth, banning library books and increasingly embracing fringe conspiracy theories — do these sound like the actions of a party that is off track? If you think that democracy is good and you like to see the results of the election before declaring a winner, I don’t know what to tell you! That’s a snowflake problem. Want student debt relief? No, you don’t. I am not moving an inch on any of these positions. You must come to me.

We already tried gerrymandering. And we will keep trying it! We already tried voter suppression of various kinds. That was good, but did not go far enough. It was not sufficiently well-targeted.

The answer is simple: We have got to raise the voting age. Twenty-one? That might not be enough, honestly. Millennials are not as conservative as they ought to be and some of them are pushing 40 now. We should consider whether we might not want it to be higher than that. Fifty feels reasonable. A good, round number.

I hear what you are saying. “You keep trying to tackle the problem from the perspective of discouraging voters! Why not, instead, modify any of your stances in a way that might encourage more people to vote for you?” I will tell you why not: because I do not want to.

Consider whom you want to trust with making decisions for the future. Shouldn’t you put your confidence in sober, levelheaded elders who, on their way out, are entirely unbiased and can look at the situation without considering their own self-interest?

Young people are the last people you want to make important choices about the future. They are not objective about it; they will be the ones living there.

The 2022 Midterm Elections

Divided government: Republicans narrowly won back control of the House, while Democrats will keep control of the Senate, creating a split Congress.

What the results mean for 2024: A Republican Party red wave seems to be a ripple after Republicans fell short in the Senate and narrowly won control in the House. Donald Trump announced his 2024 presidential campaign on Tuesday, experts helped us game out what would happen if he wins again.

Key issue: Abortion rights advocates scored major victories in the first nationwide election since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade. Here’s how abortion access fared on the ballot in nine states.

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