Lets lower the age for being president to 18!
I’ve swung back and forth on whether I should write this blog post or not. After talking with others I’ve decided why not. My reasoning being these are old man rants after all, and there has been a nearly uncontested general consensus going around that is really bugging me. Also I posted this on Twitter earlier, but in case anyone missed it I’m re-posting it here.
Smoke-j BSG: As I write this blog post, I think I need to say. Anything I or any other contributor says does not reflect the opinions of the blog as a whole, but rather the individual who posted. In other words, don't get mad at another contributor for what I say, have a discussion with me.
I know this post is going to piss off people, more than likely allot of people. If you are a teenager, I’m fully expecting you to get upset. This is not my intention however, as I am actually not saying anything bad about teens, rather my intent is to highlight how people are acting because of their politics. As will be normal for these rants, you can expect a few sections. First a ranty part, then a perspective after stepping back and detaching my emotions, followed by a conclusion.
Some points to clarify right up front
Age does not have a god damn thing to do with whether someone is wrong or right on a topic. You may think I am saying this as you read this post, and let me be the first to say you are wrong and it is not what I’m saying at all.
I was a Teenager earlier in my life. A big secret that everyone has seemingly managed to forget. Every current adult of every age was also a teenager, and every one of them can remember what it was like. I will go more into this later as this is completely mind boggling for me.
Most importantly, I am not writing this because of the current topic which started this whole rant. If you read this and think it is because of gun ownership and the issues surrounding it then you are simply using that as an excuse to ignore what I’m saying because of your political stance. I can separate the two, if you can’t then that is your issue not mine. There is a difference between using something as an example to illustrate something, and blindly backing a political ideal just because it aligns with your personal beliefs.
This isn’t so much a blind specific topic, but I’m still seeing much more of it on blind twitter than on my personal account, because of that I’m here writing about it.
What got this started, the old man rant section
Everyone is fully aware of the horrendous shooting at Parkland High school, and the discussion which has grown out of it involving guns, access to them, types of guns, and everything else. No one is questioning that the kids at the school went through a horrible experience, and everyone feels terrible for what happened. I have to say this because without a doubt some fucking dip shit will say I don’t care about the kids and the families who have suffered because of what this disgusting garbage human did. The resulting discussion is perfectly fine, reform is fine, but what is not fine is everyone drinking a giant glass of cool-aid and suddenly pretending that teenagers as a whole are the most mature and smartest age group in the world. I honestly can’t even believe that this has to be said, but guess what, teenagers aren’t. Can someone in high school have good ideas? Sure. Can someone in high school be politically or socially active? Sure. Does this mean teenagers are acting like adults and adults are acting like children? Shit no. How can I be so sure about this? I have never met someone who lives life wishing they were as smart and mature as they were in high school, and always regretting how stupid they have become as they get older and experience more of the world.
Everyone has forgot that everyone alive above the age of 19 was a teenager before as well. I guess all of them have also forgot how fucking stupid they all were in comparison to how they are now. The most well accepted known thing about a teen is how they always believe they are right, even when they are clearly wrong about something. I’m not even talking about some brainless hormonal zombie who can only think about getting their genitals in contact with another brainless hormonal zombie’s genitals. Even the most level headed teen is still a teen, and guess what, their brains aren’t fully developed for another 7 g-d years after they graduate from high school. Has every adult blocked out their late teenage years? I know I haven’t, and because of that this is completely fucking mind blowing to me how everyone can insist that teenagers are the brightest group of humans on planet Earth. Tell me, why didn’t they allow the kids to fix the Virginia teachers union strike? I mean, it effected them more than anyone else, shouldn’t the kids have been the ones being interviewed and picked to fix the problem? Of course not, who in their right mind would of done that. But wait a minute, it is okay if it is another topic, one that has a group of very vocal kids who align perfectly with another group’s views? The test for this is really quite simple. Ask yourself, if all these kids were standing up for the opposite stance, would everyone be jumping on board with them as much? Somehow I very highly doubt it, and if you think I’m wrong then I would be forced to believe you are simply lying to yourself.
I was a very active teenager when it came to politics. Just to put it into perspective, at the age of eleven my favorite TV show was the 6:30 evening news. My favorite class in my four years of high school was government and politics. I started volunteering for local campaigns in my junior year of high school. The most exciting thing wasn’t music or partying, but rather the presidential election. When I got to college I then spent way too much time volunteering on state and national election campaigns. I was active in a couple political student groups on campus, and most important. All through this time I thought I knew everything and had everything figured out. From age eleven up through when I was in my early twenties. Spoiler alert, I was a fucking idiot, and actually didn’t know anything even though I was overly active and eyeball deep in the political world.
This is why I get so frustrated when I keep seeing everyone talking about how smart and mature teens are and how stupid or immature adults are. This is just so preposterous I couldn’t even believe it at first, but now it is becoming a commonly accepted argument many are using. If anyone still feels the same way at 30 or 40 as they did at 18 then they are mentally stunted and are not developing and growing as a person, and they are not able to understand how people grow and change. This is the only way I can justify someone saying this, and it still doesn’t make them correct. Step back for a damn second and forget this whole damn gun debate, and if you still think teenagers are everything great and wise then you are simply wrong. There honestly isn’t anything else to say, it isn’t my opinion, it is just a fact of life and the world. I think it is now time to take a deep breath and talk about this in a more reasonable way.
Getting More In Depth, post coitus thoughts on the topic
I’ve been going off simply how I feel with my frustrations all tied up in this topic, but this isn’t just my opinion. The simple fact of the matter is that until the age of 25 a person’s brain isn’t fully developed. This has been commonly accepted science for decades, but somehow we have all either forgot or thrown aside this scientific fact. I should also say when I was a teenager I assumed this was true yes, but didn’t apply to me. Refer to above regarding how teens myself included believe they know everything. The human brain is not fully developed until well after high school. Yes this is the average number, for some it may be a little bit earlier, and for some it may be a little bit later. I’ll post links down at the bottom of this post to support this in case someone was unaware or thinks I’m making up facts. This is why we have certain customs and laws in our society. There are actually reasons why you can’t drink alcohol until the age of 21, and why car insurance drops after the age of 25. This is all related to the development of the human brain. In short the prefrontal cortex is not fully developed until 25, this is the rational decision making part of the brain. Before that teens use the amygdala more heavily for decision making, the part of the brain which handles emotions. This is why teens are much more likely to make decisions based on emotions and not based on logical reasonable thinking. You see this way more in young children, but also in teenagers though in a lesser extent. Everyone has known this for years and years, but simply because a large group of people agree with a political stance of a group of teenagers the argument is being made that teenagers as a whole are smarter or more mature than adults. This does not mean someone under 18 is incapable of having a reasonable idea or stance, but to pretend that they are smarter and more mature than a group of older people as a whole just because of their exposure is flawed in so many ways. It also does not make anyone impervious to critiques, or corrections, or it shouldn’t, even though we have seen that recently.
I keep circling back to testing this new idea on other topics. Would we want teenagers balancing the budget, writing immigration reform, deciding limitations on freedom of speech, extending the commerce clause into federal law, negotiating with world leaders, or sending troops into foreign countries? There are not enough ways for me to say no to all of the above. This also doesn’t mean teenagers should shut up and sit down, rather it means they shouldn’t be trotted out and treated as the most reasonable voice on any topic. Hell you can vote and be drafted at 18, and the human brain is clearly not fully developed at that age. Why is it this has only become a thing once the opinions align for one political party? I could care less what side it is on, the facts are simply that this is a faulty stance to hold, meaning to believe that they hold all the answers and adults should shut up and sit down. People have been treating them as semi-all-knowing deities, and this is a case of adults acting like they are the unreasonable ones.
so what can be done, conclusion
It all boils down to one simple thing. If someone makes a good point whether they are 15, 25, 35, or 95 agree with that idea, but extending their idea to everyone of that age group is unreasonable. It is also important to realize that experiencing a traumatic event does not make someone an expert on politics regarding that event. Don’t go and confuse this with saying a opinion or belief cannot be held, rather that it does not make one an expert. This is true not for the current situations, but all situations, just ask yourself if everyone was on a side you didn’t agree with if you would still stand up for them and say they were smarter and more mature.
If you agree with the ideas of someone then why does their age matter? Just say you agree with them, but putting them on a pedestal just because they are getting attention for their ideas is not the proper way to approach it. It is just absurd to me to assert teens are the same as adults, when science clearly says this is false. If someone claims global warming is false people say they are denying science, but the same does not apply to this situation even though it should.
I’m sorry if you are a high schooler and reading this, I’m honestly not trying to shit on you even though you may feel that way. I’ve actually tried really hard to pick how I phrase this post as to not give that impression. We were all teenagers, and some may remember those times better than others. Because I was so politically active at a young age I remember how set in my ways I was, how I felt like everyone who didn’t agree was just blind to the truth of it all. I couldn’t imagine ever changing because I was just so right about everything and I knew it on a deep deep level. It turns out I was a raging idiot and really didn’t know anything. A secret of campaigns, they love the young volunteers for that exact reason. They are super set in their ways,and full of energy when it comes to working towards those beliefs. This makes them perfect little energetic brainless followers of a candidate, and they love young people who they don’t have to pay and who will work their ass off. If you are upset with me then I can’t really apologize, cause I promise in 10 years if you remember reading this you’ll have a light bulb moment as every adult has had and realize you were borderline crazy in high school. You’ll hopefully never want to go back to being that way again after you have grown and developed as a person.
My final thought to leave everyone with is regarding those who are upset or strongly disagree with what I’ve said in this post. No one can or will try to stop you from being angry. If you wish to express your displeasure the best way would be through a discussion. That being said, if you wish to say terrible things about me in the comments go ahead, I’ll approve them all of course, but not for the reasons you might think.
Understanding the Teen Brain – Health Encyclopedia – University of Rochester Medical Center.
News Week: Neuroscience Is Changing the Debate Over What Role Age Should Play in the Courts.