Appearing in a video published online on Thursday, Jonah Goldberg, editor-at-large for the neoconservative National Review Online website, explains that he believes letting 18-year-old Americans vote is a big mistake that should be taken back.
Advocating that conservatives should “literally” beat young people into political submission, Goldberg said that young voters are “so frickin’ stupid about so many things,” which is why, in his view, the system must change.
“It is a simple fact of science that nothing correlates more with ignorance and stupidity more than youth,” Goldberg said. “We’re all born idiots, and we only get over that condition as we get less young. And yet there’s this thing in this culture where, ‘Oh, young people are for it so it must be special.’ No, the reason young people are for it because they don’t know better. That’s why we call them young people.”
Goldberg’s advocacy of taking the vote away from a large segment of the population is somewhat ironic. Author of the book “Liberal Fascism,” Goldberg has made a name for himself by drawing parallels between America’s liberals and progressives and Germany’s Nazi Party.
The Nazis, however, relied on denying the right to vote in order to elevate Hitler to the level of dictator, using their brown shirt thugs to block German politicians from entering the Kroll Opera House in Berlin in 1933, after the Reichstag had burned down. Because they succeeded in preventing Nazi opponents from entering the opera house, only National Socialist Party leaders were present to vote on Adolf Hitler’s Enabling Law. They voted in favor, giving him dictatorial powers, and soon the country was totally under Hitler’s authority.
Goldberg has also recently said that he does not believe Mitt Romney, his favored candidate in the 2012 U.S. presidential election, is enough of a “hip cat” to win the youth vote. He told Fox News anchor Jon Scott last month that instead of appealing to youth voters, Romney should simply rely on their lack of enthusiasm for President Barack Obama and focus on appealing to other demographics.
Young voters were seen as key to President Obama’s victory over Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) in 2008, where they supported the Democrat by a margin of 68 percent to 30 percent. Obama has again made it his goal to court younger voters, stopping at university campuses around the country to promote his student loan reforms, among other policies.
The U.S. voting age was set at 18 in 1971, codified by the 26th Amendment to the Constitution. The amendment was ratified by the states partially in response to youth protest movements driven by young Vietnam War veterans who objected to being sent to fight and die for their country while having no say in its governance.
Stephen C. Webster is the senior editor of Raw Story, and is based out of Austin, Texas. He previously worked as the associate editor of The Lone Star Iconoclast in Crawford, Texas, where he covered state politics and the peace movement’s resurgence at the start of the Iraq war. Webster has also contributed to publications such as True/Slant, Austin Monthly, The Dallas Business Journal, The Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Weekly, The News Connection and others. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenCWebster.
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