Shawnee Mission West's online student newspaper

Shawnee Mission West's online student newspaper

Shawnee Mission West's online student newspaper

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Two Old Men: 2024 Election


It’s no secret that this election year will be an eventful and stressful time for everyone in America. Four years ago, Biden and Trump went against each other for president, and it looks like we’re ending up in the same spot this year— two old men. 

Here in America, we have the right to vote when we turn 18. It’s a right that wasn’t just given to most people. Women, immigrants, and people of color in general didn’t have the right to vote until they fought for it. It’s an extremely important right, but there is another age requirement that affects the way 18-year-olds will vote. This is the presidential age minimum, which is 35 years. The second a citizen turns 18, they are reminded of the simple fact that, yes they can vote, but only for people they can never relate to.

The problems that affect most of the population are being ignored because the only people allowed to run for president are the age minority. They’re the same people that were in their twenties in the sixties. Not only were they alive for the civil rights movement, but they can remember it clearly. They were alive for Roe v. Wade and its overturning. They were alive for the moon landing and were in their mid-twenties. If that doesn’t make them seem outdated at the very least, the political side of it can get dicey. These presidential candidates want to face issues that aren’t relevant to this century because they didn’t grow up in this century. We are 24 years into the 21st century, and we employ men still stuck in the 20th century to lead our country. 

So, obviously, there’s an issue. What’s the solution? We should lower the minimum age for presidential candidates. France has an age requirement of 18 years old. The first argument against lowering the age is: “What if an 18-year-old becomes president? Wouldn’t that lead to chaos? They’re barely adults.” 

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However, there’s no room for that nonsense. An 18-year-old won’t win an election in America. There are far too many people in this country and hardly anyone would vote for a teenager to run one of the most developed countries in the world. Since we’re playing the “what if game”, though, what if an 18-year-old was president? We definitely wouldn’t see gender discrimination. We wouldn’t face transphobia and homophobia. And hey, those issues that have been relevant for the last 18 years? That president would actually face them. 

Again, there is no way an 18-year-old would become president. However, that doesn’t mean a 30-year-old couldn’t. Or even someone with 25 years of time on Earth. These people have enough experience and development to take on a mature job while also moving the country forward instead of backward. They wouldn’t be trying to make America great again, but they would be trying to make America better for the people who have to take care of it after they grow old. 

Imagine if you turn 18 this year and can vote for someone you genuinely agree with. The purpose of lowering the age isn’t to get a teenager in office; it’s to open up a wide range of candidates. 

If the lowest age allowed was 18 years old, then a 35-year-old wouldn’t seem so controversial and inexperienced, would they? Maybe even a woman could run with a chance of winning.

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