Ramaswampy Is Running For Vice President
Young voters— not to mention sane voters— have a plethora of reasons to vote against every single Republican candidate running for every single office, even as the Democrats offer mostly crap alternatives. But Vivek Ramaswarmy just offered another one— not as big as the anti-Choice one, but big, very big. He wants to end suffrage for Americans under 25. No doubt conservatives— depending on their ages— should like to end suffrage for anyone under… you pick it— 45? 55? 65? Even when the founders launched the whole shitshow, the age of franchise was 21— albeit just for white, propertied males. Ramaswarmy turns 38 in August.
21 was the age that had come over from English common law. Some of the writers of the Constitution argued for 25— elitists like Alexander Hamilton, who fervently believed that the government should be run by a select group of educated and wealthy individuals rather than the general population, Gouverneur Morris, who was concerned that young people might be swayed by emotion rather than reason when it came to politics, and even James Madison, who believed that younger people might not have enough life experience or maturity to make informed decisions about politics. Other delegates argued for a lower voting age, such as 18 or even 16, based on the idea that people who were old enough to work and pay taxes should have a say in how their government was run. George Mason, a delegate from Virginia, argued that “all men having sufficient evidence of permanent common interest with, and attachment to, the community” should be allowed to vote and Elbridge Gerry, a delegate from Massachusetts, argued that “the right of suffrage [should be] regulated by some fixed standard,” rather than by age alone, which suggests that he may have been open to the idea of allowing younger people to vote if they met certain qualifications.
In Rights of Man (1791), Thomas Paine argued that the right to vote should be extended to all adult males, regardless of their wealth or social status and he specifically advocated for lowering the voting age to 21, which was a controversial idea among conservatives. He argued that young men were just as capable of making informed decisions about politics as older men and that denying them the right to vote was a form of age discrimination. Progressive politicians began arguing for expansion of the franchise.
When the Ramaswarmys were still living in Vadakkencherry, part of “the granary of Kerala,” in southwest Indian, West Virginia Senator Harley Kilgore (D) was advocating— with support from Eleanor Roosevelt— for lowering the voting age to 18. That was in 1941 and conservatives wanted nothing to do with it. Democratic Party-controlled states Georgia (1943) and Kentucky (1955) passed bills to lower the voting age to 18 (followed by Alaska and Hawaii) and in his 1954 State of The union, Dwight Eisenhower became the first president to publicly call for lowering the voting age. The idea grew during the Korean War and took off during the Vietnam War. My congressman at theme, Manny Cellar, chair of the House Judiciary Committee and a powerful conservative establishment Democrat, adamantly opposed lowering the voting age and blocked it until LBJ and Ted Kennedy became advocates. Even Nixon came around before Cellar, who was still insisting that youth lacked the good judgment essential to good citizenship and that the qualities that made youth good soldiers did not also make them good voters. Progressives argued that characteristics traditionally associated with youth— idealism, lack of vested interests, and openness to new ideas— was just what America needed. Needless to say, conservatives of both parties flipped out and dug in their heels. In 1968, when schools were erupting with anti-war and anti-establishment sentiments, progressive Democrats started pushing hard for a constitutional amendment and the Senate finally passed a proposal, 94-0, in 1971. A week later, the House acquiesced, 401-19, with die-hard neo-fascists like John Ashbrook (R-OH), John Pillion (R-NY), racist dog Jack Edwards (R-AL), John Schmitz (R-CA), George Hansen (R-ID), John Hammerschmidt (R-AR), Gene Snyder (R-KY), William Steiger (R-WI), Donald Rumsfeld (R-IL), William Dannemeyer (R-CA) and Dan Kuykendall (R-TN) voting against it and leading the opposition. An investment predator, Ramaswarmy’s other anti-America positions include abolishing the Department of Education, the FBI and the IRS. He has a net worth north of half a billion dollars though all of his venture failed for everyone but himself.
Politico reported this morning that Ramaswarmy “in Iowa this week, he’ll call for increasing the automatic voting age to 25, unless a citizen 18 or older is enrolled in the military, works as a first-responder or passes the same civics test given to immigrants seeking American citizenship. Such a change could only be implemented by passing a constitutional amendment… [W]hile Ramaswamy has privately discussed the idea with his team since he announced his presidential bid in February, he had been convinced to hold off, his aides believing the idea would not be received well. ‘Most of the team has not been for this,’ a campaign adviser who was granted anonymity to discuss internal conversations said. But after floating at a few recent campaign stops, particularly colleges, the idea of requiring service or civic knowledge for young adults to vote— a version of which Ramaswamy had explored in his two books— he got his best crowd response to date on Sunday, at an event largely attended by Asian Americans in Novi, Mich. Members of the audience, which included a number of immigrants, came up to Ramaswamy afterward to praise the suggestion, which appeared to ‘seal the deal’ for Ramaswamy, according to the campaign adviser. In an interview, Ramaswamy acknowledged that there had been ‘vehement objections’ from his team. But, he added, ‘we’re doing it.’”
Republicans keep giving Americans reasons to hate them. Americans should pay closer attention.