Last week Jews around the world celebrated the holiday of Purim. Starting two weeks before the holiday, we revel in a party-like atmosphere. Jewish elementary schools hold silly hat and pajama days, and you can find an abundance of singing, antics and humorous spoofs in high schools. So, forgive me for thinking that someone was pulling my leg when they mentioned that Nancy Pelosi advocated lowering the voting age to sixteen.
But Purim has passed and those same news reports persist. It is hard to hear this being discussed as a serious civic suggestion rather than what it really is—a desperate grab for power. I mean no disrespect to the teenagers in my life, some of whom happen to be better-informed and more stable than many of their elders. Still, perhaps this raises the question of whether it is time to see beyond the abuses of the past and restrict voting to those who can pass a basics civics and history exam. While this is probably politically untenable, unlike lowering the voting age it might actually result in a government more capable of maintaining the republic our Founders envisioned.