I Dug Up an Old Debate Essay for This One

I Dug Up an Old Debate Essay for This One

A few years ago for my debate class, I had to write a paper backing my stance on a current matter and then I had to counter it by backing the opposing stance. I had fun duking this one out with one of my peers in front of an audience. I just happened to come across this while searching for something else on my computer, so I figured I would let it back in the ring for another round.

My stance:

According to Smithsonian.com, the children of today, while often scoring higher on IQ tests than their predecessors, are actually not as intelligent and do not have the same depth of knowledge as the youth did even just 30 years ago.

Megan Gambino talks about how today’s youth doesn’t have the same dream of being older and wiser as it did several decades ago. Where teenagers once dreamed of being old enough to access money, sex, privacy and cars, they now have all of these things at their fingertips early on and no longer long for or work to earn the possessions they used to.

Because of the immediacy and availability of everything to today’s youth, they gain false experience earlier on than kids used to gain real experience, and certainly before they’ve matured even remotely enough to learn, grow, and utilize resources in mature and intelligent ways.

They’ve become confident in what they think they know even with little to no experience out in the real world, and we seem to mistake all of this false experience for genuine intelligence and maturity. Of course, a child who has a screen in front of his or her face all day long will display some pretty impressive qualities, but when it comes down to it – worldly, sophisticated decision-making skills lack greatly.

Somewhere along the line, we have put trust and respect in our 18-year-old children to take part in adult activities such as voting and joining the military, and now possibly being able to consume alcohol, based on the fictitious intelligence they seem to reflect that once upon a time needed to be earned.

21-years-old is the perfect age for kids to begin making these important adult decisions. Giving them a handful of years after high school to get their feet wet and gain some experience is the smartest decision we could do for our country in this situation.

Kids who are scoring higher than their elders did on IQ exams are not being tested on relevant or important issues, so naturally, they receive higher scores. Having a high IQ doesn’t mean modern intelligence.

With that being said, there is talk of lowering the drinking age from 21 to 18, keeping the age to vote and join the military at 18 as well. The average person doesn’t even reach their full brain maturity before 25 years of age and sometimes several years older than that.

How could anyone possibly think that letting 18-year-old children who have only been driving for two years, haven’t owned or rented a house, paid taxes, raised children, supported themselves or a family,  or maintained a career, decide what political leaders will benefit our country and consume alcohol? How could they be expected to do it responsibly, or join the military and be trained to fight and kill to defend our country when and if the time comes?

On the Westchester Community College campus alone, I personally have been involved in conversations with peers ages 17 to 19 who claim their next step is to join the military – not because they’re bold and brave and want to stand up for their country, but because joining the military means a free ride through college, which they seldom take seriously, and benefits for life that they’re apparently too lazy to earn on their own. These same kids – most of them, not all – are usually the ones who have the most to say about our country’s political leaders and the policies that they uphold.

Before we worry about letting these children drink and vote and join the military legally all at the age of 18, maybe we should focus on teaching them what patriotism is and give them a few years to grow from it.

Robert Tracinski wrote a very informative article for The Federalist, explaining why 18-year-olds aren’t qualified to take part in these adult activities. He references David Hogg, a 19-year-old survivor of the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting that took place on Feb. 14 of 2018, while Hogg was 17-years-old.

Hogg has displayed blatant ignorant and self-contradictory actions since the shooting took place, yet has a huge following mostly made up of people in their mid-to-late teens. Hogg stands firm in his belief that guns should be outlawed.

With no validity or logic considered, at 18-years-old he has become an activist and leader for tons of teenagers and people who claim firmly and with no rationale that “guns are bad.” These are the 18-year-olds who are aiding in the selection of our political leaders?

The idea that maybe our country’s youth isn’t yet suited to drink, vote, and join the military at the age of 18 is supported because of the actions of people like David Hogg and his followers, and that’s not even half of the individuals that prove how immature and unworldly people – especially 18-year-old people – factually are.

Opposing stance:

What if we did change the drinking age to 18 and kept the age to join the military and to vote at 18 as well?

The truth is that kids are already consuming alcohol long before they reach the legal age. If we make alcohol legally available to them at the age of 18, then they would potentially not feel as tempted to get their hands on it all the time.

With this, less irresponsible behavior would be displayed. If people at the age of 18 are legally able to join the military and vote in our elections then they should be allowed to drink if they choose to do so. You cannot be considered a legal adult in one situation and then not in the next.

At this point in time, our society considers 18-year-olds to be adults, therefore, they should have everything available to them that older adults have access to. These kids are the future of our country and their voices matter.

While at 18, kids don’t yet know what it’s like to pay taxes and personally receive services from the government. They have had enough time to experience the situations their parents and guardians have gone through. As up and coming people, they should be able to use those experiences to decide how they want their adult lives to go, and so they don’t need to have already dealt with it first-hand to have a say in the matter. We need these 18-year-olds to tell us what they want by voting!

There is controversy surrounding the idea that 18-years-old is too young to be able to join the military. Some kids decide to join the military because they want to take advantage of the benefits that come along with it. Others genuinely decide that serving to protect our country is the life that they want. If at 18 they are adult enough to make that decision, they should be allowed to drink alcohol as well.

People that are 18 years of age have essentially completed grade school and have a more updated and modernized set of skills and intelligence to back them up. We live in a time where these kids are put down because they don’t have enough experience in the real world, regardless of the fact that, at 18, you do become a legal adult.

These kids are in their prime and have been proven sharper and more worldly because of the technology that they have been raised with and because they are fresh out of grade school. We need to put trust back into our youth, as again, they are our future!


Times keep changing, but I remain firmly on the same grounds.