The thread of Liberal Stupidity


#1884

I’ve yet to see a particularly coherent argument for why 35 should be the age, other than that’s the way we’ve always done it and arguments for changing the age are “dumb”…no argument apparently necessary, just “it’s dumb”.

I hate to play this card, but if you’re old enough to bleed out in the desert based on bullshit War on Terror rhetoric from the President, then you’re old enough to run for the job.


#1885

Indeed. Also, you ought to be able to buy a martini without going to jail for it.


#1886

No, everyone isn’t really disagreeing.

Some are saying that the idea you need to be 35 is dumb… But that’s not the same as saying his terrible article is good.

Some of you guys think it is, but can’t really explain why.

Because it’s clearly not.


#1887

I don’t like your explanation != you can’t explain why.


#1888

I was listening to pod save America, and they made a point about how sometimes you have a moment and if you don’t take it, it won’t come around again.

What if your moment of appeal is when you are 32 years old? You are shit out of luck. And yes it is sometimes that fleeting. Obama was shiny and new in 2008, but I doubt he would have been in the moment if he decide to run in 2012 or 2016.

Beto is big right now but I doubt anyone care about him in 2024 if he doesn’t run in 2020.

Anyway, younger people have more energy, more elastic brains (over 25 shall we say) and less likely to predisposed to past I’ll informed prejudice.

Also, younger people are more likely to be inpact by their choices. And 30 year old will care more about the environment in the next 50 years than some random 70 year.

Also, old people are evil. That’s a fact.


#1889

Respectfully, I disagree with that card. Military service and being the President of the United States are not the same thing and it doesn’t make sense that their qualifications should necessarily be the same just because they’re important roles or because one can affect the other.

There’s no single age when a person goes from being unqualified for all regulated privileges and responsibilities to qualified. We let kids work at 15 before they can vote on labor laws and practices that may affect them, and (varying by state) they can drive before they can vote on traffic laws or serve as the highway patrolman enforcing them.

So even at an individual level, if we threw out the differences in maturity between this 18 year old and that one, I think it would be foolish to say 18 (or 16, or 21, or 35) is the age when someone goes from being incapable of any of these responsibilities to equipped for all of them.

I’m not here to tell you any of the above examples are inarguably the correct ages. I could probably be persuaded that 30 is old enough or President. I could probably be persuaded that there should be a maximum age limit too.

I like that 35 broadly means someone will reach a level of physical and mental maturity, and to the extent an age limit can affect this, probably have some meaningful measure of life experience outside of their education. I don’t think that means 35 is the indisputably correct age for the job, but you’d need me to convince your alternative still does a reasonably good job of limiting the pool of candidates to that group (so like I said, I could probably be convinced 30 is fine, 18 would be a very hard sell).

I don’t think something is right just because it’s the way things have been done, but I also don’t think we should move the age capriciously. We should look at the restriction and be sure it’s not unjust (and I don’t think a higher age for the President than for military service is unjust, as an example), and we should look to health and science evidence for how we mature biologically and mentally, and make an informed decision if either shows 35 might be too old (or too young!).

Okay, but, so what? Point to any age where you won’t be able to find examples of talented individuals who just missed the cut-off. This line of thinking can only be a rationale for removing the age restriction entirely, which I’m flatly against. You can’t use this as an appeal that the age should be Y instead of X. If we had some sci-fi/magic machine we could plug someone into that provided an objective and incontrovertible “maturity measure”, that’d be great and Beto could’ve run at 27 and Trump would’ve been ineligible at any age. But instead we have age, so we try to pick a safe compromise and we live with the fact that all age limits will be somewhat arbitrary.

These are the best arguments I’ve seen for lowering the age.


#1890

I agree. There are surely many 35+ year-olds who are emotionally 13 years old. We trust the electoral process to screen them out (with variable success!), so I don’t know why we couldn’t trust it for younger people than 35.

Personally, I don’t think it’s a problem we ought to spend much time on, because 1) in the modern era, it’s not like we’ve excluded obvious great candidates because of that age requirement — the youngest Presidents have been a at least good decade older than 35 — and 2) we can’t change it anyway. My political advice is don’t waste time on Constitutional amendments that aren’t going to happen, and none of them are going to happen.


#1891

I mean, my political advice is don’t waste time on Internet forums, they don’t matter at all but [ascii_shrug].


#1892

We don’t allow children to vote, yet there are some 5th graders more intelligent than adults, and there are adults less intelligent than 5th graders. What is to be done?


#1893

Just to be clear, the point of this thread isn’t this particular issue, but rather about dumb things folks on the far left do.

The argument about whether you want to make such a change is one thing… But the argument that is dumb is not ANY argument suggesting that. The argument that is dumb is the specific mess of garbage that Yglesias wrote, for the reasons I’ve already stated.

It was suggested that the dumb parts (essentially mindlessly juvenile cult of personality crap) were just a joke, but then when I asked for someone to actually quote the part of the “real” argument, only magnet tried, and ended up quoting literally two sentences, while simultaneously saying that it was a poorly presented argument.

At worst, Yglesias supported his position with a terrible argument based on how Cortez is dreamy and we need to elect her as president (despite her having zero experience in any elected office). At BEST, that stuff was just a joke, and he offered no supporting argument for the change at all.

The point isn’t that 35 is a magical age. The point is that Yglesias’ article was dumb.


#1894

I’m pretty sure the point of Yglesias’ article was to get people talking about Yglesias’ article. Mission accomplished.


#1895

Now that is totally within the realm of possibility.
But his method of clickbait was to write something dumb.


#1896

How telling is it that the hot topic of this thread is a not-great article written by a liberal columnist about age requirements of the presidency? Clearly, there is relatively little going on in the world of liberal stupidity if this is what we have to discuss.


#1897

It is maddening to discuss things with you because you just gaslight gaslight gaslight. It’s exactly like watching a Trump news conference where he just says something over and over again that is indisputably false. You’ve offered no argument for your position other than “the article is obviously ridiculous” and completely ignored the counter-arguments in this thread. We have, in fact, had a long (and–as @scottagibson points out–largely inconsequential) discussion about the exact topic of Yglesias’s article, which surely was the point of it: to stimulate discussion.

I know you desperately want to prove that Matt Yglesias is an idiot and thereby–I don’t know what. He does write Slatepitchy stuff sometimes. (Indeed, he used to write for Slate.) He’s a voluminous writer who sometimes gets things wrong. And his tone can lead to misinterpretation; he’s a bit of a bomb thrower. So what? He’s bright, has a very clear writing style perfectly suited to Voxsplaining, and often has a useful way of looking at issues in unusual, but illuminating ways. That said, Jesus, he’s one dude. Please cast your net for liberal stupidity wider. There are liberals who are far stupider than and/or say far stupider things than Matt Ygelsias, I guarantee it.


#1898

I asked you to quote the part that is the good argument. Magnet quoted two sentences, and admitted that the article was bad.

If you can do better, then do it. Quote exactly the part where Yglesias makes a good argument and supports it.

My reason for why it’s bad is that the only support he offers for his suggestion to change the Constitution is that Cortez should be allowed to run for president.

You said this was just a joke, but it’s the vast majority of the article! If you take away the stuff about Cortez, there’s virtually nothing left! What do you have? “Young is better than old”?

How is this article good, while simultaneously being mostly about something that is so dumb that you think it’s just a joke?


#1899

I don’t know that 35 is the perfect age, but I do know that if someone is great at 18 years old, there is no reason to believe they can’t continue that path. Those Parkland kids, the ones that are active now, if they continue to hold onto that passion for almost 20 years, and they remain activists that entire time, that’s a pretty strong history to draw on when they present themselves as potential candidate, and by then we’ll know about their positions on things beyond guns and schools. If they want to enter politics sooner, there are a lot of other positions and offices they can hold, sooner.


#1900

I think this is a good way to determine age restrictions on cigarette sales and driving. Those are both actions taken by an individual that have either an effect on other people (driving) or are subject to a profit incentive (cigarettes.) But the reason we place limits on them is because they’re unilateral actions. An 18 year old doesn’t have to consult anyone to buy a pack of cigarettes; they just have to have the money. A 16 year old can legally operate an automobile, as long as they get a license. An 18 year old can vote for political offices; they just have to register. I get no say in any of that except indirectly through legislation of age restrictions.

Running for president is not a unilateral action. To get elected, you have to go through an election. Every registered voter in the country gets a say. If you have good reasons why an under 35-year-old shouldn’t be president (and some of you do!), you can vote against anyone under 35. You get a say. I don’t think an 18 year old could ever be elected president even if they could run, because most people wouldn’t vote for an 18 year old, for precisely the reasons you all have articulated. But that just means that voting is an effective filter, you don’t need another arbitrary one on top of it. The problem with any arbitrary filter is that it might exclude potential good candidates. And I don’t know, maybe that’s not a huge problem. There are lots of smart, capable people out there.

All that said, as @Timex pointed out, this is a thread for finding stupid things liberals do, not for discussing democracy. It would be interesting to have such a thread though: term limits, direct democracy, voting systems, restrictions on officeholders, the interaction of laws and democratic norms, the erosion of democratic norms through cynical undermining of them, etc. I feel like there’s a potential analogy between democratic systems and markets. Markets need regulation to work correctly. Democracies need an infrastructure of rules and laws. Neither functions effectively unfettered.


#1901

I almost put the Democratic gerrymandering fiasco in this thread, but we also had a thread specifically for that.


#1902

Despite all our problems, we still live in a democracy, and people younger than 35 can certainly vote. If they or anyone else doesn’t like what we have right now, they can campaign on it and push for a change. It wouldn’t be easy, but it’s not impossible.


#1903

Given that 75% or more of his articles have that as their point, I think it’s a safe bet.