Matt Miller has the answer (from the Washington Post):
What this country needs is a movement to lower the voting age to 10. Hear me out.
Wherever you look, from debt to schools to climate to pensions, the distinctive feature of American public life today is a shocking disregard for the future. Yes, politicians blather on about “our children and grandchildren” all the time — but when it comes to what they actually do, the future doesn’t have a vote. If you want to change people’s behavior, you need to change their incentives. It’s time to give politicians a reason not simply to praise children, but also to pander to them.
About 125 million Americans voted in the 2008 presidential election. There are about 35 million Americans ages 10 to 17. Giving them the vote would transform our political conversation. It would introduce the voice we’re sorely missing — a call to stewardship, of governing for the long run, via the kind of simple, “childlike” questions that never get asked today.
We’re in a topsy-turvy world best captured by my favorite political cartoon from the debt-soaked 1980s:
“Your generation will just have to spend a third of your income to support my generation when you grow up,” says a stern father.
“Why us?” his scared daughter asks.
“Because of your failure as children to teach your parents to be responsible.”
“I’m sorry, Daddy!”
“So am I.”
I love it. If Matt’s idea came to life, why, suddenly my own kids’ “say” would quadruple. (Only my oldest is of voting age now.)