Associated Press had a story last week about a toy creator named Ken Hakuta (known as “Dr. Fad” to kids), whose Adopt-a-Vote campaign aims to give the underage set a real voice in this election:

According to Hakuta… children and parents [could] enter into an agreement pledging that the parents will vote according to their children’s preference as long as the children have done their homework.

Right, that’s what we need in politics: more pandering. It’s bad enough MTV’s Rock-the-Vote campaign frantically urges 18-to-30-year-olds, no matter how ignorant, to get to the polls.

Look, voting is a privilege as well as a right and if you don’t vote, you should be ashamed of yourself. But the reason you should be ashamed of yourself is that not voting is lazy and idiotic. Should the lazy idiot constituency be encouraged to influence society even more than it already does? Should contemporary parents fool children even more into thinking that the world revolves around them?

In his book “The Vanishing Voter” (based on the Vanishing Voter project at Harvard), Thomas E. Patterson admits tht “in most locations, it takes about as long to drive to the video store and rent a couple of movies” as it does to vote. Yet he agrees with the theory of increasing voter turnout by coddling. Taken to the logical extreme, his solutions — making Election Day a national holiday; eliminating the Electoral College; keeping polls open even longer — might include assigning government workers the task of physically carrying citizens to voting booths and then singing them to sleep that night with politically informed lullabies.

Many things in life are hard; voting is not one of them, and parents promising to vote the way their children want in return for finished homework sends a message about as useful as school principals who eat worms if a class improves its grades. In the eternal words of Marge on “The Simpsons,” “One person can make a difference, but most of the time they probably shouldn’t.”

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