challenging the tiresome stereotype of American kids as indolent narcissists whose brains have been addled by smartphones. They offer an inspiring example of thoughtful, eloquent protest.
.. when it comes to electing lawmakers whose decisions about gun control and other issues affect their lives, these high schoolers lack any real power.
.. The federal voting age in the United States should be lowered from 18 to 16.
.. it is important to distinguish between what psychologists call “cold” and “hot” cognition.
.. Cold cognitive abilities are those we use when we are in a calm situation, when we are by ourselves and have time to deliberate and when the most important skill is the ability to reason logically with facts. Voting is a good example of this sort of situation.
.. Studies of cold cognition have shown that the skills necessary to make informed decisions are firmly in place by 16.
.. Hot cognitive abilities are those we rely on to make good decisions when we are emotionally aroused, in groups or in a hurry.
.. self-regulation, which enables you to control your emotions, withstand pressure from others, resist temptation and check your impulses.
.. cold cognitive abilities, self-regulation does not mature until about age 22
.. Consider the dozen or so countries like Argentina, Austria, Brazil and Nicaragua that allow people to vote at 16 in national, state or local elections. In such countries, voter turnout among 16- and 17-year-olds is significantly higher than it is among older young adults.
.. people between 18 and 24 have the lowest voter turnout of any age group in the United States
.. the United States lowered the federal voting age was in 1971, when it went from 21 to 18. In that instance, the main motivating force was outrage over the fact that 18-year-olds could be sent to fight in Vietnam but could not vote.
.. The proposal to lower the voting age to 16 is motivated by today’s outrage that those most vulnerable to school shootings have no say in how such atrocities are best prevented.
the exchanges between Trump, Inslee, and several other governors were overshadowed by the President’s laughable claim that even unarmed, he would have tackled the Parkland school shooter.
.. It vividly illuminates the collective madness that beckons when you have an unprincipled man like Trump in the White House, the G.O.P. in control of Congress and the majority of states
.. Inslee .. brought up a program in his home state that gives the family members of disturbed or depressed individuals the ability to obtain court orders to seize their guns.
.. I have listened to law enforcement who have said they don’t want to have to train teachers as law-enforcement agents, which takes about six months.
.. Greg Abbott, the Republican governor of Texas, who explained how his state has already adopted a “school-marshal program,”
.. “They will have signs out front, a warning sign that, be aware, there are armed personnel on campus.”
.. Asa Hutchinson, the Republican governor of Arkansas and a former U.S. Attorney who once developed a school-safety program for the N.R.A.
.. “Essentially, what you are saying is that when a sick individual comes into that school, they can expect major trouble, right, major trouble. The bullets are going to be going towards him, also. . . . You know what’s going to happen, nobody’s going into that school.”
.. In making this argument, which follows the logic of the jungle, and of failed states like Yemen and Iraq, Trump seemed blissfully, or purposely, unaware of the fact that many school shooters end up shooting themselves, and, therefore, might well be immune to the logic of deterrence.
- .. Adam Lanza, who killed twenty-six people at Sandy Hook Elementary School, shot himself in the head before the police arrived. Similarly,
- Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, the two Columbine shooters, made no effort to escape after carrying out their massacre, and they shot themselves after the police arrived.
.. he asserted that arming educators would be cheaper and more effective than hiring more armed guards, or relying on local police officers, such as the ones who failed to stop Nikolas Cruz at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, in Parkland, Florida. “They don’t love the students; they don’t know the students,” Trump said dismissively. “The teachers love the students. They want to protect the students.”.. he is putting his own unhinged spin on this decivilizing agenda... “The bad guy has to understand that there is a big price to pay when they mess around with our students. You can’t just say we are going to harden our schools. . . . You have to let people know they are going to suffer the ultimate price. And you know what? And I said it before, you’re not going to have incidents, they are not going to do it because they are innately cowards.”
A funny thing is happening on the American scene: a powerful upwelling of decency.
.. You can see the abrupt turn toward decency in the rise of the #MeToo movement; in a matter of months ground that had seemed immovable shifted, and powerful sexual predators started facing career-ending consequences.
.. You can see it in the reactions to the Parkland school massacre.
.. Even the huge anti-Trump demonstrations just after Inauguration Day didn’t seem to move the conventional wisdom. But those pink pussy hats may have represented the beginning of real social and political change.
.. Political scientists have a term and a theory for what we’re seeing on #MeToo, guns and perhaps more: “regime change cascades.”
.. When people see the status quo as immovable, they tend to be passive even if they are themselves dissatisfied. Indeed, they may be unwilling to reveal their discontent, or to fully admit it to themselves. But once they see others visibly taking a stand, they both gain more confidence in their dissent and become more willing to act on it — and by their actions they may induce the same response in others, causing a kind of chain reaction.
.. Examples include
- the revolutions that swept Europe in 1848,
- the sudden collapse of communism in 1989 and
- the Arab Spring of 2011.
.. nothing says that such cascades have to be positive either in their motivations or in their results. The period 2016-17 clearly represented a sort of Alt-Right Spring — springtime for fascists? — in which white supremacists and anti-Semites were emboldened
- not just by Donald Trump’s election but by the
- evidence that there were more like-minded people than anyone realized, both in the U.S. and Europe.
.. historians have described 1848 as a turning point where history somehow failed to turn: At the end of the day the old, corrupt regimes were still standing.
.. far too much power rests in the hands of men who are simply bad people.
.. his growing backlash is not just its vileness, but its lameness.
.. Trump’s response to Parkland — let’s arm teachers! — wasn’t just stupid, it was cowardly, an attempt to duck the issue
.. Missouri G.O.P. has responded to the indictment of Gov. Eric Greitens, accused of trying to blackmail his lover with nude photos: by blaming … George Soros
.. They’ve pretty much given up on making any substantive case for their ideas in favor of rants about socialists trying to take away your freedom.
.. it’s also kind of whiny; it’s what people sound like when they know they’re losing the argument.
.. the U.S. electoral system is in effect rigged in favor of Republicans
.. Democrats will need to win the popular vote by something like seven percentage points to take the House.
Our democracy is in serious danger.
President Trump is either totally compromised by the Russians or is a towering fool, or both, but either way he has shown himself unwilling or unable to defend America against a Russian campaign to divide and undermine our democracy.
.. either Trump’s real estate empire has taken large amounts of money from shady oligarchs linked to the Kremlin — so much that they literally own him; or rumors are true that he engaged in sexual misbehavior while he was in Moscow running the Miss Universe contest, which Russian intelligence has on tape and he doesn’t want released; or Trump actually believes Russian President Vladimir Putin when he says he is innocent of intervening in our elections — over the explicit findings of Trump’s own C.I.A., N.S.A. and F.B.I. chiefs.
.. Now Trump’s behavior amounts to a refusal to carry out his oath of office — to protect and defend the Constitution.
.. Yes, the F.B.I. made a mistake in Florida. But it acted heroically on Russia. What is more basic than protecting American democracy?
.. We should be using our cyber-capabilities to spread the truth about Putin —just how much money he has stolen, just how many lies he has spread, just how many rivals he has jailed or made disappear — all to weaken his autocracy
.. My guess is what Trump is hiding has to do with money. It’s something about his financial ties to business elites tied to the Kremlin. They may own a big stake in him. Who can forget that quote from his son Donald Trump, Jr. from back in 2008: “Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross section of a lot of our assets.” They may own our president.