Vivek Ramaswamy says Gen Z isn't 'proud to be American.' So he wants to force them to serve in the military if they want to vote.
2024 presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy wants to raise the minimum age to vote from 18 to 25.
Ramaswamy would allow an exception for young people who serve in the military or pass a civics test.
He said it will help with the military recruitment deficit, which he tied to low national pride among Gen Z.
Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy seems to think that forcing young people into the military in exchange for their right to vote would help bolster waning "national pride" among Gen Z.
"Not everyone will like this proposal," he admitted on Twitter. His own staff has expressed resistance and even "vehement objections," Politico reported.
In a statement posted to his campaign website, Ramaswamy, who is 37, said he wants to raise the minimum voting age from 18 to 25 unless young people serve in the military, work as a first responder, or pass a civics test.
The candidate said the policy would help address the ongoing recruitment deficit in the US military.
"The United States faces a 25% recruitment deficit in the military and just 16% of Gen Z say they're proud to be American. The absence of national pride is a serious threat to our Republic's survival," he said in the statement.
Ramaswamy is proposing a constitutional amendment to get this done.
The amendment would raise the voting age from 18 to 25, he said, leaving an exception for those 18 and older who "meet a national service requirement."
—Vivek Ramaswamy (@VivekGRamaswamy) May 12, 2023
"We need to revive civic duty among young Americans," Ramaswamy said on Twitter. "We must be ambitious. I understand not everyone will like this proposal and that it will take persuasion to convince many of its merits, but I'm ready to take that on."
It's unlikely Ramaswamy's plan comes to fruition as constitutional amendments require a two-thirds majority of support from the US Congress or the support of two-thirds of state legislatures. It would also conflict with the 26th Amendment to the Constitution, which provides US citizens 18 years and older with the right to vote. Ramaswamy would also need to be elected president, which at this point remains a long shot.
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