Recent generations have seen a drastic decline in voter turnout. Whether apathy, ignorance, or inability to get to the polls on election days, the myriad of reasons for the lack of votes cast shows a need for reform in the ways we elect our officials, at least for many critics of the American culture. One such critic is Anya Kamenetz, and her article, “You’re 16, You’re Beautiful and You’re a Voter,” attempts to raise a new solution to the lack of voters on election day. In short, Kamenetz’s wants the audience to see that 16 is the new age of passage into adulthood. Her thesis suggests the need to reduce the voting age to 16 for teens mature enough to handle the challenge (Kamenetz 48). To prove that this younger age would be appropriate for voting, the author suggests that teens be required to take a citizenship course with final outcome exam to prove their having earned the privilege to vote at an earlier age. But taking all the pieces of argument into consideration, Anya Kamenetz’s “You’re 16, You’re Beautiful and You’re a Voter” does not uphold the standards of effective argument because the audience is too narrowly defined, and the argument is mainly emotive rather than logical.
Kamenetz’s audience is far too narrowly defined. While originally published in The Boston Globe, “You’re 16, You’re Beautiful and You’re a Voter” clearly had a potentially wide readership. But the intended audience could only be those who have the abilities to effect change in the voting regulations and parents of teens. This is clear in the details where she calls for the alteration in the legal voting age from 18 to 16 for students who can pass the citizenship test. And who else would be interested in the issue of teens and responsibility than the parents of the age group in discussion? Even as a newspaper article, the audience targeted would lose appeal to the issue, and the article would fail to draw a larger sampling.
Kamenetz seems to assume that emotive evidence is enough...
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