Republican Strategist and former aide to Ronald Reagan Fred Karger is hoping to run for President. He’s been traveling the country talking about his platform which includes an effort to lower the voting age to 16. NYRA staff asked him five questions.

Why are you running for President?

I am seriously considering running for President because I want to propose bold new ideas on education, jobs first and bring optimism back to our country. I want to talk about issues important to my community – the LGBTQ community. I want to encourage younger people to get directly involved in politics.

You’ve chosen to make Youth Rights an important part of your campaign. Why do you feel they’re important at this time?

I have great faith in the intellect and ability of our nation’s youth. I am constantly impressed to see so many high schools students speak out on issues important to them.

Why do you think the voting age should be lowered?

16- and 17-year-olds in this country are better informed than any generation in history. If we can engage high school students in the political process, they will be more likely to participate for years to come. We should then encourage our schools and school districts to teach these young people about elections and the campaigns on the local, state and national level while they are happening. They can drive, pay taxes and enlist in the military at 17, let’s show them that we value their opinions and let them vote.

You worked for Ronald Reagan. What would “the gipper” have had to say about NYRA and our issues?

Ronald Reagan worked hard to bring young adults into politics and government. He always had an eye to the future, and he would inspired by example. He would love all the ideas and activism of NYRA.

You’ve also worked as an activist for Gay Rights. What can the Youth Rights movement learn from the Gay Rights movement?

Perception becomes reality. Use digital media to organize on school campuses, and to get your message out. Communicate and build your database. Work to change public perception, and showcase great youth role models to enhance the image of young people.

DISCLAIMER: The National Youth Rights Association, a recognized 501c3 does not endorse political candidates for any office. This blog post should not be taken as such. We encourage any candidate running to be in touch with us to discuss youth rights issues.