Kerry Wants to Deny Drivers Licenses to Dropouts

I just came across this little gem reading a Newsweek article, and verified it at Kerry’s campaign site. John Kerry likes the idea of keeping people in school by denying driver’s licenses to high school dropouts.

How can anyone who professes to believe in liberal values support this??? As long as you are of legal age, it is not illegal to drop out. How can anyone tolerate the notion of a government saying, “Even though you are a legal adult, and have broken no laws, we are going to deny you your right to drive because we don’t like the choices you’ve made”?

This is a law that would punish the poorest in society, which make up the vast preponderance of dropouts. It would punish blue collar workers and minorities disproportionally (the dropout rate among hispanics: 27%.)

My brother was a dropout. Most dropouts wind up in blue collar jobs, many of which require that you have a car.

I’m literally shocked that a candidate for president could willingly support something so vile.



Driving isn’t a right.

Kerry should have passed on this issue. He’s running for a federal position, driving is primarily a state matter.

Sigh States’ rights are a dead issue these days, aren’t they?

Well, you have to get tough on SOMEBODY to be President these days, and Bush has already kicked around all the foreigners…

It’s as much a right as watching TV, or going for a walk, or having children, or anything else. The sidewalk in front of your house was built by the government. Would you have a problem if the government announced that they were going to punish you for your choices by making it illegal for you to walk on a public sidewalk? Would you support the state’s attempt to manipulate society by selectively denying access to public lands or facilities to citizens based what the government thinks are poor personal choices that break no law?

Hmm. Those are pretty poor analogies. The state doesn’t have the ability to take any of those things away from you (short of a jail sentence), but it does have the ability to lawfully revoke your driver’s license for any number of reasons.

No comment on the OP, but I think you need to come up with a better argument.

The only valid reason for restricting a driver’s license is if the person has demonstrated that he is unwilling or incapable of driving responsibly, and is therefore a danger to others.

It is a VERY dangerous line you cross when you start social engineering by denying the driver’s license for non-driving related issues. For example, I am strongly against denying drivers licenses to ‘deadbeat dads’. I find that practice to be reprehensible. It’s also a good reason why I’m a small l Libertarian - because once the state controls something, it starts using its power to push people around.

But even the ‘deadbeat dad’ issue is a response to an actual wrongdoing by someone. People drop out of high school for many reasons. Some just aren’t mentally agile enough to do the work. Some are poor, and have families to support. Some just don’t care about a diploma, because they plan to work in a job that doesn’t require it. And some just make poor choices. None of this has anything to do with driving, and tying drivers’ licenses to a diploma is disgusting.

I think he’s referring to dropouts under the age of 18 (“young people”), who are not “legal adults”. In other words, 16-17 year olds, who have limited rights anyway, will have to wait a year or two until they can drive. A pretty good idea, actually.

I’m not too sure how I feel about this. As long as Kerry doesn’t actively try to get states to adopt this policy, though, it doesn’t really bother me (too much) that he supports it. I could see how it would “work”, but I’m kinda with Sam on this, for the most part. Surely there are better ways of reducing the dropout rates.

I wonder how GEDs are handled in situations like this…? Is the license revoked upon dropout, and can it be reinstated (I am assuming) if a GED is obtained?


That’s small “l” libertarian. :slight_smile:

This seems like a silly issue, and I’m sure if you dug thru Bush’s proposals you’d find some similar silliness. I can’t really get worked up about it. Even if it were implimentetd, you seem to be implying that it would be an extra-legal act. But if a law were enacted to require that anyone under 18 who is not in school or who has not gradutated cannot drive, then it would be just as legal as saying you have to be 16 yrs old to drive.

It could be pretty easy for the feds to strong-arm the states into enacting this as law in the same way they did so concerning the drinking age-- no federal highway funds unless you comply. Resitance is futile, you will be assimilated.

I think Alessan is most probably right. From the same page which SS cites:

I cannot find a cite to any state program which affects any drivers over the age of 21, and most seem geared to students of high school age (i.e. 18 or younger).

However, I applaud comrade Stone’s concern for the poorest members of society, and commend to his attention the notion of keeping the youth who are afflicted by poverty from becoming disaffected. Making it less convenient to drop out for those students who are most likely to do so might be one way of helping to achieve that, and is the aim of all of these DL programs

There is a fundamental difference. We deny drivers licenses to those under 16 because we have decided that they are not mature enough to handle the responsibility safely. Denying a drivers license based on a legal choice the state doesn’t happen to like is completely different. It is social engineering.

I don’t think that’s what it’s saying–I think it’s saying that it will revoke licenses from people who aren’t legal adults, and who have broken laws by dropping out. You know, “Be traunt, loose your license.” That kind of thing. I have a hard time believing that he’d want to revoke the licenses of people who dropped out of high school legally.

That’s just my guess though–there’s not enough information on the link you gave to explain exactly what he means. If he does mean as you interpret, I agree that it’s an indefensibly fascist position.

Is there an age where it’s legal to drive but illegal to drop out of school? If so, you’d have a point. I don’t believe there is, though.

So are faith based initiatives. So I guess you’re going to have to vote Nader.

You know, it’s amazing how these pro-Bush people (I would consider myself “undecided” or at best an “ambivalent conservative”) twist around things to make it sound like Kerry wants to eat your babies (Howard Stern did a pretty funny bit on this a few weeks back - John Kerry supports raping your sister, John Kerry supports pushing old people down stairs, John Kerry talks on his cell phone in restaurants, etc).

Here is a cite I randomly found for a House bill for the General Assembly of North Carolina:

If you are a drop-out, you can still obtain a driving eligibility certificate:

So assuming that this is the kind of legislature Kerry is supporting, I think we can dispense with the alarmest “Kerry want’s to take away all the blue-collar workers cars” rhetoric.

All those who are assuming favourable qualifications to Kerry’s proposal can assume all they want. It is a proposed restriction of civil liberties to coerce behavior from a candidate for the presidency who I already have questioned on a civil liberty issue

No, it’s not. It’s a promise to support existing state laws in some unspecified manner.

Do you really want to compare canidates on constitutional and freedom issues? Okay, I’m game:

“No, I don’t know that atheists should be considered as citizens, nor should they be considered patriots. This is one nation under God.” - Bush Sr.

“I don’t think that witchcraft is a religion. I wish the military would rethink this decision.” - Bush Jr., refering to Fort Hood allowing Wiccans to practice on base.

Senate Republican joins call to end millitary accommodation of Wicca

How about you explain to me why I should vote for a man who’s father thinks I should be a citizen, and who shows clear similiar leanings himself?

^ shouldn’t be a citizen.

I join the call of others to allow editing!

I think you shouldn’t be a citizen, Hambil, because of your apparent willingness to punish children for the misconduct of their parents.

What relevance does George H. W. Bush’s opinion have when discussing candidates’ views on civil liberties?