US politics yearns for age limits

Time and time again, the US has shown that its aging leaders are incapable of creating a path toward progress for the citizens of the country. So-called stateswomen and statesmen who lived their “youths” — the most active periods of their lives — 20, 30, and even 50 years ago, are simply not equipped to handle the problems most citizens face today. Let me not mention even more basic problems like the occasional loss of simple cognitive functions for some of these people. 

Recent examples of this very problem come from both sides of the aisle; Republicans, chill — I’m getting to Biden, too. But two glaring instances before that:

The US Senate has members, who on average make up what’s one of the oldest legislatures in the world. That is, unfortunately, far from an exaggeration, and the striking absence of age and term limits results in two persons that are known as Mitch McConnell and Dianne Feinstein. 

McConnell, twice in a short period, froze when journalists tried asking him questions, grabbing his podium with whitening hands, unable to answer anything he was asked. 

He’s 81 years old. 

Feinstein, the oldest member of the Senate, was, on one instance during a vote, told by a fellow Senator to, “just say aye”. This was after she seemed confused and started to give a speech instead of voting. 

She’s 90 years old. 

Making age limits into law seems apparent, even obvious; if any other employer would reject you based on your advanced age, why would you be allowed to serve in one of the most important positions in politics, where you’d have tangible power over millions of other lives?

I say you shouldn’t be. 

This is one area where I give some credit to Israel’s legal system; in Israel, Supreme Court Justices, for example, serve until they are 70 years old, making it impossible for a Ginsburg-type situation to occur. Then again, in Israel, there are no term limits for Prime Ministers; in the US, Bibi wouldn’t even be a problem, because he would’ve been term-limited about ten years ago.

So, what am I saying? Governments have too much power and they love giving it to themselves. At the moment, I don’t consider myself an anarchist, but this is what we’re supposed to have a constitution for. Age and term limits for every elected official.

Let’s not have a retirement home instead of a legislative chamber, because the next time we take a glance at what’s going on there, we’ll be seeing about a hundred folks playing bingo with American lives. Now, on to Biden. Don’t worry, I didn’t forget about him. 

Age limits for Presidents, too. We’ll say 65. They’ll say 75. We’ll agree to 70. Everyone is happy.

When Americans wonder why politicians are so out of touch with the ordinary folk, they’ll have two things to consider: age and wealth. 

Of course, wealth is a huge issue, but one for another time. 

Age, in my opinion, is a problem no smaller. Senators’ average age is 64, while Americans’ is 39. 

How democratic.

Average people with average ages must decide about the fate of ordinary people. 

An out-of-touch, privileged, non-population-representative body will make wrong choices for all.

About the Author
Fred is an 18-year-old writer sharing his many thoughts about American and Israeli politics. He was born in Budapest and since he was 11, he is also an Israeli citizen.
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