They’re all too old. Every. Last. One!
Joe Biden, Mitch McConnell, Dianne Feinstein, Chuck Grassley, Jim Clyburn, Nancy Pelosi, Steny Hoyer, Hal Rogers, Donald Trump and more.
If you are over 75 years old, you should be running for public office or reelection. Period.
Nikki Haley was only 30% right recently when she said the Senate is “the most privileged nursing home in this country.” Because she left out the Presidency and the House of Representatives where Democrats have a host of folks, especially in leadership, in their mid 80’s.
If Democrats don’t think Joe Biden has lost more than a step or two, they’re not being honest. If the GOP thinks Mitch McConnell is still on the top of his game, they’re smoking too much of that old wacky tobacky.
And it’s the same for the rest of the lot.
No serious person is going to make the case that someone in their eighth decade of life has not slowed down. DMV’s across the land place greater restrictions on drivers license renewals as people age. Most people as they age face mandatory retirement across a host of jobs.
Ask yourself this…
Would you want an aging lawyer defending you in an important legal case? How about an aging medical professional, prone to freezing up, doing your root canal or heart bypass? Do you want to see your EMT show up to your accident scene, and having to be guided over to your injured son or daughter because of an unsteady gait?
Of course not.
So why are we alright with political leaders, well past their prime, continuing to serve. Why are we okay with octogenarians guarding extremely sensitive US security information? Surely there is something we can do.
Like many, I am well aware of what the Constitution says. But the Constitution was always seen as a living document, malleable by amendments. Why not now? The 22nd Amendment, ratified in 1951 in response to FDR’s four terms, limited the president to two terms.
I’m convinced that the specter of aging US leaders, once a rare sight but now increasingly on display through social media, is changing our perceptions.
Whereas once our outrage seemed to be party specific, now we are hearing same party criticisms of our aging leader class. The GOP is rightly concerned about the recent Mitch McConnell freeze ups, just as some Democrats are expressing public consternation and calling for Dianne Feinstein to step aside after her recent struggles with shingles and a very visible physical decline.
Rather than push term limits, which as we have seen in states, simply keep the same people employed, albeit in other elected offices, we should move to a mandatory retirement age for all elected office holders in the legislative and executive branches of government and appointed officers in the judicial branch.
Admittedly, a one size fits all solution via an amendment to our Constitution is going to sweep up some seniors more than able to continue to effectively serve. But the same argument could be made on the minimum age limits already enshrined in our Constitution.
Those exceptions however should not keep up from action. America is ready for change and we need younger people leading us and the chance to debate the new ideas they will bring to the table.
An upper age limit will ensure ongoing renewal of our leader class, the infusion of new ideas and I believe, mostly rid us situations like we faced with an aging Senator Strom Thurmond, where one of his own aides once remarked that "for his last ten years, Thurmond didn't know if he was on foot or on horseback”.
America can, and should do better.