As another major election cycle begins to ramp up, many Americans have partisan issues on their minds. From abortion rights to economic inflation, voters are once again beginning to take an inventory on their political stances and partisan leanings in order to elect a new president. However, a major issue has presented itself on both sides of the aisle: the age of our politicians. With both frontrunners in the primaries either approaching or surpassing the age of 80, Americans now need to form an opinion on these issues.
When asked about their opinion on the age of our current aging politicians, our editors all agreed on one thing— they are too old to be in office and effectively take care of policy that fits with the modern era. One editor said, “If you’re completely out of touch with the reality that younger generations live through every day, you can’t possibly be making decisions that are in the best interest of the people.”
Additionally, we presented our editors with a solution: adding a constitutional amendment to create an upper age limit in the Legislative and Executive branches of our government. Our editors gave a multitude of opinions on this subject, with a wide range of variables. One editor said, “In my humble opinion, the maximum age to hold these offices should be 65.”
Another editor expressed, “The maximum age should be 55-60.”
Because there is currently a limit on the minimum age to run for the House, Senate, and for the presidency, it doesn’t seem unreasonable to place a barrier on mental efficacy on the higher end. A third editor said, “Since everyone loses their mental facilities at different periods, it would be difficult to create an upper term limit.”
When asked if they believe that the age limit to run for office should be lowered, our editors disagreed, with one stating, “I definitely wouldn’t want anyone who was immature, or doesn’t even have a fully developed brain, as a main component of the government. I think the ages in place represent adults who have had enough experience and education to responsibly take on governmental roles.”
Another added, “The age of 35 is an incredibly reasonable limit to be president.”
With all of the incredibly important and multifaceted social and economic issues that have presented themselves in the 21st century, it is becoming incredibly important that our leaders have the mental and physical capacity to solve the complex issues that arise.
Finally, we asked our editors their thoughts on career politicians. One editor was unfamiliar with the issue, stating that they were unaware as to the definition of a career politician, which speaks volumes as to the depth of this problem. The fact is, Americans are so out of touch with our democracy that they are unaware as to the full scale of our representation crisis.
Another editor knew more about the situation and said, “I think our representatives should constantly be changing in order to more accurately represent the opinions of everybody living in the country. There’s a reason that there is a two-term limit for being President, and I believe there should be term limits on the lower branches of government across the board, as well.” The sentiment of term limits across the board has been on the front burner for Americans for a while, as politicians such as Chuck Grassley are well into their 6th, 7th, or 8th term as a Senator.
Overall, it is clear that in order for an effective democracy, our politicians need to be examined just as thoroughly as the policies they fight for.