The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Consider age limits on government officials

Markus+Meneses%2FThe+Collegian
Markus Meneses/The Collegian

Your grandmother forgetting where she was in the middle of a story is not usually a call for concern. But add cameras and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell to the mix, and suddenly what you brush off as granny being silly seems a whole lot more troubling. Especially when it’s happening to the people running our country.  

Age may be a number, but it should also be a larger factor in considering our candidates. 

On two separate occasions, Sen. Mitch McConnell has frozen in front of the press. The last incident lasted nearly 30 seconds. A letter from McConnell’s doctor was published shortly after stating there is “no evidence” of seizure, stroke or Parkinson’s. 

There has been talk of whether resident Joe Biden is mentally capable of carrying out his term. This has culminated in the carefully crafted epithet ‘Sleepy Joe’ from Republicans. 

Some suggest our congressmen are too old to properly represent the people. And episodes like McConnell’s add fuel to the intergenerational fire. 

Biden is the oldest president elected, at 78 years old on Inauguration Day. For the upcoming election, the future is slightly more promising. The youngest candidate, Republican Vivek Ramaswamy, is 38 and the oldest candidate, Biden, is 80. 

Our founding fathers were in their 20s to 40s, so of course we find it odd that the median age of a senator being 65.3 years old or that we have an 80 year old president. Albeit, 35 was the average lifespan in the 1700s, so even a 21 year old Alexander Hamilton signing the Constitution practically had a foot in the grave. 

Perhaps we’ve always entrusted the responsibility of running the country to the elders, or the proportionally old. This begs the question why don’t we trust the youth. We hold the younger generations to be our hope. For God’s sake, Whitney Houston wrote a song about it.  

So let’s vote for the people without an AARP membership. No, that’s not the solution either. The issue isn’t how many butterscotches are in your congressmen’s pockets or if you know the definition of ‘rizz.’  

One word, five syllables: representation. 

Every day we fight to reduce the curb racism, sexism, homophobia and so many more issues that have led to a 75% white majority in Congress. People have long fought for racial, ethnic and gender representation, but overlooked age representation. 

According to the Data Commons,  48% of Congress is baby boomers yet the average age of an American in 2019 is 38.1. Of course, it is difficult for the younger generations to find adequate representation among our leaders, especially when we only have one member of Gen Z in Congress. 

Being older doesn’t mean you can’t comprehend the issues of the young and vice versa. But for a country as diverse as ours, the leaders of our country should better reflect the demographics of the U.S. This congressional melting pot seems to be a blue cheese fondue, aged and famously bitter. We need some fresh ricotta and mozzarella in the mix.  

Donate to The Collegian

Your donation will support the student journalists of Tarrant County College. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Collegian