Let’s Talk Term Limits and Aging
Dave and I were discussing politics during dinner the other night. This is why I need Prevacid daily! These types of conversations have quadrupled since January, and I know you all know why.
The primary focus of our conversation was about age in government. It seems like Congress resembles the old guys in the balcony on the Muppet Show. Crotchety old men.
Even though the average age in Congress is mid 50’s to upper 60’s, it seems older. This is probably because the ones with the most power to wield are the elders. We all know the older you get, the more set in your ways you become.
That’s why it’s important to learn new things, challenge ourselves regularly and, for me, it’s important to have friends who are younger. I’ve always hung out with a younger crowd. I think it might be because I was thrown into adulthood at a very tender age and, as Merlyn told King Arthur, I may be youthening. 😉
I have to admit the youthening part is mental and definitely not physical, but as the old saying goes, ‘You’re only as old as you feel.’ Some days I feel ancient but, most of the time I feel youthful.
The age issue in Congress is not just a Republican issue. It is on all sides. When you have old folks, who are completely set in their ways, good luck changing their minds.
On the Democratic side, there may be some who seem more open-minded and willing to bend than there are on the Republican side, but still, when I think about 2020 I feel most will be too old to run for President.
I don’t think voting for someone who is in their mid to late 70’s is in our best interest. And, I’m not just talking about the President, I mean Congress, too.
I feel we desperately need diversity and young civic-minded people of both sexes running for office. So, how do we make it happen?
Wouldn’t it be great if Bernie, Biden, Hillary, and Warren started grooming some of the brightest up and comers? The ones who have had leadership positions since high school and are civic-minded. They could help them become city council members and mayors in their community.
It seems that once you’ve been bitten by the political bug it becomes a journey and it is definitely time to start passing the torch to these people. It takes time to build up the stamina and toughen the skin. Now seems to be the best opportunity to groom the next class coming up.
As many of you know, I am a fan of Cory Booker. He became my Senator when we moved to NJ, and I think his story is pretty special. We know there are more like him who simply need a little nudge to follow his lead.
It takes stamina to run for office, even if it’s dog catcher, but you have to start somewhere. I would love to see the seasoned politicians offering a hand up to the newbies in Congress. I’m sure some of them do, but some of them think it’s still ok to run for President at 79 years old. That’s foolish, in my opinion.
Now, let’s talk term limits. Variety is the spice of life, as they say, except in old-school politics. I think, with two-year terms in the House of Representatives, I would feel comfortable with four terms. The Senate term runs six years so, I would allow them two terms.
Having limits brings fresh minds into play and, I feel, we need that. Once their term is up, they can still be involved as lobbyists, or go home and mentor the next generation. Keep the pipeline going and encourage others to get involved.
I would like to believe that both sides would work closer together if you didn’t have the lifetime members dictating how it’s done and, refusing to reach across the aisle.
I know this is a pipe dream but, aren’t we their bosses? Isn’t that what representative means? They represent US…U.S. Keeping it as fresh as the Presidency makes the most sense to me.
Your turn! Let’s discuss, and share if you want to expand the conversation.