The not-so-young are dominating the political landscape. Another septuagenarian will be voted in as president of the United States this fall. The age requirement for any candidate running for the highest office in the land is 35 years, but there is no age limit.
People have voiced their concerns about these seasoned representatives seeking the Presidency. These matters range from age, mental health and competency. Despite all this, their constituents will still vote for these long-lived politicians.
When the founding fathers wrote the Constitution of the United States during the Constitutional Convention in 1787, the life expectancy was 35 years old. On average, the colonial populace did not make it into their forties. This could be the rationale as to why the founders decided that the age requirement for the presidency. Any candidate seeking the presidency would be well rounded with experience and towards the end of their life.
What these pioneers of modern democracy did not realize was that their gamble on this new democratic government would survive and thrive into the next millennium.
Their political ideals have surpassed the test of time and are a juggernaut force in the world. These colonists never envisioned the leaps and bounds humanity would make in science and in medicine. As society progressed and advanced in these fields, so did the population. The positive after effect was that people lived longer. Currently, the life span of a person living in the United States is 78 years old.
The explanation as to why all current top Presidential contenders in the upcoming election are all in their seventies is because the elderly selects them.
The majority of the people who vote are older citizens compared to younger ones. This is mirrored in the political system, especially in the federal government.
The retired are more politically active compared to the younger and middle-aged populations. Mature folks turn out in groves during election season. They vote for politicians who are closer to their age range and they are very considerate of this age correlation.
On the other hand, younger people are nowhere near as engaged as older individuals. These young folks are disengaged with politics and unfortunately vote less. As a consequence, this is reflected in the political landscape, especially in the highest levels of government. As a result, there is a shortage of younger candidates in the political field.
People have suggested having these aging presidential contenders go through a battery of testing, ranging from cognitive exams and mental evaluations to see if they are competent enough to run.
The moment there is a proposal for one of these candidates to go through any kind of assessment, there will be public outcries of ageism and accusations of partisanship. The political group whose application is being considered for these types of evaluations will be publicly and legally challenged. As a consequence, this will put an end to these types of proceedings.
Trying to implement an age limit on presidential candidates would be age discrimination and prejudicial. Elderly male and female politicians would ferociously fight any proposal that would attempt to place an age requirement on individuals running for the highest office in the land. On the positive side, almost all entrants who run for the presidency have years and even decades of experience as politicians.
There have been many leaders in their golden years who have been elected to office and led their countries.
Ronald Regan was the 40th American president, serving two four-year terms before leaving the presidency at the age of 77. Mitch McConnell, the Senate Majority Leader of the United States, is 78-years-old. This soft-spoken man plans to run for another term in the upcoming election this November. If McConnell is reelected, he would be completing his six-year term in his eighties. Nancy Pelosi, the Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, will make another run for her seat. She is favored to win again and would be retiring in 2022 at the age of 81. Both of these political titans will be legendary octogenarians when they leave office.
Internationally, Winston Churchill was 77-years-old when he won his second term as the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. South African President, Nelson Mandela, was 73-years-old when he took office. All these seasoned leaders prove that age is just numbers
There should not be an age limit for the presidency. If there were, the founding fathers would have created one. Elected representatives are voted into their positions by their constituents. As a consequence, we will have another septuagenarian president.