America’s politicians are inordinately old and, according to a new poll, most Americans — both Republicans and Democrats — are sick of it.
According to a CBS News poll conducted by YouGov and published on Thursday, a 73 percent majority of all Americans support “maximum age limits for elected officials.”
This includes 71 percent of Democrats, 75 percent of Independents, and 75 percent of Republicans. Vast majorities of all age groups also share this desire:
Though, interestingly, it appears older Americans are more inclined than younger Americans to support a maximum age limit rule. Similarly, a 47% plurality of “young people” believe having “more” elderly politicians would make politics “better,” while 42 percent of “older people” say the opposite.
That said, what age should the cut-off be? A 40 percent plurality believe it should be 70, while 26 percent believe it should be 60. Very few believe it should be 50, 80, or 90.
This finding is notable because virtually every major politician is 70 or older. Indeed, President Joe Biden, former President Donald Trump, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi would all be tossed out of the political ring if the 70 rule was in effect.
“President Biden, already the oldest sitting president, is set to become the first president to turn 80 in office. By the way, that’s a feat that former President Trump would match if he wins another term,” CBS News reported Thursday.
“Meanwhile, the U.S. Senate is also the oldest in history, with an average age of nearly 65, while over in the House, Nancy Pelosi is the oldest-ever speaker at the age of 82.”
The segment above also included remarks from several elderly residents of Florida’s The Villages who agree that there should be a maximum age limit.
“I’m almost 80 now. I think somebody 80 doesn’t belong as a leader,” one older man said.
“There is an age, I think, when a person doesn’t have the capabilities of conducting the kind of things you have in office,” another man remarked.
“I feel the same way,” the elderly woman sitting beside him added.
“I don’t think I have the sharpness and the crispness and the mentality that I had even 10 years ago,” another Villages resident, this one an older woman, said.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein, 89, appears to be a perfect example of what they meant. Back in late 2020, The New Yorker ran a lengthy piece about the drastic decline in her cognitive capabilities.
The piece claimed that “many” people “familiar with Feinstein’s situation describe her as seriously struggling, and say it has been evident for several years.”
“Speaking on background, and with respect for her accomplished career, they say her short-term memory has grown so poor that she often forgets she has been briefed on a topic, accusing her staff of failing to do so just after they have,” the piece read.
“They describe Feinstein as forgetting what she has said and getting upset when she can’t keep up. One aide to another senator described what he called a ‘Kabuki’ meeting in which Feinstein’s staff tried to steer her through a proposed piece of legislation that she protested was ‘just words’ which ‘make no sense.’”
— Bo Snerdley (@BoSnerdley) December 10, 2020
“Feinstein’s staff has said that sometimes she seems herself, and other times unreachable. ‘The staff is in such a bad position,’ a former Senate aide who still has business in Congress said. ‘They have to defend her and make her seem normal,’” the piece continued.
The same phenomenon has been observed with President Biden. White House officials are frequently forced to explain away his gaffes. Meanwhile, he’s been seen multiple times being closely escorted around by his wife like he’s a senile man who’s perpetually lost.
Back in September of 2020, months before Biden even took office, Fox News’s Brit Hume said there’s no doubt that the then-Democrat presidential nominee is indeed senile. He made the remarks moments before Biden appeared on stage for a debate against then-President Trump.
“Elderly people experiencing memory loss and other problems associated with age can go for periods, for hours at a time and be just fine. I don’t think there’s any doubt Biden’s senile, but that doesn’t mean it’s going to show up tonight,” Hume said.
“And now that the expectations for him have been set so low, you know if he comes out and doesn’t drool and gets through everything pretty well it could end up being quite a boost for him.”
Hume re-upped his criticism a year later in November of 2021 during a discussion on whether Biden will run for reelection in 2024.
“I don’t think it’s at all clear that he intends to run again. … In fact, I think the thing we have to watch is the question of whether he serves out his first term. He’s clearly deteriorating, he’s clearly senile, and his health is, despite his doctor’s claims to the contrary, you know, when you’re falling down stairs and so on as he did climbing the stairs to Air Force One, that’s worrisome,” he said.
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