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The Student News Site of Delaware Valley Regional High School

The Delphi

The Student News Site of Delaware Valley Regional High School

The Delphi

Should there be an age limit for holding political office?

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Ellie Lyons
Should there be age restrictions for politicians in the U.S.?

In the United States of America, over 70% of the Senate is run by leaders who are over 59 years old. President Biden is 80-years-old. Is having so many old people in power good for the country?   

As political leaders grow older, there happens to be downfalls to their old age, some of which being medical issues which can affect their capability of holding office.

Issues revolving around old age, over 65, consist of diseases such as Alzheimers and Dementia. These illnesses can lead to loss of memory, motor skills, speaking comprehension and problem-solving skills. It becomes evident to most that someone dealing with these symptoms should not be in charge of making decisions for a nation. 

At the moment, there are no laws preventing someone from holding office once reaching a certain age.

“According to the Supreme Court at this point, [this type of law] would be a violation of the poor intentions clause of the 14th amendment,” said AP Government and AP U.S. History teacher Ted Manner.

Although there are negatives to having older people in office, there are some positives as well. For example, if one of our leaders is on the older side, they tend to have more experience than a younger candidate would. This added expertise could help them make better decisions based on their past experiences that a younger politician may not have.

Del Val students had a different perspective when asked on how they felt knowing that the majority of U.S. political leaders are 65 and over.

 “I think it’s kind of odd that we allow that–at that age their brain starts to slow down,” said a Del Val freshman. “You can see with Biden, the stress of his job puts some kind of toll on his health.”

Recently, there have been several incidents with different political leaders who seem to be struggling to do their jobs. A prime example of this is Senator Mitch McConnell. He has recently been seen struggling to understand and answer questions at press conferences.  He has also been referred to as “freezing” on multiple accounts.

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These moments are a clear display of McConnell struggling to comprehend others, which can indicate to some kind of medical issue. Although there has been little said about his condition, it is obvious that he is not fit to still be serving. However, little has been done about the situation.

If some kind of age limit law was passed, it may be able to prevent problems like this from occurring. Unfortunately, the chances of a law being passed is unlikely to happen due to most of our politicians  being above this age. However, if this issue is an important concern for voters, they always have the option to get in contact with their representatives and explain how they feel.

On the contrary, there are plenty of older politicians who are able to do their jobs well. If some kind of age limit was added, it may weed out leaders who are still doing a good job. A different solution for this problem could be adding a term limit for all political positions. This proposal would have the possibility to  make sure everyone holding office is capable of serving the nation well.

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About the Contributor
Ellie Lyons
Ellie Lyons, Opinion Editor
Ellie Lyons is a freshman at Del Val, and she is the Assistant Opinion Editor for "The Delphi." She enjoys reading and playing softball in her free time. Ellie hopes to join softball along with other clubs and sports in the future at Del Val. Before attending Del Val, she was a student at Alexandria Middle School.
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