Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
April 19, 2023

The United States Of Gerontocrats

Like all beings people grow old. In the later stages of live this usually comes with physical and mental impairments. That is why people older than 70 tend to get nudged out of their office. 

But that is not true for the U.S. Congress which fits the definition of a gerontocracy:

A gerontocracy is a form of oligarchical rule in which an entity is ruled by leaders who are significantly older than most of the adult population. In many political structures, power within the ruling class accumulates with age, making the oldest individuals the holders of the most power. Those holding the most power may not be in formal leadership positions, but often dominate those who are. In a simplified definition, a gerontocracy is a society where leadership is reserved for elders.

This comes with political consequences.

Democrats still face Feinstein dilemma as replacement bid fails

Democrats’ plan to replace an ailing senator on the Senate Judiciary Committee fell apart amid Republican opposition Tuesday, leaving the party still grappling with a dilemma over stalled judicial nominees that has inflamed some in the Democratic base and complicated the Senate race to succeed her in California.

Republicans prevented Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) from temporarily replacing Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), who has been absent since February while recovering from shingles, on the panel with another Democrat on Tuesday evening.

Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.) objected to the move, saying it would allow Democrats to “pass out a handful of judges that I think should never be on the bench.”

That leaves Senate Democrats still grappling with how to deal with their oldest member’s extended absence, which has resulted in some of President Biden’s judicial nominees stalling out in the Judiciary Committee without her tiebreaking vote. The powerful committee, which is probing allegations of financial conflicts of interest against Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, also lacks the votes to issue subpoenas in her absence.

“It creates a real dilemma for us,” said Sen. Peter Welch (D-Vt.), a member of the Judiciary Committee. “We’re stuck, if it’s [a] 10-10 [split between Democrats and Republicans]. That’s not an opinion — that’s a reality.”

It is a bit weird that a story about a procedural problem caused by the old age of a member of Congress quotes of many old people.

  • Senator Dianne Feinstein was born on June 22, 1933. She is 89 years old.
  • Senator Charles E. Schumer was born on November 23, 1950. He is 72 years old.
  • President Joe Biden was born on November 20, 1942. He is 80 years old.
  • Justice Clarence Thomas was born on June 23, 1948. He is 74 years old.
  • Senator Lindsey O. Graham was born on July 9, 1955. He is 67 years old.
  • Senator Peter Welch was born on May 2, 1947. He is 75 years old.

A bit further down in the story:

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Richard J. Durbin (D-Ill.), who has said her absence has hampered the committee, said he would not try to “push her into any other decision.”
Biden, who recruited Feinstein to serve on the Judiciary Committee and considers her a long-term friend and a political ally, has also given her space.
Biden’s own age at 80 makes it politically fraught to even gently nudge someone to retire, and he also resisted Democrats’ past calls to push Supreme Court Justice Stephen G. Breyer to resign to appoint a younger successor — making him an unlikely ally in the effort.

Feinstein has withstood multiple rounds of calls for her to resign over the years, as unflattering anecdotes emerged from some of her colleagues and others about her memory lapses and her perceived cognitive decline, as well as her visible reliance on her aides in public-facing aspects of her job. But the holdup on judicial nominees created by her absence has changed the tenor of the conversation among Democratic activists.
Feinstein’s allies, including Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif), who is backing Schiff’s candidacy, have long rebuffed the notion that Feinstein should step down on anyone’s terms other than her own. They have bristled at the calls for her to resign and allow California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) to appoint a replacement through the end of her term — categorizing those suggestions as a sexist double standard that is not applied to aging male senators.

Former senator Barbara Boxer, who served with Feinstein from 1992 to 2017, called the refusal of Senate Republicans to give Feinstein the time that she needs to recover “disgraceful,” “divisive” and “disrespectful.”

“If a Republican senator had the same situation happen to them as Senator Feinstein, she would be the very first one calling them and saying, ‘What can I do for you?’” Boxer said in an telephone interview. “What they are doing — because it’s expected, because people know the hardball they are playing — is not getting the discussion that it deserves.”

The age of the persons listened to is again way above average.

  • Senator Richard J. Durbin was born on November 21, 1944. He is 78 years old.
  • Justice Stephen G. Breyer was born on August 15, 1938. He is 84 years old.
  • Rep. Nancy Pelosi was born on March 26, 1940. She is 83 years old.
  • Former senator Barbara Boxer was born on November 11, 1940. She is 82 years old.

The median age in the United States is 38.5 years. Should a bunch of octogenarians be trusted to decide the fate of a much younger population?

I of course fudged a bit. The story also named Schiff who is 62 and Newsom who is 55 years old. It also has voices of a few other people. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, age 33, is the youngest one. The three reporters who wrote the story are all about 40 years old.

Still, Congress and the Supreme Court have an age problem.

Internationally the average age of the U.S. Congress is unusually high. The average age of 118th Congress is 58 years. In the House of representatives the average is 57 years while the Senators have an average age of 64 years.

The average age of the members of the German Bundestag is 49 years which is only two years more than the median age of the German population. While there is no upper age limit for members of the Bundestag the judges of the German supreme court (Verfassungsgericht) have to retire when they pass 68.

The French Assemblée has a similar average age as the Bundestag. The members British House of Commons has an average age of about 50. (The members of the less powerful House of Lords have an average age of 70. But most of the 770+ members do not attend parliament procedures. The Lords chamber, rarely filled, only has a seating capacity for about 300 members.)

How come that the average age of Congress members is a decade older than the average age of other parliaments?

I genuine do not understand why that is the case.

What are the consequences?

I can think of only bad ones.

How could this be changed?

Introduce a formal age limit for members of Congress and judges. Due to the old average age of Congress this would be difficult to pass if the limit is too low. But a limit of 75 years would probably pass and sounds good to me.

Any better ideas?

Posted by b on April 19, 2023 at 16:51 UTC | Permalink

next page »

puppets in high places hold great value to their owners. popular voting means nothing next to the measures implemented by those rigging elections through primary deceptions, no contests, phony candidates consuming oxygen. this is what unfettered corruption looks like. Please dont blame the victims.

Posted by: Not Ewe | Apr 19 2023 16:59 utc | 1

not to mention the reservoir of intelligence sourced "candidates" flooding the market. Any decent person with remaining brain function would know better than to waste their time trying to compete in a fixed game. even without programmable ballot boxes.

Posted by: Not Ewe | Apr 19 2023 17:02 utc | 2

The USG is rotten to the core.
It can't be fixed, only destroyed.
Me thinks Russia and China will do the world a favor....

Posted by: Robert Hope | Apr 19 2023 17:04 utc | 3

I don’t think that there is a serious effort to keep old people in power other than the fact that they are a safe bet even if mentally deficient. In addition, they have been conditioned for a long time to follow orders and if they have any idea of a peaceful retirement they better continue doing what they are being told or else. Just listen to what these people are made to say!

I am always amazed by the absolute fascination of all media commentators (including alternative internet based media) of what these professional "politicians" and other actors are saying in public. It seems that this fascination only feeds these public figures of any age to come up with more and more outrageous things to say which in turn brings them to the forefront of media attention even if only to being mocked and laughed at. As if the presence at the center of attention even if negative is a sufficient reason to mouth these stupidities. But is it really so, can they be so stupid? I do not think so. A much more realistic explanation in my view, is that they are employed to do so in order to keep the public distracted. And yes, they are as disposable as toiletries, because their usefulness is only one-dimensional and momentary.

I can understand the MSM fascination with these public pronouncements, that is their job, but why are alternative media commentators paying attention to what is being said by these clowns. It is true that alternative commentators are mostly laughing at them, but even if their outrageous lies and their most asinine opinions are mocked, their nature and provenance are not being explained so that the audience can understand that not all things can be excused by stupidity. As if no one dares suggest that all this infotainment is one gigantic psy-op directed at the public to provide “circuses” even if “bread” may soon become scarce.

Take just one recent example from the furore around famous "leaks." It is said that lies found in these official documents came from the analysts' blind belief in Ukrainian sources. Notwithstanding the outrageous suggestion that Ukraine is running a propaganda operation independent of Western "experts,” the very idea that professional analysts in security agencies would include propaganda material in official secret (even internal) documents blows the mind. As is often said, if you believe that I have a bridge to sell you.

Posted by: Pagan | Apr 19 2023 17:18 utc | 4

To set an age limit is discriminatory. Some people have razor sharp minds at 80+ and others are mush at 60. It’s the voters fault for allowing mush brains to be re-elected past their prime.Having once worked as a polling official I saw many mush brain voters, including those bussed in from the local mental institution, get to vote. If you want honest sharp brained politicians then perhaps only allow taxpayers who have passed a basic civics course to vote.

Posted by: Neal | Apr 19 2023 17:21 utc | 5

Wasn't the USSR a gerontocracy in it's last years?

Posted by: SwissArmyMan | Apr 19 2023 17:22 utc | 6

Before you place blame on others Y’all vote for those in power. You all celebrate violence You all love war death and destruction. Best look at yourselves first

Posted by: sadness | Apr 19 2023 17:25 utc | 7

Term limits would be helpful. I live in the USA, and I'm not even sure what they are. But it should be like the president. Two terms, and then make your dough on the think tank circuit.
I don't think there is anything wrong with an Éminence grise helping steer the ship. I think of Nursultan Nazarbayev in Kazakhstan. But, ultimately, the USA has very few politicians who have the best interest of the country at heart. It's sad and boring.
Thank you, b! I look forward to this discussion!

Posted by: lex talionis | Apr 19 2023 17:25 utc | 8

Term limits and age limits
Should be imposed on all
Who hold public office.

Posted by: Dingo | Apr 19 2023 17:28 utc | 9

re: “We’re stuck, if it’s [a] 10-10 [split between Democrats and Republicans]. "

So part of the problem is refusal of the two parties to allow third (and more) parties to exist. Ralph Nader had a rotten experience running for president while referring to the D's and R's as "tweedledum and tweedledee." But hey, it's still a democracy, right? . . .Wrong.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Apr 19 2023 17:28 utc | 10

Power corrupts Bernard.
And the longer you have Power the more it corrupts.
The insider share information and trading.
Say no more!

Posted by: jpc | Apr 19 2023 17:29 utc | 11

@ Neal | Apr 19 2023 17:21 utc | 5
To set an age limit is discriminatory . . It’s the voters fault for allowing mush brains to be re-elected
Absolutely, and the best example is Biden who has always been a "mush brain," it's not age-related, nothing new.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Apr 19 2023 17:34 utc | 12

What is possible and what is wise are not the same thing. IMSHO, mid '60s is a good mandatory retirement age. This isn't to say that some people older than 65 don't remain sharp and capable. Those people are rare. b's measure is, I think, very good – the average age of the population. There are two problems. One. People who seek to be in legislatures are seeking power which is addictive so they don't want to let go. and Two. People keep electing the same fool over and over again. This happens, I think, because people are lazy and because the political system tends to throw up the same people over and over again. A combination of the political system and the amount of money needed to make a run leaves you with only the power mad. And that's not a good thing.

Posted by: Jeff Harrison | Apr 19 2023 17:38 utc | 13

Age does not necessarily mean disability, and does generally correlate with knowledge, at least within one viewpoint group.

Rather than age limits, consider fair competency limits.

Far more important is rooting out corruption, which requires monitoring all public officials and their relatives and associates for life.

Posted by: Sam F | Apr 19 2023 17:42 utc | 14

Just for the record I think Trump is too old to run again. Regardless of any other qualities or defects.

And the cabbage that is Biden should shame the USA and all those who engage in the cover up regarding his mental acuity.

It convinces me that politics in the west like the is Wizard of Oz.

Posted by: marcjf | Apr 19 2023 17:42 utc | 15

It isn't the people who want to have elderly leaders; it is the elite gerentology. Fix the voting system and the problem will be solved. That's an entire project in itself, where money has to be taken out of elections entirely. It can be done; it doesn't need a change in the basics. Just remove the influence money now has.

This is happening on the multipolarity global scene - the shift away from the US dollar. It needs to happen here. It used to happen here. Remember 'we the people'? Written quite largely as I remember.

But you already knew this; everyone does.

Posted by: juliania | Apr 19 2023 17:42 utc | 16

US Federal government has long been dominated by the elderly and isn't a recent phenomenon, although the trend has increased with the advent of modern communications and the surfacing of the Donor Problem--corruption--and its twin the Revolving Door. It's curious that the US Constitution provides age requirements to hold certain offices, while the "for life" aspect accorded USSC Justices has long been controversial. There was once justice to the term "Campaign Trail" as it took physical stamina to traverse it nationally for POTUS elections. Recall that before Senators were directly elected that they were often promoted on the GOB basis--Good Old Boys--by their state legislatures. And of course, a Gerontocracy guarantees some form of conservative politics, as well as smaller regard for starting wars in which they don't have to participate. Furthermore, there's always been a Generation Gap hallmarked by condensation by the old towards the young exemplified by many derogatory terms.

In this specific case, considering the huge backlog in getting justice served because there aren't enough judges to hear trials, the public interest is being stomped on by politicians doing their usual partisan shit--both sides do the same as we well know. Well over half the jail population within the Outlaw US Empire consists of innocent people who await trails and are incarcerated because they can't meet the outrageous bail amounts which destroy their lives and property. The right to a speedy trial was designed to eliminate that problem but is ignored at all levels of government nowadays. Yes, it's a huge human rights problem.

IMO, Feinstein has long been unfit for office for reasons other than her age and has become the female version of Strom Thurmond.

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 19 2023 17:51 utc | 17

The problem is not the age of these people. It is that they are a bunch of capitalist and imperialist warmongers who do not give a smeg about ordinary peoples' lives. Just look at the media-hailed woke leaders all around the "Western world", b. They are so intelligent, so fit, so 30, 40 years younger than Feinstein or Biden. But old or young, fit or ill - politically they differ only very slightly. In fact, some of them like 360°-Baerbock, Ardern, or Finland’s Sanna Marin seem to be more unable and ideologically gerontocratic than the Soviet nomenklatura of the early 80s or your collection of contemporary US leaders. So - do not rise against age, rise against class.

Posted by: Seneschal | Apr 19 2023 17:52 utc | 18

The oldsters up there in Congress purporting to be political leaders are no such thing. Each one has a syndicate behind them that actually holds the political power. The geriatric you see is just a front for the syndicate that has recognized incumbamcy as the most expedient way to retain power - hence the older and and older they become. I would not be surprised if some are already dead and the syndicates use body doubles to keep their place at the table.

Posted by: Homer Tabert | Apr 19 2023 17:53 utc | 19

a limit of 75 years sounds good to me. this isn't just about mush brains, it's a about people so entrenched by decades of working together nothing changes. set donors, set lobbyists, set policy, that it's hard to break the chains. what's going on now holding up the judgeships, just like what happened with the supreme court.

i've given up on politician and am relying on de-dollarization to break down society as we now know it.

Posted by: annie | Apr 19 2023 17:55 utc | 20

Those who are still interested in voting in US are mostly quite old. Nursing homes notoriously have 100% turnout in every election, this relieves the management of ever having to compy with pesky laws and regulations.

Posted by: oldhippie | Apr 19 2023 17:55 utc | 21

The reason American politicians tend to be older is twofold: The cost of campaigning is so high that it favors the incumbent who is almost always supported by the party and its donor system over challengers. That in combination with the winner-take-all election system makes American elections favor the incumbent. In most other countries political campaigns don't cost as much and getting in office is based on percentage of votes, i.e., if 5 top parties each get a slice of the total vote each might get a seat, whereas in America only the winner gets a seat. Both of those factors leads to a system that favors the incumbent. So much so that in many elections the incumbent runs unopposed or only by fringe candidates.

Posted by: kana | Apr 19 2023 17:58 utc | 22

“How come that the average age of Congress members is a decade older than the average age of other parliaments?”

I guess we have an answer to what all these children’s organs and foetal stem cell research and labs have been about?

How old are Killinger & Muurrrrrrddorrrk?


Posted by: DunGroanin | Apr 19 2023 17:59 utc | 23

A gerontocracy is a likely consequence of a plutocracy, as the wealthiest amassed their fortunes the longest.

Posted by: Augustine | Apr 19 2023 18:02 utc | 24

@ marcjf | Apr 19 2023 17:42 utc | 15
Just for the record I think Trump is too old to run again.
Nothing cures old age discrimination like becoming elderly

Posted by: Don Bacon | Apr 19 2023 18:11 utc | 25

Lots of good reasons offered. Here are two more possibilities:

1) In the case of someone like Feinstein, don't forget the interests and power of her staff. It's not so much a case of her holding on to power--she's writhing in pain from shingles--as it is for her AA, LA and others to keep their powerful spots, especially considering it's California.

2) Anyone older than 77 is not a Boomer (I am one of "those.") Boomers have been despised as the generation that lost Vietnam, were hippies and revolutionaries, etc. Now a lot of that is an inaccurate stereotype, but that was the perception of a lot of the generations older than us. There was a reluctance to hand over the reins. That seems particularly evident in Congressional leadership, and especially among Democrats. When you remember that there have been three Boomer Presidents, Clinton, Bush and Trump, it might convince you that skipping over the Boomers entirely might have been good idea.

Posted by: Henry Moon Pie | Apr 19 2023 18:17 utc | 26

Term limits are simply a brake lever on democracy. The elite class introduced them to America in a panic, as the average voter had just handed FDR his fourth mandate to rule and build the middle class. They are an essential tool to ensure that if someone as popular as FDR ever came along again, he would only have 8 years before someone compromised can be reinserted to fill the seat.

Sure, the age differential problem could be solved by term limits, but the side effect is that you are limiting your own ability to choose a leader when it may be critically important. There are other ways to solve the problem that wouldn’t reduce the amount of choice the electorate has. The exception to this would be for appointed offices such as the Supreme Court.

If anything, I would like to see presidential term limits removed. Whoever comes along to pick up the pieces after the current lineup has destroyed everything is going to need more than 8 years to rebuild our standard of living. Putin couldn’t do it in 8 years.

We’re only conditioned to think that presidential term limits work in our favour because we’re accustomed to crooked and stolen elections and are perpetually reaching for the next end of term like it’s the light at the end of the tunnel. This is by design.

No administration, even a fictionally altruistic one, can have a vision exceeding 4 years. So as Americans we just sit and watch as “dictator” Xi builds thousands of miles of high speed rail while our own rail system looks like something that belongs in a former African colony. Term limits help lock you into this position, and the very system of control that their introduction was meant to free you from.

Posted by: Megafarts420 | Apr 19 2023 18:20 utc | 27

dementia, senility, memory lose…. no issue senators do what handlers say

Posted by: paddy | Apr 19 2023 18:22 utc | 28

What about the upper echelon above them?

Schwab, Soros, Gates, Kissinger,

Posted by: Ghost of Mozgovoy | Apr 19 2023 18:25 utc | 29

Soviet Union in the 80ies comes to mind...

Posted by: mk | Apr 19 2023 18:27 utc | 30

What concerns me more are the number of duel national US / Israelis in both party's.
The old wrinkles will soon kick the bucket so have little investment in the future! That's a concern regarding nuclear war ectra.

How many are not multi-millioniars, that's another concern. A good healthy govenment should reflect its voters.
My random thoughts.

Posted by: Mark2 | Apr 19 2023 18:27 utc | 31

Every elected official over 75 should be automatically retired, and everyone running for office should be subject to a simple test of mental abilities, that most 8year olds could pass, and ineligible if they fail it....

Posted by: pyrrhus | Apr 19 2023 18:30 utc | 32

karlof 17

I love "condensation of the old"!

Posted by: NOBTS | Apr 19 2023 18:34 utc | 33

you can't be genuinely asking these questions,
i am sure you had a chuckle every time you put a question mark to those questions.

by now, everyone i believe understand that there are no such thing as live tv.
yet we have been flooded with videos of an old man going senile. what gives?
and what is the difference between 10 year old emperor and a couple of 1000 year old senators?

these questions of yours will be answered soon. answered i mean, it won't matter, we won't care or remember when the next batch of narrative arrives. let the old men have their theaters, we are not monsters after all.

Posted by: zerdust | Apr 19 2023 18:39 utc | 34

Biden = Andropov

Posted by: Exile | Apr 19 2023 18:39 utc | 35

“ Nursing homes notoriously have 100% turnout in every election, “
Posted by: oldhippie | Apr 19 2023 17:55 utc | 21“

That’s how postal vote fraud works. It has been exponentially increasing here in the U.K. starting 2000.

We really don’t have a free and fair voting in the Collective Waste.

Posted by: DunGroanin | Apr 19 2023 18:39 utc | 36

US First Amendment Retracted

US. DOJ indicts four Americans for speech and political action, Caitlin, Johnson writes about it.

Posted by: Hermit | Apr 19 2023 18:42 utc | 37

While I agree that only the competent should lead, it must be said that competence is not only age related, but also consists of an absence of narcissism, sociopathy, inflexibility and emotionally ruled thinking.

I look at the cabal of incompetent lieutenants that control President Biden’s teleprompter and I am overwhelmed by distress.

We live in a society run by the self serving insane. Unfortunately in our current culture the above listed catastrophic traits are prerequisites for promotion.

“Greed is Good” has been our mantra for quite a long time.

Posted by: Michael.j | Apr 19 2023 18:44 utc | 38

Myself, I’m just amused that Feinstein was too stubborn, sloppy, or senile to have gotten a shingles vaccination.

Posted by: malenkov | Apr 19 2023 18:45 utc | 39

The two party political system and the plutocracy aspects of US society is what is creating the current US gerontocracy. Party hacks spend decades sucking up to the party elders to create a web of patronage and alliances that restrict who can be allowed into the valuable party and political offices that can be leveraged for future political advantage. This has created a political system that is extremely stable but also extremely stagnate and unable to make desperately needed reforms as all of the senior posts are linked together. a "reformer" willing to break the elite political consensus and push for changes would be an extremely isolated figure without any support to actually do anything. Additionally once the gerontocrats realize a reform figure has stolen an important post they would have dozens of institutional ways to eliminate them (political prosecutions, lawsuits, tax investigations, etc...). Don't look for reform from any of these political party "leaders", the consensus for reform will come from certain government institutions (probably the US military) and major corporate interests that will tell the political figures that reforms need to be imposed (they will helpfully provide the list of reforms too!) Once those reforms disastrously fail (and they will fail) - that's when you MIGHT get actual reform for the benefit of the common people, but it will probably be 8-12yrs from now before things have a chance to get better. the calculus is as follows

1-2 years from now, the economic situation in the US and collective West will be so bad that Western governments reluctantly implements some reforms
4-6 years after that, the elite have a "referendum" style election to determine if the reforms they previously imposed have achieved a result acceptable to the elite (the reforms will fail for everyone else of course, all they care about is the elite opinion)
2 years after that reality will impose an actual decision on those reforms, the best case scenario for the Western elite - a stagnate economy in a structural recession that drags on and on (i.e. the Japanese economy). The more likely scenario is the dysfunction junction, the economy, society and the government is disfunction on all levels similar to the rape of Russia situation of the 1990s, only then could actual reform for the common good of society come into force. But such a movement will need an American Putin, not a Bernie Sheepdog, to lead the charge and where could such a man be found.

Posted by: Kadath | Apr 19 2023 18:45 utc | 40

@ malenkov | Apr 19 2023 18:45 utc | 39 have gotten a shingles vaccination.
...nor two "shingrix," preferred

Posted by: Don Bacon | Apr 19 2023 18:49 utc | 41

The other option, of course, is to allow members of the US Congress to be elected and serve after death. (I believe one member was elected after death already.) Senator Feinstein is pushing the envelope to the very brink of the sepulchre. Clearly many USAers regularly vote for these barely warm bodies freely and frequently, and their decrepitude, dementia and infirm health has little impact on voter confidence. The benefit of these perennial politicians is obvious, they are consistent in policy, rhetoric, influence and probably corruption. With them the machine runs smoothly. Soon the ideal politician will be a trans-humanist construct able to represent the American voter in perpetuity with no surprises, no changes, and no bumps in the course of American Military Exceptionalism.

Posted by: john | Apr 19 2023 18:50 utc | 42

Having considered my above comment further I feel I may have been a bit harsh and inconsiderate.

After all MOA has a good amount of old wrinkles as regular contributors,
I can honestly say their the best commentors here !
Not a dud wrinkly amongst them.

Posted by: Mark2 | Apr 19 2023 18:51 utc | 43

I was listening to some USAian on the wireless this morning. He was lamenting the fact that those Northern Ireland politicians were refusing to meet and get things done. What sort of politician would run on a platform saying "vote for me and I'll do absolutely nothing" said he. I thought to myself, considering what they do do I'd vote for one of those in a heartbeat. I hope it spreads. That lady Feinstein and that chap Fetterman could be harbingers of freedom for us all.

Posted by: Guy L'Estrange | Apr 19 2023 18:53 utc | 44

You just gave me an excuse to post this gem of a video:

Just for context, this episode of DEEP SPACE NINE was a spoof of SEVEN SAMURAI and THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN as well as BATTLE BEYOND THE STARS with a bit of WEEKEND AT BERNIE'S thrown in.

Posted by: Elmer Fudd | Apr 19 2023 18:53 utc | 45

NOBTS # 33

We all struggle with an overly assertive spell checker.

Posted by: Elmer Fudd | Apr 19 2023 18:55 utc | 46

After observing what Annalena Baerbock and co. are doing to their countries, I don't think age matters in the governing of a country.

Posted by: Steve | Apr 19 2023 18:58 utc | 47

Fixing this won't cure a thing. It is the system that is broken. Anyone who can succeed in US politics will represent the oligarchs an only the oligarchs before they are seated.

What is needed is to replace all the oligarch's crooks by only voting for people who will sign an enforceable agreement, with severe penalties, to agree to do what the people tell them to do, to not do what the people tell them not to do, and to resign if the people tell them to do so.

Now it does not matter which party they run for, how smart they are, how well they speak. All they need to is do what they are told, and if enough Americans agree, they can win any election in a heartbeat.

Posted by: Hermit | Apr 19 2023 19:01 utc | 48

There are however some of us beyond the age of 70, who whilst aware of our lessened mental and bodily capacities still are acutely aware of the short-comings of the world we have experienced. Thus making us to yearn to tell future folks and our inheritors what we have learned. The sage Confucius is one good fore-runner: He left a welter of followers that divided into (at least) six different schools of thought and modi of actions. (For anyone interested, please t´read the nook "Ten Critigue(s" (Shí´pipànshu) by Guo Mòruuò (Kio Moh-jio) from the nineteen-forties, seen as eminently important by MMo Zé'dong (Mao Tse-tung) and according to him worthy of being hard-chritisized))
Unfortunately, no good English-language has yet appeared, but available in German, Russian, Japanese and Korean for shure.

Posted by: Tollef Ås/秋涛乐/טלפ וש | Apr 19 2023 19:06 utc | 49

@Megafarts420 | Apr 19 2023 18:20 utc | 27

Which "leader" would you trust above yourself, and why? Do you imagine that there is any "leader" that will put your interests above those of the effectively 8nfinitely wealthy oligarchs, and if so, why?

Posted by: Hermit | Apr 19 2023 19:06 utc | 50

It’s a career! What more do you want?

Posted by: Jose Garcia | Apr 19 2023 19:11 utc | 51

Bernard mentioned that the German Bundestag average age is 49
To be honest given their performances over the last decade

It's not a ringing endorsement for (relative,) youth in government is it?
Green idolatry, ignoring tapping of secure communications by an ally. Ignoring the destruction of energy infrastructure. An to top it all off supporting a war that's only going to conclude one way and sanctions that are destroying the German economy.
No not a resounding endorsement.

Posted by: jpc | Apr 19 2023 19:25 utc | 52

In Argentina, as of the 1994 Constitution, a supreme court judge should retire at 75 (they don't always respect that, but it's what the law says).

Given the sheer amount of critical cases that a supreme court should decide upon, it's an insult to the population that a justice remain until 90 years old or beyond. Many of them are senile (justice Fayt at 91 in Argentina made his assistants sign the accords on his behalf) and cannot cope with the rhythm. Some plaintiffs await years in the supreme court and these "oldies and rusties" cannot or do not want to speed up judiciary decisions.

What kind of justice can you have with such mummies in charge?

Posted by: Andres | Apr 19 2023 19:35 utc | 53

The USSR elected Gorbachëv to reverse the trend, I wonder what could the US do.

Some more information: the average age of the members of the Italian Parliament is 51. 49 years old for the lower chamber and 56 for the upper chamber, where the minimum age to be elected is 40 and there is a number of very old senators-for-life.

Posted by: SG | Apr 19 2023 19:38 utc | 54

Also the supreme court members are lifetime appointments. Do them too! Kidding, no assignments from me, only thanks.

Posted by: horatio | Apr 19 2023 19:41 utc | 55

If you want honest sharp brained politicians then perhaps only allow taxpayers who have passed a basic civics course to vote.

When I was in grade school, over 70 years ago, we got civics course in sixth grade. But that was the last year such a course was offered in that state. Four years later, in a private high school, our US History class did a lot of Civics. We read many US Supreme Dourt decisions, The US Constitution, etc. But the public high schools did not offer this.
So there would be very few potential voters who would qualify. Furthermore, with our economy being what it is, a lot of otherwise qualified people do not make enough money to be taxpayers..

Posted by: Jean-David Beyer | Apr 19 2023 19:49 utc | 56

It all becomes much clearer if you call it a 'Boomerocracy'. Reflect on that generation and its neurotic sense of immortality. They don't want to give up anything.

Posted by: Patroklos | Apr 19 2023 19:49 utc | 57

An interesting and intelligent post, but quite irrelevant.

The people you list as "gerontocrats" are mere puppets. Their mental status does not matter. Joe Biden could die, be freeze-dried, and nailed to the chair in the Oval Office, and nothing would change.

I would say rather that our rulers are finding it increasingly convenient to use as proxies morons and buffoons. These sorts of proxies are unlikely to get their own ideas and go rogue (example 1: Vladimir Putin), it makes us underestimate the true vicious amoral intelligence of the ruling elite, and when something bad happens due to the deliberate malice of the rulers, it can all be chalked up to said proxy being senile.

Posted by: TG | Apr 19 2023 19:50 utc | 58


That person hasn't revealed themself yet. If they did they would be destroyed. Trump only wore the mask and got destroyed. Putin was a taxi driver during the Russian collapse. I have no idea where the person with a brain and a spine will come from.

Posted by: Megafarts | Apr 19 2023 19:54 utc | 59


is age the real problem?
with THESE people?

I might miss something but where I live in terms of foreign policy, e.g. people who are over 60 are more likely to have sane views.

Schumer was a problem 30 years ago already.
Sanders was trustworthy 30 years ago.

Think of the many complaints about the under-30s in the Pentagon now, who think they are running the show, not least concerning counterstrike capabilities.

The young ones we would like to see in politics might just not make it there since you have to be highly "dynamic" in how to treat other human beings a.k.a. you have to be opportunistic and a liar.

Those with a true heart whatever age might dodge the system.

And the economisation of all aspects of your social life is even more acute among the very young.

Difficult times ahead.

But to quote a man, born 1928: No other way than carry on (Noam Chomsky)
Ellsberg is no youngster for that matter.

Neither is Diana Johnstone nor was Barbara Ehrenreich nor is Norman Finkelstein or many many women in scholarship whose names are unknown who are much smarter than Gloria Steinem but not as vain I assume.

(Which doesn´t mean I dont´t respect Steinem´s battles. But the anecdote that she most likely was unknowingly/knowingly put into position to discredit Bernie Sanders Corbyn-style had Sanders won the Primaries made me change some views.)

And here too - age not il problema.

Posted by: AG | Apr 19 2023 19:54 utc | 60

Return to a constitutional republic. Eliminate the federal income tax. End the use of executive orders. Shut down many of the departments (education, EPA, FDA, etc). Return all that power to the states. The only reason they are there is for the power. They are psychopaths. Take away the power and return it to the states and all the senators will run for governor next election. LOL. It would at least shake things up and make it all transparent at that point. It'll take them years to recovery... and they would struggle to get control a lot of the red states again.

Posted by: goldhoarder | Apr 19 2023 19:59 utc | 61

Assuming the congressmen do have something to say, unlike the USA president who's basically a secretary at the front desk pretending to run the show, it would indeed make sense for forced retirement. 68 Seems reasonable. I do wonder if it would make a big difference though. Can we really assume that congressmen and senators are acting independently and not taking their cue from high paying lobbyist?

One of the senators that is probably most devoid of any morality is Lindsey "Lady G." Graham.
Perhaps you’ve heard of Lady G? It’s the nickname given to Lindsey Graham, the conservative senator from South Carolina—and, according to Gay Twitter, a frequent employer of gay sex workers. We can’t substantiate the growing rumors about Lindsey Graham’s rapacious appetite for porn dick, but we can certainly weigh in on why it matters if the assertions are true.

Posted by: xor | Apr 19 2023 20:05 utc | 62

It seems reasonable to me that all elected officials cannot be older than 70 at the end of their electoral term. Age restrictions apply to many things in society such as when you can vote, consume alcohol, join the military, claim the age pension etc so politicians should also have an age restriction applied to them, as it’s a 100% certainty that people will decline with age. You gotta draw the line somewhere otherwise you end up where the US is at now which is a detriment to the country.

Posted by: John G | Apr 19 2023 20:06 utc | 63

Age limit + a tough cognitive test, including on knowledge of information that a leader at this level should both know and understand, that if passed, voids the age limit for one year.

Posted by: muttman | Apr 19 2023 20:21 utc | 64

Congress is still majority boomers and silents. That generation is apparently not happy to merely leave behind a desiccated and mongrelized corpse of a nation, they seem hellbent on turning it into an irradiated, mutant strewn wasteland.

Name one other generation in any country in 5000 years of human history content to see their grandchildren and beyond live in a dystopic hellworld where they are a persecuted minority. Look at the memes they post. They think it's funny. They *brag* about it, and then act shocked when people call them out on it.

Posted by: MR | Apr 19 2023 20:21 utc | 65

NOBTS | Apr 19 2023 18:34 utc | 33--

Yeah, continence is also a problem not confined to the bowel or urinary tract as many politicos have proven, Biden in particular.

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 19 2023 20:23 utc | 66

Baerbock, Macron, BoJo, Sanchez, Sana Marin and Ze"Dickplayer"Linsky...

Georges Brassens' final judgment in song since November 1961

"L'âge ne fait rien à l'affaire, quand on est con, on est con"
More about this song, and pardon my french,QUAND-ON-EST-CON,1753059.html

Through this song, Georges Brassens adheres to Einstein's famous quote that states, "Two things are infinite: the Universe and human stupidity. But, as far as the Universe is concerned, I have not yet acquired absolute certainty."

Posted by: La Bastille | Apr 19 2023 20:25 utc | 67

I have a very simple one question test for all people seeking office that must be correctly answered to qualify for the ballot: What is the purpose of representative government under the US Constitution?

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 19 2023 20:26 utc | 68

when you've been fighting the Cold War on behalf of Raytheon for 80 years, seeing superadvanced, physics-defying Chinese war balloons thru one's cataracts is not such a challenge.

it takes time for youth to get up to speed on napalming countries, fixing elections, running death squads, creating drug crises, funding and arming (again!) a Nazi force willing to invade Russia, funding and arming (again!) a Japanese force willing to take on China, cutting the French out of submarine deals, selling F35s, passing a "patriot act" for the internet, getting more military bases for your state and more military gear for your police, expanding NATO, setting up ICE facilities for all the illegal children, etc., etc., all the while maintaining a busy social schedule of visiting Taiwan and/or Ukraine and/or Israel, along with the daily round of gladhanding and backscrubbing K Street lobbyists.

who even has time for prostitutes? it's a tough job. you cannot even imagine how difficult it is to be someone like Chuck Grassley. sometimes, when a tornado blows thru, he has to pretend to care! he might even be seen on CSPAN. youth are not up to it.

Posted by: rjb1.5 | Apr 19 2023 20:34 utc | 69

How come that the average age of Congress members is a decade older than the average age of other parliaments?

I genuine do not understand why that is the case.

What are the consequences?

I can think of only bad ones.

How could this be changed?

Introduce a formal age limit for members of Congress and judges. Due to the old average age of Congress this would be difficult to pass if the limit is too low. But a limit of 75 years would probably pass and sounds good to me.

Any better ideas?

Yes, term limits for Congress. If POTUS can only serve two terms, than so should Representatives and Senators.

Posted by: Monos | Apr 19 2023 20:39 utc | 70

@La Bastille 67

I concur!

and thx for the song

Posted by: AG | Apr 19 2023 20:40 utc | 71

b, here are some bi-partisan media comments about two old dogs that barked far longer than they had a right to.

WASHINGTON - In the midst of a routine task he has performed hundreds, maybe thousands, of times before, 98-year-old Strom Thurmond recently made a mistake in the order of the ceremonial opening of the Senate. He began the daily proceedings not with the customary prayer but with the Pledge of Allegiance.
Normally, this might be a matter of importance only to the chaplain, who gave the Senate's Republican president pro tem a gentle nudge to get him back on track. Thurmond has for years been acknowledged to be a shrunken, shuffling, shadow of his robust former self.

But a ghoulish preoccupation now attends every act of the nation's oldest and longest-serving senator, who has been hospitalized repeatedly for fatigue and other minor ailments during the past year.
With the Senate split 50-50, the Republicans can claim majority control only because their party holds the White House and Vice President Dick Cheney, whose own health is another source of concern, is empowered to break ties in their favor.

A loss of just one Republican seat would end a power-sharing arrangement and shift control of the Senate to the Democrats, who would not likely favor President Bush's priorities, such as the $1.6 trillion tax cut the Senate is about to take up.

If Thurmond is unable to remain in office until the end of next year to complete what he already has said will be his final term, his replacement would be named by Jim Hodges, South Carolina's Democratic governor.
Thus, as South Carolina's Democratic Party Chairman Dick Harpootlian, puts it: "After 46 years in office, Strom is down to 20 months left and everybody's focused on whether he's going to make it."
As Thurmond serves his party in perhaps the most vital capacity that he has in years, he draws attention to how accommodating Congress - the House as well as the Senate - can be to members who choose to stay long past the peak of performance.

His staff does his work.

Staff assistants can carry out almost every necessary function - drafting legislation, answering mail, solving constituent problems, meeting with other lawmakers and even receiving visitors at the congressional office.
In Thurmond's case, Chief of Staff Duke Short has been acting on behalf of his boss for many years. In other instances, wives or other relatives have quietly stepped in to call the shots.
The only responsibility a legislator can't delegate to a surrogate is his floor vote. Sometimes members of Congress have to come on crutches or in wheelchairs. Once in a great while a legislator shows up on a hospital gurney.

Thurmond is still moving under his own power and so far hasn't missed a vote. But after years of relying on an aide to escort him from his office to the Senate floor, Thurmond now relies on at least two assistants to get him where he needs to go.

'It's a club'

Fellow legislators tend to be very sympathetic to failing colleagues. In business, there might be concern about the bottom line. In academia, even tenured professors face periodic reviews. In the health fields, steps are taken to avoid medical mistakes. But Congress can be more like a family making allowances for ailing members.

"It's a club," says James Thurber, director of the Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies at The American University. "Lawmakers tend to be very tolerant of each other's foibles in this area as well as others. Reciprocity is very strong, especially in the Senate. They treat each other with respect, if they have been treated with respect."

A key distinction, of course, is that lawmakers are essentially peers who answer only to the voters of their state or district. The voters of South Carolina chose to re-elect Thurmond to an eighth term in 1996 after a campaign waged by his challenger focused almost exclusively on the issue of Thurmond's age. His colleagues are in no position to overrule that.

Legislative leaders will ease their failing colleagues out of power positions, however. Thurmond invoked his seniority to take the helm of the Armed Services committee when Republicans gained the majority in 1995. He stepped aside in favor of Sen. John Warner, R-Va., in 1999, however.
House Democratic leaders had a tougher time a few years earlier persuading Rep. Mo Udall, D-Ariz., who had Parkinson's disease, to give up the chairmanship of the House Interior Committee, where he had made his mark as a leading conservationist.

Trying to cut a deal
Thurmond has hinted that he may be willing, even eager, to lay his burden down if he could avoid upsetting the balance in the Senate. Rumors have been circulating for more than a year that the South Carolina Republican was trying to strike a deal with Democratic Gov. Hodges that would allow him to step aside in favor of the senator's estranged wife, Nancy.

Thurmond confirmed last November - before it was certain that the Senate GOP margin had slipped from 54-46 to 50-50 - that he would agree to an arrangement that would allow Nancy to serve for a few months. But he withdrew the statement almost immediately, saying he had received a torrent of complaints from constituents.


WASHINGTON - The U.S. Senate ground to a halt yesterday as one West Virginia Democrat, his hands trembling and his voice raised, refused to yield the floor.

Sen. Robert C. Byrd, the 84-year-old master of Senate rules and procedures and fierce protector of congressional prerogatives, was issuing a plea as the senators debated a measure authorizing President Bush to attack Iraq.

"Give the Senate more time," the silver-haired Byrd implored. "We are being hurried into making a decision that is premature."

Byrd knows his actions won't block the likely Senate approval of the measure. Yet he is determined to prolong the debate to give the chamber more time to weigh the vast consequences of its decision - for the course of American history and for the precedent it sets in Congress.

It's a role Byrd has often embraced in the Senate, where he is second in seniority only to Republican Strom Thurmond of South Carolina, who turns 100 in December and is retiring after 48 years.

Posted by: Ed | Apr 19 2023 20:43 utc | 72">"> Given the racial/woke tensions, the decay of democrat cities, the rise of crime ( especially after the coming mass unemployment crisis/Econ depression) the US will likely collapse, creating both shithole countries full of illegals/drugs like California, as well as more prosperous ones like Texas.

Posted by: Phariah | Apr 19 2023 20:48 utc | 73

Yes, term limits for Congress. If POTUS can only serve two terms, then so should Representatives and Senators.

Posted by: Monos | Apr 19 2023 20:39 utc | 70

While we are at it, why not term limits (age limits) for SCOTUS as well.

Posted by: Ed | Apr 19 2023 20:51 utc | 74

The most extreme case is the "gray eminence" Henry Kissinger with 99 years. To make it complete: George Soros is 92, Klaus Schwab is 85.
This brings me to the following thought: could it be that "rejuvenation" technology is much more advanced than is commonly known? That "gray elites" have access to more longevity than is thought possible? In the future, this might even get worse: the puppet masters might one day turn out to be immortal demented old men.

Posted by: xblob | Apr 19 2023 20:55 utc | 75

Semi related to the OP topic is Musk's most recent sensational observation:

US businessman Elon Musk on Wednesday said the US is bound to default on its debt at some point.

"Given Federal expenditures, it is a matter of when, not if, we default," he said on Twitter.

He was commenting on a White House video that lashed into Republicans for their refusal to approve a higher government debt ceiling.

The inability to have fiscal responsibility is a byproduct of the Gerontocratic Congress. It pauperizes the future to live high-on-the-hog in the present.

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 19 2023 20:56 utc | 76

Posted by: La Bastille | Apr 19 2023 20:25 utc | 67
Mercí, dude! Great song! I have never heard it. Great Lyrics. Here is a link to an English translation.

Time Doesn't Make a Difference

Posted by: lex talionis | Apr 19 2023 20:57 utc | 77

Senators in Canada are appointed on recommendation from the government. They remain in office until mandatory retirement at 75 years of age.,mandatory%20retirement%20age%20of%2075

Posted by: Patrick | Apr 19 2023 20:57 utc | 78

" Term limits and age limits
Should be imposed on all
Who hold public office.

Posted by: Dingo | Apr 19 2023 17:28 utc | 9 "

How old is Putin ? How many years has he been in power already ?

Posted by: Deplorable Commisar | Apr 19 2023 20:57 utc | 79

Deplorable: Putin is 70 years old and apparently has not been in power long enough.

Posted by: malenkov | Apr 19 2023 21:01 utc | 80

b "Any better ideas?"

Yes, just let the voters decide. The constitution is quite clear what the qualifications for various offices are. With all the bleating about voter access/suppression - if you really respect democracy, just people chose whomever they want.

Posted by: ian | Apr 19 2023 21:02 utc | 81

Having considered my above comment further I feel I may have been a bit harsh and inconsiderate.

After all MOA has a good amount of old wrinkles as regular contributors,
I can honestly say they're the best commentors here !
Not a dud wrinkly amongst them.

Posted by: Mark2 | Apr 19 2023 18:51 utc | 43

Yes, but there is nothing that old farts can write about on MoA that can kill a half million people like Biden and his old fart in Congress have already done in Ukraine. And never mind Iraq, Libya, and Syria. These old farts raise their hands and people all around the world die.

Posted by: Ed | Apr 19 2023 21:04 utc | 82

"Wasn't the USSR a gerontocracy in it's last years?" - SwissArmyMan #6.

Exactly that. Elderly politicians are not accountable for detonating the political system and make room for the NWO or whatever follows next. By the time any lawsuits are concluded they 'r dead already. They are perfect for the job.

Posted by: RON | Apr 19 2023 21:06 utc | 83

It seems that people's shortcomings get worse with time while their qualities remain unchanged. A defect-based system will therefore favour the elderly.

Posted by: Leuk | Apr 19 2023 21:08 utc | 84

How many people run for office for the first time after the age of, say, 55 anyway? I'd wager that it's probably 10% or less of Americans seeking political office, maybe 5% at the federal level alone. Granted, since only one person can hold the executive office, it's far more likely to skew "geriatric" as is the federal courts system with lifetime appointments.

I agree with those commenters who have noted that elected American officials are merely front men/women/trans for various crime syndicates masquerading as legitimate businesses and that the older the person is, the more predictable and reliable.

In any case, to me this is just another example of a relatively unique mindset in the USA amounting to one form of American exceptionalism and "rugged individualism" as common fronts for greed and complete lack of empathy for future generations or, in many cases, most other people at all.

I also agree that perhaps term limits is too blunt a tool to deal with this issue, and in fact has been used to squash any mid- long-term planning by the executive that might threaten the MIC and finance capital's grip on the government.

So I'd be all in favor of age limits on incumbent elected politicians even if some will (as they have in this thread) moan and groan about ageism and all that crap. Again, the truth of the matter is that most of these people first ran for office in their 30s or 40s and have been sitting there milking the system for decades. I could also get behind an upper age limit for someone seeking certain offices at the federal level. Believe it or not, I say this as someone in his 50s that has considered running for office in the past, and to a lesser extent in the future (these days anyway) and I'd still be fine with an age limit if I were a politician. It's all about selfishness and greed, though.

Posted by: Tom_Q_Collins | Apr 19 2023 21:09 utc | 85

Posted by: AG | Apr 19 2023 19:54 utc | 60

"....Neither is Diana Johnstone nor was Barbara Ehrenreich nor is Norman Finkelstein or many many women in scholarship whose names are unknown who are much smarter than Gloria Steinem but not as vain I assume...."

I'll just add a name to your list, AG -- one that I consider the best of the lot.

Molly Ivins

Who told us in her own inimitable way:- "Ya gotta dance with them that brung ya."

She saw it, and she nailed it.

Posted by: juliania | Apr 19 2023 21:11 utc | 86

By the time any lawsuits are concluded they 'r dead already. They are perfect for the job.

Posted by: RON | Apr 19 2023 21:06 utc | 83

And I'd add that in the USA there's another "benefit" - They won't live long enough to be alive when the government finally abides by the FOIA requests or its own promises to declassify documents...cough....JFK....cough....

Posted by: Tom_Q_Collins | Apr 19 2023 21:11 utc | 87

It is not repeat NOT a matter of age. Some people grow wise with age; others grow stubborn or senile. The real question is whether an electorate can or is allowed to recognize the difference.

Posted by: malenkov | Apr 19 2023 21:13 utc | 88

Posted by: juliania | Apr 19 2023 21:11 utc | 86


Molly Ivins and Ann Richards*. Both are Texas legends.

* About the only beef I have with Richards is how she helped force the University of Texas at Austin and Texas A&M to let Texas Tech and Baylor sports programs tag along with them to what became the Big 12 after the Southwestern Conference blew up in the early 90s, in part because of the very presence of the religious schools (SMU, TCU and Baylor) and their outsized influence compared to Arkansas, an actual major FB program at the time and one of Texas' main rivals.

Posted by: Tom_Q_Collins | Apr 19 2023 21:15 utc | 89

Lex Talionis @ 77
Hi Lex Telionis I'm glad you'v showed up ! On the last 'the Midweek in review' @ 117 You linked to a wonderfull old chap. I'v been thinking it belongs on this thread to.
Its very possable, it could have been a bit of inspiration to 'b' for this very thread. Any chance of providing the link again. I don't do links,it's an old age thing.
Take a look at ... Rodney Norman I love this guy... but....

Would I be happy knowing he was the pilot of the jumbo jet i was flying in, you be the judge.
Secound question, which is more of a responsibility being the pilot of a jumbo jet or running America ?

Posted by: Mark2 | Apr 19 2023 21:22 utc | 90

Posted by: malenkov | Apr 19 2023 21:13 utc | 88

That doesn't account for the reasons that people such as myself are in favor of age limits in certain cases. Obviously anyone, I'm sure b included, understands that some people age well cognitively and others don't - and - that some may become less stubborn (although I'd appreciate an example or two) while some become more stubborn.

But the fact is that no matter what your state of mind or willingness to compromise, the older you are the less likely you are to even understand where younger folks want things to go, or even the technologies that are common throughout society. I mean, I shouldn't even have to find example videos where some septuagenarian or octogenarian congresscritter is getting something not even all that technical completely wrong in a hearing. It happens a lot.

The other point is that just because Americans keep re-electing these old coots, doesn't mean that they wouldn't prefer someone younger. But the corporate GOP and Democrat party machines dictate the terms of most federal level elections on behalf of their Wall Street, Silly-Cone Valley and MIC owners. In that kind of system, and with the choice limited to two parties, it can take a long time for someone to establish themselves with the party elites (or more realistically be groomed and vetted by the corporate owners). There are exceptions and this is one reason that, early in her career (i.e., before she was co-opted and got greedy, at least openly) AOC was the target of all the center- and right-leaning corporate media bashing. She got in despite heavy odds against her, almost all of which relating to the party machine stuff I mentioned.

Posted by: Tom_Q_Collins | Apr 19 2023 21:24 utc | 91

From my duffer's seat, the most opaque mystery in this gerontocratic matter is the motivation of the ancient dinosaurs themselves. To younger folks, this may not seem like such a mystery -- simple greed, ongoing acquisitiveness explains the desperation of these older folks, to some.

But I've experienced another tug against my motivations, growing stronger as I grow older, pulling more strongly now even than worries about financial security: the question of how I'll be remembered. What will my summary person look like upon reflection, by those still around after I've moved on?

This simple force of conscientious consideration does not impinge on the US American mind, by and large. Feinstein will forever be remembered as the twisted face -- the iconic spitting image -- of gerontocratic greed, which matters not a whit to her, nor to the parasites wheeling her around.

Posted by: Aleph_Null | Apr 19 2023 21:26 utc | 92

When the Soviet Union became a gerontocracy, America easily won the Cold War. Now that the tables are turned we can expect the same. Gerontocracies think primarily of self interest, how do I keep power, they are predictable and make all kinds of policy mistakes. It is not that they are stupid it is that they are slow to adapt and self absorbed. Their biases are so ingrained they no longer experience cognitive dissonance , like a teenager they have it all figured out.

The entire system is ossified.

Posted by: ATM | Apr 19 2023 21:27 utc | 93

Ed @ 82
Your 100% right, I stand corrected.

Posted by: Mark2 | Apr 19 2023 21:29 utc | 94

The USSR shows what happens when you are ruled by old cis men.
Perhaps US and EU will show the world what happens if you do the opposite.

Posted by: Passerby | Apr 19 2023 21:30 utc | 95

Posted by: Mark2 | Apr 19 2023 21:22 utc | 90

Rodney Norman

Posted by: lex talionis | Apr 19 2023 21:32 utc | 96

Most other societies value age and experience; as the Iraqis are meant to have said to their US police trainers, who were in their 20’s-30’s, and has been picked for being amongst the best in their respective fields. ‘Why have you not sent your grey-haired men so that we can learn from you? A clash of cultures that resulted in a flurry of calls and retired police trainers being temporarily reinstated and sent overseas.

Posted by: Milites | Apr 19 2023 21:32 utc | 97

Tom_Q: I think you’re distinguishing between a wise old mind and a calcified/senile one. The former would not be so proud as to refuse counsel anent new developments from the young ‘uns.

Otherwise I’ll note that the larger the country, the greater the tendency toward gerontocracy. Failing an active Praetorian Guard of course. Kinda miraculous that China is bucking that trend—but then, China does have a history of genuine meritocracy.

Posted by: malenkov | Apr 19 2023 21:33 utc | 98

Posted by: Tom_Q_Collins | Apr 19 2023 21:15 utc | 89

Yes! Ann Richards!

Who memorably said several times at one Democratic Convention (Texans will help me out here):

"That dog won't hunt!"

She was a fighter.

Posted by: juliania | Apr 19 2023 21:35 utc | 99

Thanks Lex @ 96

Posted by: Mark2 | Apr 19 2023 21:36 utc | 100

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