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  • Writer's pictureAanya M.

Why is Congress So Old & Why Do Voters Care?

American politicians favor staying in power over the American people. Last month, 81-year-old Republican senate minority leader Mitch McConnell froze for twenty seconds, unable to speak at a news briefing. Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., a physician, approached McConnell and stiffly led him away from the podium by the arm. McConnell eventually returned to the podium to answer questions. McConnell is unfit to represent the people of Kentucky if such health issues are shown.

American politicians have tarnished the discussion of aging politicians, making it a campaign talking point. The ability to age politicians to serve the American people should be a nonpolitical discussion. Republicans, including McConnell, have often cast doubts on President Joe Biden’s ability to rule our nation, blaming mental and physical health problems. News outlets such as Fox News dedicate hours to scrutinizing President Biden’s health, targeting his stutters and stumbles. These same news outlets failed to ask the same questions when McConnell’s health was brought up.

Democrats and Republican representatives have failed to step down from their positions and make way for younger representatives. Dianne Feinstein, Democratic senator for California, is the oldest member of the current U.S. Congress at the age of 90. She has shown multiple health concerns, however, she refuses to step down. It is important to note, that multiple Democrats have encouraged Feinstein's right to stay in power. With some condemning those encouraging Feinstein to retire, blaming sexism. "I've never seen them go after a man who was sick in the Senate in that way," said Nancy Pelosi, Democratic representative for California's 11th district. "When women age or get sick, the men are quick to push them aside," wrote Norma Torres, Democratic representative for California's 35th district. Chuck Grassley, a Republican senator for Iowa, is only a few months younger. However, at the end of his term, he will be 95.

It is becoming clear that both parties are power-hungry, impacting the American people. Younger people must be elected into office to represent the younger generation.

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