I recall a time when mandatory retirement age became illegal. The age discrimination law passed in 1967 – the year I graduated high school. It didn’t personally affect me – I was 17. Still, I can think of a few reasons we might want to revisit the idea.
The Dakota – the Sioux – as well as the Metis and many other tribes – use the term “elder.” Just being old isn’t enough to be an elder. I think it’s because growing older is mandatory, growing wiser is optional. At any rate, vigorous people are supposed to lead, elders are there to provide counsel and wisdom.
Today, I see William Shatner, at 90, returning from a brief trip to space – sounding much more comprehensible than our elected leaders. Perhaps actors need to communicate better than politicians to stay in business. On the other hand, that is a frightening thought. Look at the folks who have held the nuclear briefcase.
Time was when Ronald Reagan was a president – he was darned near 74 when he left office. If Trump runs again, he’d be older on the next inauguration day. Biden was 78+ when he went in. Pelosi is 81. McConnell is 79. Nothing personal folks, but at 71, my body gives me frequent reminders that my best days are in the past – and I don’t believe these folks are a whole lot more immortal.
When the Constitution was drafted, life expectancy was a whole lot lower. The founders called for a minimum age of 25 for a representative, 30 for a senator, and 35 for a President. Joe , Nancy, and Mitch have me wondering. Would it really hurt anything to put a maximum age of 70 for these elective offices? Of course that may just mean I’m a bit curmudgeonly and think that anything is good if it turns professional politicians out.