March 4, 2024

I was for Bernie Sanders for president in the election in 2016. Had he won, at the time, he would have been the oldest person ever to be elected president (was going to turn 75 two months before the general election). Some Bernie Sanders supporters believed that the DNC rigged their primaries for Hillary Clinton over Bernie Sanders and a judge in a case brought by those supporters, ruled that DNC had the right to select their own candidates, and then dismissed the lawsuit. I was for Sanders, but his age was not a consideration at that time. Why? Because Congress is stuffed full of old people holding office. At the state level and local level, ALSO, there are people who are elderly in office. In fact, it seems like a lot of times the people serving in various elected offices wait until they are retired to run for office. And, in no place does there appear to be a requirement that people over X age cannot run for office. (Keep in mind, as a side note, that there are few qualifications to be in office usually, other than being a valid voter and living in a particular location for X amount of time; and there is a lower age qualification for president that you must be at least 35 years of age)

Congress ages as of 2024.

Here’s a list of the oldest members of Congress.(might have even passed a birthday on some of them in 2024)

Senator Charles E. Grassley, Republican of Iowa, 90

3. Representative Grace F. Napolitano, Democrat of California, 87 (retiring)

4. Representative Bill Pascrell Jr., Democrat of New Jersey, 87

5. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton, Democrat of the District of Columbia, 86

6. Representative Harold Rogers, Republican of Kentucky, 85

7. Representative Maxine Waters, Democrat of California, 85

8. Representative Steny H. Hoyer, Democrat of Maryland, 84

9. Representative Nancy Pelosi, Democrat of California, 83

10. Representative James E. Clyburn, Democrat of South Carolina, 83

11. Representative Danny K. Davis, Democrat of Illinois, 82

12. Senator Bernie Sanders, independent of Vermont, 82

13. Representative John Carter, Republican of Texas, 81

14. Senator Mitch McConnell, Republican of Kentucky, 81

15. Representative Frederica S. Wilson, Democrat of Florida, 80

16. Representative Anna G. Eshoo, Democrat of California, 80

17. Representative Kay Granger, Republican of Texas, 80

18. Representative Rosa DeLauro, Democrat of Connecticut, 80

19. Senator Jim Risch, Republican of Idaho, 80

20. Representative Virginia Foxx, Republican of North Carolina, 80

At the Texas Legislature, in 2023, there were 40 people ages 65 and older, 80 people ages 50-64.

Locally, the average age for a Somervell County Commissioner (excluding the judge) is 59, which actually trends lower than the Somervell County Hospital District board, where the average age is 66, with 4 people over 74 and one 80 years old. Somervell County Water District average age is 69, with 2 people over 75 years old. Glen Rose ISD has an average board member age of 53, with one 67 years old. The Somervell County Appraisal District board average age (sans 1 person) is 62 years old, with one person at 72. The ARB board average is 65 years old, with one person at 77 years old. Showing that there is no age cap on who can be elected and serve on a board in Somervell County.

President Joe Biden is 81. Indicted rapist candidate for president Donald Trump will be 78 by the general election (maybe Nikki Haley will have won the primaries by then or Trump will be ordered to jail)

If Americans truly care about whether there should be an age cutoff for any office, there are certainly a lot of places to look. Remember Mitch McConnell’s brain freezes? Trump also has so many instances of being confused and getting facts wrong making some wonder if, since his father had alzheimers, he does too? At best, he’s just like the rest of us that isn’t perfect and make verbal stumbles.

And of course, screwing up stuff is not just for elderly people. Fox News Host Jesse Watters Confuses South Dakota With South Carolina While Mocking President Biden’s ‘Diminished Faculties’

And, regularly, on the gossip pages, there will be an item about some hapless musician that called the audience in one city by another city, forgot the lyrics to their own songs, could not remember the words to the Star Spangled banner, or the Pledge. Why do government entities record meetings, keep minutes, have comments and bring quite often their own computers to meetings or events? BECAUSE they know they may not even remember in the future without a reference. As judge Judy has said “Does your memory get better of an event or worse over time?”. I would say it gets worse and that’s why we tell stories or write down events or take photos, in order to *jog* our memories. How many times have you gotten into a lively discussion of how something happened in the past with others that either don’t quite remember it the same way or had other details to add? At the political level, seeing a politician that can[t quite get the person right becomes a gotcha game. I wish I always remembered things perfectly, but I don’t. Many is the time that hub and I will be watching a movie and say “Who is that? Is that the person that was in X movie?” and then usually, one of us is wrong. Why would there be a need for teleprompters for speeches if every single person doing a public speech could pull every fact from memory? I always have to whip out a calculator to remember how many years we have been married, have to look up on a calendar to remember every loved one’s anniversary and birthday, cannot exactly remember when my dad and then my mom died, except that both were pre-covid. More than once, especially when I had a really active work life, people have reminded me of events that occurred during an extremely busy and stressful (did computer support and also trained engineers on network architecture and operating systems) that probably shoved a lot of detail to the back of my brain. Maybe all of you readers are perfect and remember every single detail of your life, when it occurred. I do not and again, thank goodness for paper and digital records.

For me, character and ethics count over age. In fact, I like to think, although it is not always true, that the older someone is, the wiser he or she is, partly through experience. Joe Biden is elderly, but right in line with a whole bunch of people serving in office that are elderly, too and I don’t see people of both parties pushing to remove them all from office, except in certain appropriate cases like Diane Feinstein. Joe Biden is not the most popular person in the world with me, but, with the exception of what is going on in Israel and Palestine, I think he’s doing and has been doing a great job. Consider that the reason Republicans are not running on the economy is because Biden has an excellent record during his administration. I personally feel, as a Texan, that all the Republican fearmongering about the border is overblown, but if I did think so, I’d sure wonder why the fool Republicans, with a negotiated bill that was agreed upon by the Senate and the House until Trump, unelected, stuck his nose in, turned it down. You can’t say you are for border security and harangue people, including the actual president, about it and then go, oh, never mind, we aren’t going to try to fix it because it’s our only issue to run on in the fall. Well, I guess you CAN do that, but it sure is unethical and people that see what you’re doing, think you’re awful. And I think he’s a good person who I don’t always agree with, but has the principles of a united America without creating divisions, as Trump does.

And I would never vote for someone who has been adjudged as a rapist, who obstructed justice by hiding classified documents and deliberately tried to game the elections to make himself the winner, all the while whining about how everything is rigged against him BECAUSE HE DIDN’T WIN. Sheesh, I try to teach my kids to be good sports when they lose, he is not a role model for anyone. This month, there will be another ruling in the fraud case against him, which he already lost (despite lying to people that he won, he did not), and another court criminal trial that involves a hush money payment to a porn star that he tried to cover up. Yuk. What an creep. So this to me is possibly between two elderly men, one of whom is not perfect but attempts to be decent and treat people fairly and one that is a bully, a liar, a con artist, and a fraud.

My overall point is that these are the choices we make when we elect people and a top age cutoff is not one of the items one must obey in order to run for or stay in office. If we as people decide we want to have an age limit, then it ought, by fairness, to exist for all levels of government. But then we might find it very difficult to find people to fill those positions.

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