Should Geriatrics Lead America’s Legislative Branch?

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by aaronvan, Apr 14, 2015.

  1. aaronvan Suspended

    aaronvan

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    #1
    John Conyers (D-MI) and Louise Slaughter (D-NY) are both nearly 86 years old. Sam Johnson (R-TX) is 84. In fact, 41 House members are in their 70s.

    On the Senate side Diane Feinstein (D-CA) and Chuck Grassley (R-IA) are both 82. John McCain (R-AZ) is nearly 80. The median age of U.S. Senators is almost 63 years old.

    No matter how sprightly they feel or what wisdom they may offer, I don’t like the idea of these very senior citizens writing laws that affect modern science and high-technology such as the Internet, of which we know the above possess only the barest understanding. And pro-NSA fanatics like Diane Feinstein have already demonstrated that they will not support freedom and liberty.

    I propose a Constitutional amendment limiting the age of Senators and Representatives to 65 years of age. This and term limits.
     
  2. mrkramer macrumors 603

    mrkramer

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    #2
    Most, but not all, of the crazy stuff that we hear out of congress comes from the younger members, and the ones that haven't been there for long. I probably wouldn't vote for someone in their late 70s/early 80s for a first term, but if they've been there it's a good idea to keep the ones who have experience and know how to get things done around for longer.
     
  3. aaronvan thread starter Suspended

    aaronvan

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    #3
    The younger members are the LOUDEST but when Congress legislates an NSA-approved backdoor to all American cryptography, it won't be the noobs who usher it to the president's desk.
     
  4. HarryPot macrumors 6502a

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    #4
    I believe it is for the best. (Having older people).

    Nothing can beat experience in these positions. I do believe above 80 starts getting quite old, and might be a good age limit, but I much prefer that than having much younger ones whit no experience.

    Older people might take a little longer to take action and change things, but I believe this is for the best. It gives more time to think things through and make certain you are not making mistakes.
     
  5. Praxis91 macrumors regular

    Praxis91

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    #5
    I think that term limits are more important than age limits.
     
  6. Huntn macrumors G5

    Huntn

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    #6
    I hope young and old can see the danger...

    Term limits are a double edged sword with no guarantee you'll get improvement in governance.
     
  7. mrkramer macrumors 603

    mrkramer

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    #7
    But they certainly will help with it. Perhaps by themselves they wouldn't be able to guide it through and nothing would get done. But doing absolutely nothing would be worse than the occasional bad bill getting passed.

    And how did voting out a lot of experienced members go in 2010?

    It seems like for the first few years most new members try to fight rather than compromise, then later they realize that you have to compromise to get things done and start working. Term limits would just have them in office for the part where they are not effective. In addition there would be much more of a need for them to become corrupt to ensure they have a job once they are termed out.
     
  8. vrDrew macrumors 65816

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    #8
    I generally dislike the concept of term limits.

    Our Legislative branch is set up in such a way that important Committee chairmanships and memberships are based on seniority. While this does have its downsides, it adds a certain stability to the legislative process, and allows important Committee members to form effective working relationships with those whose affairs they oversee - as well as develop deep knowledge with the issues before those committees.

    And without term limits you are inevitably going to end up with quite geriatric members. But this has more to do with gerrymandered districting system we have. Make a District truly competitive, and I don't think too many octogenarians are going to have the energy to keep making the phone calls and attending the fundraisers it takes to stay in Congress.

    The one office I think should stay term-limited is the Presidency. George Washington's unofficial precedent, and the 22nd Amendment, are examples of good governance in law and practice. And as great a man as FDR was - he had no business running for office in 1944. Simply put, the demands of the Presidency are too great; and the accretion of power too dangerous, for one individual to serve more than eight years in that role.

    Up for debate: Maybe its time to consider term limits on the Supreme Court.
     
  9. caesarp macrumors 6502a

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    #9
    Most vote based on what lobbyists and special interests tell them to do anyway.

    So who they are and their age may not even matter.
     
  10. zin macrumors 6502

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    #10
    Term limits and age limits accomplish very little in legislatures except denying people the right to vote for who they want to vote for.

    If 51% of a state votes for the 80 year old candidate going into their third term to represent them then who are you to say those people should not have their votes considered?
     
  11. Praxis91 macrumors regular

    Praxis91

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    #11
    Oh boo hoo about committees. We have too much red tape. The feds are too powerful. They need to be cut down in size dramatically. Two terms and your ass should be out of there and good luck making it in the private sector like the rest of us (and no taxpayer-funded health insurance, pensions, and security for the rest of your life).

    Oh and repeal the 17th Amendment please.

    1913 was the WORST year in the history our Republic.

    Politics was never intended to be a career. You served your term and then you went back to your former life. Now, it's start in politics -> rape the taxpayer for the ever-increasing expansion of federal authority -> move on to another public position to continue said rape OR get a job with some crony capitalists.
     
  12. HarryPot macrumors 6502a

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    #12
    I understand what you say, and how some politicians are not looking for the public good and are just there for self interest.

    But, if politics is not meant to be a career, then are we destined to always have new and unexperienced politicians?
     
  13. mrkramer macrumors 603

    mrkramer

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    #13
    They will have plenty of job security in the private sector, far more than you or any of the rest of us. If a plan like that got put in place the amount that corporations currently own politicians will seem ridiculously small. If a company wants a law passed all they have to do is offer a few politicians that aren't going to be able to run in the next election a job afterwards, and they'll vote however that company wants them to.
     
  14. Praxis91 macrumors regular

    Praxis91

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    #14
    Yes. The problem with politics is they always try to do "something." They may never fix it, but they run election after election that "they care" and they have the intent.

    The ONLY purpose of our federal government is to protect our land and our individual rights...not meddle in every aspect of our life. When you get career politicians, you get a bloated government.

    Just look at the budgets... in 1990 the government spent $2 trillion. Now it's almost $4 trillion! Where does all the money go?

    When you get new blood in their constantly, they will *hopefully* not just keep adding more and more red tape, but streamline and make things more efficient... that's how a business works...if some idea is not working, you make the necessary changes (whether you fire someone or not).

    That's another thing.. we should make it easier to fire politicians. Self-interest belongs in the private sector, not for public servants.

    ----------

    That's true too.. our tax code did not become 60,000 pages (or maybe it's 80,000 by now?) by itself. Reduce the size and scope of the behemoth and you will have less cronyism.

    Personally, I am for absolute transparency... when we talk about privacy rights.. I think EVERY American has the right to absolute privacy, unless there is probable cause (e.g. GET A WARRANT)... but politicians should have ZERO privacy... I'm talking phone calls, emails, and when they take a bathroom break.

    They want to know what's on my browser history? TOUGH! I want to know EVERYTHING they do. Maybe they will think twice about screwing over the public if EVERYTHING they do is public knowledge.

    Can you tell I just LOVE the public sector? =]
     
  15. HarryPot macrumors 6502a

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    #15


    From what I've found, government spending has been quite steady the last 15-20 years.
    As a percent of GDP, 1990 was 22.4%. In 2012 it was 24%.

    Could it be less? Maybe, but I don't believe it has much to do with having politicians making a career.

    I see your point, buy I believe the risks are greater than the possible benefits of having always younger and new people.
     
  16. bradl macrumors 68040

    bradl

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    #16
    And what alternative do you propose? And please don't give any solution like the gerrymandering redistricting that gave us the issues that we have with this session of Congress, because redistricting to get your vote is an absolute farce.

    BL.
     
  17. mrkramer macrumors 603

    mrkramer

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    #17
    I'd assume that repealing it would return the election of senators to state legislatures and further remove democratic representation from the government.
     
  18. takao macrumors 68040

    takao

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    #18
    i'm skeptical about term limits for parliament as well, especially in a country like the US where the election process is very much focused on the person itself.

    On the other side why not have an upper age limit ? Heck even the vatican has an age limit of 80 for their conclave election process.
    perhaps 75 years when running for a seat ? 65 would be too low IMHO, i think the input from people age 65-75 can be very valuable in legislation.

    Don't forget that today many births getting pushed back further and further: A 63 or 65 year might not even have grandchildren yet, which very often changes opinions.

    with very high workload positions like the president i think a lower limit like 65 or 70 would more appropriate
     
  19. APlotdevice macrumors 68040

    APlotdevice

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    #19
    I don't know about age limits, but I do agree that there should be term limits on congressmen.
     
  20. ThisIsNotMe macrumors 68000

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    #20
    America already has a mechanism in place for both of those proposals. Its called voting. If people do not like the way they are being represented in Congress then they are more than free to vote for whomever they believe will represent them better.

    ----------

    The goal of the senate was to represent the interests of the state at the federal level not be another house of representatives. The 17th amendment is directly responsible for much of the political animosity in the united states.
     
  21. mrkramer macrumors 603

    mrkramer

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    #21
    I live in a district that is guaranteed to go to the Republican candidate and with the way California does their primaries now the only other option was an even more right wing republican as no democrat or any third party had enough support to get on the general election ballot. Given that choice I had to vote for the incumbent. How is voting in a non-competitive district supposed to change anything?
     
  22. ThisIsNotMe macrumors 68000

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    #22
    Also living in California, I see people too stupid to even consider voting outside the Democrat party despite the fact that the state is falling apart and has been sending the same ass-clown senators to D.C. for 30+ years despite the fact that California gets 70 cents on the dollar back for every dollar it sends to D.C.

    Or the fact that people voted Kamala Harris for AG (and probably Senator) when she purposely flaunted federal law by shielding a criminal illegal alien being held on weapons charges from ICE enabling him to go onto assassinate an entire family.

    How is voting in a state full of morons like California suppose to change anything?
     
  23. FieldingMellish Suspended

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  24. citizenzen macrumors 65816

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    #24
    I'm very much against the proposal.

    Let voters decide their representatives, regardless of their age and time in office.

    You want them out? Then vote them out.

    ----------

    This is an interesting idea.

    How about one nine year term ... no re-appointments.

    And stagger it so a new justice is appointed every year.
     
  25. mrkramer macrumors 603

    mrkramer

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    #25
    At least for the house it's the same way most places with the gerrymandered districts meaning that only one party has a real shot at winning with the exception of a handful of competitive districts scattered around the country. I'd rather see the districts be drawn up so that they are actually competitive and the general election is the one that matters and not the primary like it is now.
     

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