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Are America’s Politicians Getting Too Old?


In a recent interview, US Senator Mitt Romney announced he would not be seeking reelection in 2024. The Senator from Utah is 76 years old and has served in the Senate for four years. This abrupt retirement has many politicians and citizens surprised, as they thought Romney would continue to serve for another term. 

A couple of recent actions from the Republican Senator have also surprised the masses, such as voting to remove President Trump and supporting clean climate acts. But the reasoning behind Romney’s retirement is what had citizens most shocked. 

“I think it’s time for guys like me to get out of the way and have people in the next generation step forward,” said Romney in a recent press interview

Romney urges fellow politicians to give the younger generation a chance at contributing to government. He explains that the current group of senate members all grew up in the same environment and subsequently hold many of the same opinions. 

Senator Mitt Romney at press conference that revealed he will not be running for reelection (Photo Credits: Reuters)

Romney’s words inspire an important question: are American politicians getting too old? If you take a glance at c-span’s list of America’s 118 congress members, over half of them are over 50. The Congressional Report states that the average age is 58 in Congress and 64 in the Senate. This is more than two decades older than the average age in America.

Some people might argue that the older, the better. More experience makes a better politician. But as the country’s demographics are changing, shouldn’t the demographics of the government change as well? Many agree with Romney’s sentiments, and urge for younger government members.   

Older Politicians such as Mitch McConnell (81) and Diane Feinstein (90) are a concern specifically because of medical reasons. After McConnell appeared to have a medical emergency by freezing in front of reporters for the second time, his medical team surprisingly stated that he was cleared to work. Feinstein showed a struggle to walk and move around the Senate prior to her death, and even got confused about how to cast a vote in a recent committee meeting. 

But the main concern is not necessarily the health of politicians, but their outdated views. In a country that is rapidly advancing with technology, health, and entertainment, the last thing the country needs is a government that is staying the same. 

The younger generation of America is more ethnically and religiously diverse, while the older generation is relatively the same. 80% of boomers are white, compared to only 55% millennials. The difference in diversity between the two generations affects perspectives and opinions. When people come from different backgrounds, they develop a varied belief system. These beliefs should be reflected in government. 

For example, 79% of younger Americans believe that immigration is a strength for the nation, whereas 56% of older Americans believe they are a burden. Older Americans believe that religious belief is a necessity to be moral, but millennials reject this belief. Older and younger generations also disagree on government intervention for the impoverished and foreign policy. 

“I think the biggest reason that younger Americans want younger lawmakers is they feel they’re not well represented by older Americans,” said James M. Curry, a political scientist at the University Of Utah. 

Generation Z and Millennials make up 42% of this country, so it is about time that this data is mirrored in government. The people who currently hold office in America’s government are not only too old to complete tasks properly, but they also hold outdated beliefs that don’t align with the majority’s beliefs. 

Mitt Romney pointed out a flaw in the United States government that has previously been overlooked. Now that this has been brought to America’s attention, it is time that younger politicians step up to solve the issue.

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About the Contributor
Emma Wittkopp
Emma Wittkopp, Writer
Emma Wittkopp is a Senior at Adams High School, and this is her second year writing for The Kilt. She is part of Key Club and UNICEF Club at Adams High School, and also dances competitively. In her free time, Emma likes to read, listen to music, and hang out with friends. Emma is very excited to be a part of the Kilt this year!

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