A politician or judge suddenly dying or being forced to retire for medical reasons can be disastrous, as we’ve just seen with Ginsburg. Any sensible person should have been thinking about their successors. They should be nurturing them and giving them a legacy to live by. Instead, many including Judge Ginsburg chose to try and hold on to power. She chose wrong and now our country will likely suffer the consequences for decades to come.
She should have taken to heart the suggestion that she retire when she was 80 years old in 2013 to insure a successor would carry on her legacy. Why she didn’t do that, I don’t know why, but that decision will likely destroy whatever she accomplished.
Getting back to a more basic level, our government leaders in no way represent the overall populace as far as age goes. Almost the total leadership of both parties are well past the usual retirement age. It seems we Baby Boomer just don’t want to let go of the reins. What might be done to prevent that from happening again? The most obvious answer is a mandatory retirement age for all federal office holders including judges and the Supreme Court Justices. Most States and the military already have such policies in place. I know that it is a mammoth thing to get people to vote to put themselves out of office, especially on the Republican side, but it needs to be done for the good of the country. Each generation should be able to control their own destiny.
At the very least, Democrats should take the lead to establish the norm of retirement in their party and ease out their older members to make way for the future leaders. I think that would draw more of the populace to their party and ensure that they don’t eventually go down as the GOP most certainly will after the last four years.
The coming election will certainly determine which geriatric will hold power in the Oval Office in the next four years, but hopefully some immediate progress will be made at the Senatorial level. All the leadership and many of the others should establish mandatory retirement levels. It used to be that the Senate was considered the place for our noblest statesmen, but that idea has vanished in the 21st century. Keeping them around makes no sense anymore.
I am coming to believe that the 2020s will see a dramatic shift in how we elect our government representatives. Government service was never intended to be a lifelong occupation. Term limits will certainly need to be enacted to bring back that concept of the founders service to the country but not an occupation. If being a congressperson or senator is only a fixed amount of time maybe some of the most qualified for the job will show interest in temporarily doing their share and respectability will return to those tarnished institutions.
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