HomeAmericasGerontocracy in US Congress: The Political Consequences of an Aging Leadership

Gerontocracy in US Congress: The Political Consequences of an Aging Leadership

As people age, they usually experience physical and mental impairments, which can result in them being nudged out of their jobs.

However, this is not the case for the U.S. Congress, which fits the definition of a gerontocracy, a form of oligarchical rule where leaders are significantly older than most of the adult population.

This has political consequences, as seen in the Democrats’ struggle to replace ailing Senator Dianne Feinstein on the Senate Judiciary Committee, which has resulted in stalled judicial nominees.

Feinstein’s extended absence due to her age has also changed the tenor of the conversation among Democratic activists, with some calling for her resignation.

However, her allies argue that this is a sexist double standard not applied to aging male senators. The story quotes many older individuals, including President Joe Biden, who is 80 years old, and Justice Stephen G. Breyer, who is 84 years old. The median age in the United States is 38.5 years.

Read the full analysis here.

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