Opinions

Congress Needs Term Limits Now

Aiden Lutjen, contributor 

As Mitch McConnell freezes in front of the press and Dianne Feinstein’s memory continues to decline, Americans are yet again forced to face the painfully obvious problem that has been festering in Congress for literally the entire history of the United States: the eyesore that is the lack of term limits.

Career politicians are rampant in our government. Hell, we basically have a seniority system up there: the longer you’ve been squatting in office, the more power you have no matter what new face may be elected. The US Government is essentially one of the most powerful “Boys Clubs” in existence, and that is not something to be proud of. Right now, we have officials who’ve been in power for over thirty years. On top of this, the House’s median age is 57.9 years, while the Senate is 65.3 years. How are we supposed to be adequately represented by people who are two decades older than the average American whose laws and bills will be affected? How are we supposed to put our trust in people who were very much alive during the Civil Rights Movement and have shown a severe lack in wanting to change with the times? Our government is supposed to be run by the people, but instead is run by rich, white Boomers with seriously outdated viewpoints and declining cognitive health. 

These same current Congress members are only concerned with how to get reelected by pandering to special interest groups and keeping their political careers going for as long as they possibly can. Term limits would stop this entire process in its tracks, reducing corruption tenfold and returning power to the people as we vote in new people every election cycle. One of the most important statistics when it comes to term limits is this: 80% of Americans want term limits put into law, and this agreement breaches political, geographic and demographic lines. Basically everyone except those in Congress itself and lobbyists want term limits enacted. There is literally no reason for you to not advocate for a more stable, less corrupt, for-the-people Congress system.

Although “term limits” and “age limits” are often used interchangeably, they are inherently different. “Term limits” are just that – term limits. It’s something we already have within our government in other positions. “Age limits” is a somewhat newer concept that’s come about as we live in a world where people can now regularly live past the age of 80. This also means more and more people in power are getting older and older, and because of the media and internet, the effects aging has on a person’s mind have been put on blast and broadcast everywhere for everyone to see. We should discuss the ethics of someone being over 80 years old and still working, not to mention working in a position that can be the determining factor of millions of Americans’ wellbeing and livelihoods. Not only do I find this lack of limitation cruel to the American people, but also the elderly government officials themselves. Weighing in all of these factors, I personally don’t feel comfortable with anyone over 70 years old making decisions for our country. If there’s a minimum age requirement (which there is), I personally believe that there should also be a maximum. Once you’re past that age, you should no longer be eligible for office, for your own wellbeing and the millions of people that will be relying on you.