Guest Commentary | Are our nation's politicians too old?

by Glenn Mollette, Guest Commentator

Is Senator Mitch McConnell too old to serve in the United States Senate? The same question is being asked of California U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein, President Joe Biden, and even former President Donald Trump. How old is too old?

Some people are old and sickly by the time they are fifty or even younger. Some people are robust and very active at age 80. McConnell is 81, Feinstein is 90, President Biden is 80 and Trump is 77.

A person is not allowed to serve as President of the United States until they are 35 years old. We need to have a number on the other end as well

My grandfather Hinkle ran a country grocery store until two weeks before he died at age 83. My grandmother was almost 80 before she finally closed the doors to the store. They were still working but in their last couple of years they seemed to be just holding on. My dad was enjoying fishing and hunting and his mind was clear up until his death at 85. However at age 55 he knew it was time to retire from his 37 years of underground coal mining. There is wisdom in knowing when to make life transitions.

We all know there comes a time to retire. None of us want anyone else forcing that on us but commonsense is imperative. A person is not allowed to serve as President of the United States until they are 35 years old. We need to have a number on the other end as well – perhaps 80 or 82. If someone is elected at 81 they still have four years putting them at 85 when they have to step aside.

I’ve worked with a number of 75 to 85 year old people. They are overall good workers, dependable and mean well but the aging process overcomes us all eventually.

This is not to say that we can’t all be useful when we hit our eighties.

It’s about over for McConnell. He needs to finish his term and retire gracefully. This means he has two more years on his current term. Reelection for him is not until 2026. He can accomplish a lot even yet if his health holds up. President Biden should try to get through this term and retire. Rehoboth Beach is calling him and he needs to enjoy his remaining years in Delaware. If Trump were to be elected then he definitely needs to retire at the end of his four years.

Most Americans formulate their opinion about this based on their party affiliation. Democrats and Republicans want to stand by their man or woman. We can hardly blame McConnell for wanting to stay on. He could be once again the majority leader in the Senate. That’s a hard position to pass over for a rocking chair in Louisville.

Feinstein should have quit several years ago. She definitely shows all the signs of not being well enough to do her job.

The problem is we let these people serve too many years in office. A U.S. Congressman or woman should be limited to 12 years as should a U.S. Senator. We limit the President to eight why should these other politicians camp out forever in the Capitol? They have made it America’s premier nursing home facility.

This is not to say that we can’t all be useful when we hit our eighties. There are certainly millions of Americans still trying to work jobs in their golden years. Sadly, I don’t believe many of them really feel like it or are able to be working at such a late stage of life.


He is the author of 13 books including UncommSense, the Spiritual Chocolate series, Grandpa's Store, Minister's Guidebook insights from a fellow minister. His column is published weekly in over 600 publications in all 50 states. The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily representative of any other group or organization. We welcome comments and views from our readers. Submit your letters to the editor or commentary on a current event 24/7 to



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