Perhaps the term-limits concept could be applied to other critical occupations, such as physicians, that affect significant numbers of citizens. Not so fast! Wouldn’t that have precluded octogenarian Anthony S. Fauci, the one voice of reason relating to the coronavirus during the Trump administration, from expressing his critical concerns and opinions about the pandemic? Also, nota bene: President Biden selected Fauci to be his chief medical adviser in 2021.
Instead of advocating for a broad-brush approach to limiting older people in the workforce because of potential cognitive deficits, let’s judge individuals by their abilities and contributions rather than their years on the planet.
Lois A. Engel, Washington
Congress is in a dangerous and fragile state today, but not because of a graying group of legislators. Defining members of Congress by age undermines and underrates all older people and evinces a disturbing, superannuated and narrow mind-set. Ability and experience should be the gauge, not years.
The real danger of focusing on age is that it could deprive us of leaders with experience and the ability to envision the long-term consequences of actions and policies. Face it, ageism is prejudice. It is pervasive and perpetuates a vicious stereotype. It has real consequences, medically, economically, socially, psychologically and politically.
Charles Kauffman, Bethesda
The writer is chair of the Montgomery County Commission on
Aging Alumni Group.
The article about aging U.S. senators was informative and respectful about a genuine problem. But the “What if there were another way?” discussion focused only on the perennial and deeply flawed idea of a two-term limit for senators. Not only would such brief tenures wrongly empower lobbyists (more so than staff), but they also would miss the mark entirely.
Instead, longer term limits should be vetted and debated. Four terms in the Senate and comparable tenures in the House would be a starting point. Pick your favorite three-term senators; aren’t they ready for institutional leadership? Why penalize the able class waiting in the wings? The six-termers are the problem requiring the solution. If necessary, exceptions could permit the occasional lion to still serve.
Rick LaRue, Silver Spring