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Is age just a number?

Marty's Musings

We've all seen people age differently. Some people at 50 are showing signs of cognitive impairment and some people in their 80s are as alert as ever. There are as many answers to this as there are people, genetics, diets, exercises, recent illnesses or accidents. There are a ton of different explanations.

Lately we've seen political figures on both sides of the aisle show signs of aging. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell had a deer in the headlights look when he was asked a question about whether or not he'd be running for reelection. President Joe Biden has been incoherent at some functions, falling down and not knowing which way to exit a stage.

These behaviors from our public officials have led to drastic responses from the voting public. Some people are asking for age limitations to be placed on public officials. Since everyone ages differently this wouldn't solve the problem. Some people are advocating for cognitive testing. This leads to its own set of questions. Who would administer the tests and what would the requirement be to pass? Do we want someone other than the voter to have that power?

What if someone is showing signs of slowing down? Do we take a chance and vote them into an office which has a four or six-year term? If the person is a long-standing public official, they may have enough power to prevent attempts to remove them from office, what do we do in that situation? There is no easy answer here, but the wisdom of our Founding Fathers was to leave decisions up to the voter, it may not be the safest bet, but it's been the tried and true method since our Republic was founded.

Marty Pay is a contributing writer for The Loop newspaper and has been a Financial Planner for years and teaches Finance at a local University. He can be reached at Farmers Insurance in Tehachapi (661) 822-3737.