Friday, December 08, 2017

One Casket-Ready, Useless Old Sac of Pus Down, Four Hundred Thirty Four Left To Go....,

thesoundingline |  The logical next question that sprung to mind was:  “how has the average age of members of Congress changed since its inception?”

The cynic might suspect that, in addition to being increasingly disliked and out of touch, Congress may be getting increasingly old. It should come as little surprise that that is exactly the case. The two charts below show the average age of serving members of the House of Representatives and the Senate every year since 1789 (the few members whose birth dates are unknown were excluded).  Both charts show the unmistakable trend toward an older and older Congress. Remarkably, the average age in the House of Representatives has surged from around 52 in 1995 to its all-time high of nearly 60 today and the average age in the Senate is even higher at nearly 65.

It would be baseless to say that seniority, and the experience that it brings, should be viewed negatively across the board as there have been great leaders much older than 65. Yet, when taken within the context of Congress’s dismal approval rating, the overwhelming feeling of Americans that the country is headed in the wrong direction, and the fact that members of Congress are serving for longer and longer, the aging of Congress does not seem emblematic of a healthy institution. To the contrary, it seems symptomatic of an insular and out of step group that is failing to create a relevant vision for America.

In nearly all ways: technological, social, and economical, we are living in a rapidly changing world. It seems that perhaps the only thing that isn’t changing is the people’s representation in Congress.