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I think there is a fine line. Youth and energy are important, but so too is experience. I don't think, generally, that age always has that much to do with competence, but to the extent that people gain experience with age, it can be a factor. I think the age requirements in the Constitution get it about right- 25 years old for service in the House, 30 to serve in the Senate, and 35 for the presidency. I also think that 18 is a reasonable age minimum for voting.
I wouldn't want to generalize. I don't think that age in itself is a crucially important factor. What matters is wisdom (and honesty, etc.), and wisdom can be a trait of the young or the old, although we normally assume that we grow wiser with age.
Many young people forget an important aspect about wisdom and knowledge: It is most often gained through life experiences, and that is something that 19- and 20-year olds can't rush. I realize that many young people think people in their 50s and 60s (and older) are ready for life in retirement centers or graveyards, but many older people function at a much higher level than those in their 20s, and the experience they have absorbed during these extra decades are more important than new ideas learned in a classroom. Historically, I believe most of our finest politicians were older men, and many younger ones do not have great track records. Two of our youngest Presidents, Jimmy Carter and Barack Obama, have proven to be among our weakest (and I'm a Democrat); while one of our oldest, Ronald Reagan, still gets high marks from historians. I certainly see nothing wrong with young men and women becoming involved in politics, and our nation could sure use an infusion of honest, hard-working people whose goals concern THE PEOPLE and not themselves. But I believe the average voter wants a leader with the experience necessary to govern effectively.
This depends a lot upon the situation in the country you are talking about. In a country that has had an entrenched political system that is not working, it may be important to have young politicians. However, in a country where the system has been working decently, the arguments in Post #4 would apply.
I heartily agree with bullgatortail on the value of experience which can only be had over a period of years. There are many fine, intelligent, entergetic young people who can function well in a political setting, but as was pointed out, experience is something that can't be rushed. I am myself 63 (and holding) and can certainly see how experiences have shaped me over the years. For that reason, we should not be too quick to discount the older members of society. The old adage that age brings wisdom and understanding has some merit to it.
Absolutely, politicians should be from our generation rather than generations past. I am a staunch advocate of Term Limits for all political positions; there is no reason why a person should settle into, for example, the U.S. Senate and remain there for the rest of his life. We should have reasonable turnover in our politicians to ensure that bad decisions are given the chance to be reversed. Remember, the incumbent in an election is far more likely to be reelected than to be ousted, and when the incumbent can stay in the seat for decades, people forget that there are other, legitimate choices. I would argue for a three-year limit for all U.S. Congressional positions, one six-year term for the Presidency, and a four-year term for all State positions; this would force the President to focus on solutions rather than on reelection, and allow more State officials for a broader spectrum of opinion.
As mentioned in above posts, there are pros and cons on both sides. What I would take away from all of the above ideas is that a good government should ideally be comprised of a good variety of people and in that way, that variety can bring MANY different experiences and perspectives to the governing "table." Age is one factor, but obviously, sex, race, educational background, business experiences, political offices, past experience in general are all elements that contribute to what would hopefully be a very diverse political arena.
thanks for your wise comments
I think Aristotle was not wrong though he stated in his Ideal state that politicians should be above fifty. From the present scenerio it is seen that young politicians a re more concerned about wealth as they have less experience. They are not sure whether they will again be selected or not.
i think its not about being young or old.coz a young person(inspite of being honest and intelligent) is often unexperienced to judge difrnt complicated and critical situations of the country while an old person(inspite of being experienced enough) is often dishonest and corrupted.so,i think we should appoint such a person as our political leader who must be honest and sincere to his duties and he must have complete understanding about his aims and goals to take his country out from the darkness of poverty,crimes and poor development,no matter whatever his age may be.
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