Fresh Faces Show Out At Midterm Elections

Isabella Cely-Garcia, Staff Writer

   As the midterm elections come to a close, a shift in demographics among newly elected officials has been noted by many. Younger generations have been slowly making their way into office. However, this has also called to attention the notable age difference with other members of congress, reopening the debate of imposing age restrictions on elected officials.

   Both the Senate and the House of Representatives have congressmen in their late eighties, with the eldest being 87. At this age, health experts report an increased risk of neurological diseases such as dementia or Alzheimers (National Institute on Aging). Junior Sonia Ally, avid Debate team member, comments on the possibility of these diseases appearing in members of congress. “In my opinion, no person with life altering medical issues should hold substantial positions in gov bc they can affect the way gov functions and make unwanted altercations.” Fellow member Agatha Rivero agrees strongly, saying, “I think this just shows how outdated our current representatives are, they are completely disconnected to the conditions of our current generations.” 

   Some predict that the shift in the ages of members of congress will become a bigger wave with time, possibly setting an unprecedented standard of having a larger portion of young people in office. The historical standard has always been that the older generations have control of the legislature. Many younger generations hope this will change soon. “The historical pattern of older representation is going to change and we already see it happening now. I think with Gen z becoming older and more educated we will pursue government and act on the issues we already value. It may be hard to break the barrier where primarily wealthy white people hold status in government because it is so generational and historically grounded, but I’m certain we have the power to change that slowly but surely.” Ally insists. However, not everyone thinks this likely. “I don’t believe that this trend will begin to actually change on the national scale but I’m sure in state and district governments younger people will involve themselves in politics.” Agatha says.      

  While there is a divide on the issue, as seen by debate team partners Sonia and Agatha, everyone acknowledges that the change is real and undeniable. Sonia can see both sides of the issue objectively, saying “I think in some ways it’s important to keep tradition to ground the U.S. government, but in some ways it’s also very important to incorporate younger people in government because they hold the power of understanding current issues from a much wider perspective. This includes issues like the pandemic, climate change, and gun control because younger people have literally grown up in the prime age of these crises and we understand how it affects people from an open minded view.” For now, the changes in Congress will remain small until the newest members are sworn in come New Years, bringing their new ideas and perspectives with them.