Dianne Feinstein and the Dangers of Gerontocracy

Consider the history of those involved in politics at the top levels if you feel that politics has become a distant past.

At 79, President Joe Biden has become the oldest president. Donald Trump, Biden’s 2020 rival (and likely 2024 GOP nominee), is now 75. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D–Calif.) is 82. At 71, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D–N.Y.) He is a true spring chicken. Last year was the 117th Congress. Average ageThe average House member was 58, while the average senator was 64. The. Average ageA member of Congress is getting older. America is being run by a gerontocracy.

A lot of it is due to the longer life expectancy and working hours. Some of this is due to America’s graying, which has increased in age since the birth of the baby boom.

But inevitably, it’s led to concerns about the ability of our nation’s governing class to perform their jobs—hence stories like the one published by the San Francisco ChronicleYesterday’s headline was strikingly simple:Recent interactions have prompted colleagues to worry that Dianne Feinstein may not be mentally fit for service..”

Feinstein, a Democrat is 88. In California, which is the largest state by population in the country, Feinstein is the oldest senator. This is a huge responsibility that comes with great power.

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However, ChronicleAccording to a report, she doesn’t remember when she last saw someone. Here’s a story about her forgetfulness that opens the piece:

A California Democrat was recently in Congress and engaged in an extensive conversation with Senator Dianne Feinstein. They prepared for a thorough policy discussion similar to those that they had previously had over the past 15 years.

In fact, the lawmaker claimed that Feinstein had required them to be reintroduced to Feinstein several times over the course of a lengthy interaction.

This report relies upon sources that won’t be identified, however it does cite 4 senators (3 of which are Democrats), multiple Feinstein staff members and a Democratic legislator from California who said, “In the ChronicleAccording to’s summary, “her memory is fast.” She is “deteriorating”, and it appears that she cannot fulfill her job duties. Her staff must do much of the work necessary to represent California’s nearly 40 million residents. The report states that she sometimes doesn’t recognize her colleagues from years ago on her worst days.

Be aware that the majority of sources used for this information are from the ChronicleProfessional Democrats wrote the report. It isn’t about partisan grapes.

On a personal and practical level, Feinstein’s reported mental lapses were both very saddening and worrying.

The overall greying of America’s political classes has effects that aren’t related to mental fitness.

Our legislators are becoming increasingly disconnected from technology. However, tech regulation and law have been at the forefront of our legislative agenda. Keep in mind the former Iowa GOP Rep. Steve King, currently 72 The CEO of major tech company got mad at Congressman at a hearingBecause of an iPhone his granddaughter had? The CEO was Sundar Pichai, of Google. Google doesn’t produce iPhones. Although this is a rare example of tech policy, it is sadly not uncommon for lawmakers to be clueless.

A senior Congress will have far more impact than dumb questions during show hearings. It’s not an accident that the two biggest spending programs for the 2022 fiscal year are Social Security ($1.196 trillion) and Medicare ($766 billion)—entitlements for seniors, both of which are on track to insolvency in the coming years. The largest drivers of long-term US debt are America’s seniors benefits.

There’s also the lack of innovation in politics. People who have served in the same position for decades tend to adopt old routines. Biden was first elected to the Senate in 1973. Nancy Pelosi was elected to Congress in 1987. It’s not hard to see why American politics is so lacking in new ideas today: Many of those at the top haven’t had one for a long time.


“More that 200 longtime Wikipedia editors have requested that the Wikimedia Foundation stop accepting cryptocurrency donations,”Reports Wired. Although crypto donations account for only 0.1% of Foundation’s annual fundraising total, editors are worried about the impact on the environment from bitcoin mining. This is a strange request since it’s not something that the Foundation has ever received. WiredNote that declining to accept crypto donations wouldn’t reduce Bitcoin’s electricity consumption.


Twitter’s board has begun to consider measures to derail Elon Musk’s bid to purchase the company. The company’s “directors are weighing whether to move ahead with the poison pill—formally called a shareholder rights plan—that would limit the ability of a single shareholder, like Mr. Musk, to acquire a critical mass of shares in the open market and force the company into a sale,” reports The New York Times. According to The Wall Street JournalTwitter’s board might use Musk’s offer to purchase the company as leverage to get another investor.

Musk said this week at TED that the platform needs more speech than content moderation. Musk said, “If there’s any gray areas, let it exist.”


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