American Sentiment: The Rising Support for Mental Competency Tests for Senior Politicians

by | Sep 13, 2023 | Latest, POLITICS | 0 comments

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The latest POLL from Economist/YouGov reveals a surprising insight into the American public’s view concerning mental competency tests for senior politicians. A significant 76% of Americans have expressed strong or partial support for implementing mandatory mental competency tests for politicians aged 75 and above. This POLL not only highlights the shared concern among Americans about the mental fitness of their leaders but also underscores a growing demand for policy reforms in the political landscape.

Uncovering the Poll Results

According to the POLL conducted by The Economist/YouGov, only 13% of Americans oppose the notion of a compulsory mental capacity test for politicians over 75, while 11% expressed uncertainty. The POLL revealed a bipartisan consensus, with 80% of Republicans and 70% of Democrats advocating for the competency test.

These numbers undoubtedly reflect a shared concern among Americans over the mental acuity of their leaders, especially those of advanced age. This finding is particularly significant considering the high average age of politicians holding office in the current Congress.

Age Differential: The Politicians Vs. The Public

Data from Quorum shows a stark age difference between the average American and their representatives. The average age of Americans is 38, while the average age of the current Congress is 58. This substantial age gap has triggered concerns about the ability of older politicians to understand and address the issues that younger Americans face.

The Age Factor in the 2024 Presidential Election

The age of politicians becomes an even more prominent issue when looking at potential candidates for the 2024 Presidential Election. Both frontrunners, President Joe Biden, 80, and former President Donald Trump, 77, significantly exceed the 75-year age benchmark.

Despite the presence of younger Republican candidates, such as former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, 51, and Florida Gov. Ron Desantis, 44, they lag considerably behind Trump in the POLLS.

In contrast, the Democratic candidates for the 2028 election comprise younger potentials. Maryland Gov. Wes Moore, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, and Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro are all below 55.

Health Concerns Among Senior Politicians

Health issues among senior politicians have been in the headlines lately. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, 81, appeared to freeze for the second time while responding to questions during a live press conference last week.

California Sen. Dianne Feinstein, 90, is reportedly struggling with encephalitis and Ramsey Hunt Syndrome. She has given her daughter power of attorney and relies on several aides to perform her duties.

These incidents have amplified the public’s concern over the ability of older politicians to serve effectively. According to the POLL, a majority of Democrats and Republicans believe that health and age have significantly hampered these politicians’ capacity to serve in the Senate.

The Age Problem in American Politics

The age of American politicians has become a contentious issue, with many Americans believing that the country’s politicians are too old. The argument is that their age is hindering the country from progressing and embracing innovative ideas, such as a universal basic income for low-income Americans and alternative energy sources like solar and wind power to combat climate change.

Proposal to Amend the Constitution

In response to these concerns, House Republican Rep. John James of Michigan has proposed an amendment to the US Constitution that would effectively bar anyone over 75 from serving in Congress or as the President of the United States.

Age and the 2024 Election

The issue of age will likely continue to dominate political discussions and presidential debates as the 2024 election draws nearer. The rising support for mental competency tests among Americans, as indicated by the POLL, suggests that this debate will not be silenced anytime soon.

The Poll’s Methodology

The POLL was conducted from Sept. 2-5 by The Economist/YouGov, with a sample size of 1,329 registered voters. The diversity of the respondents effectively captured a broad spectrum of American opinions, making the POLL results highly representative of the national sentiment.

The Takeaway

The POLL results reveal a substantial consensus among Americans on the need for mandatory mental competency tests for politicians over 75. This consensus spans across party lines, indicating a widespread concern about the role of age and health in political leadership.

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