Octogenarians and Oligarchs

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell completely froze in front of a podium, for the second time in just weeks. In the first occurrence, after an excruciatingly long 30-second pause before the cameras, fellow senators escorted him away in his apparent daze. Predictably, McConnell’s office has been tight-lipped about what exactly happened to the 81-year-old legislator in both instances. McConnell has worked in public office for almost 50 years.

Whatever challenges or medical issues McConnell faces, it seems clear to any reasonable citizen that Mitch has lost a step, to put it charitably. Given the massive challenges America faces presently, does this man make sense as a front-line leader for our movement? Can a clearly impaired octogenarian really be the best America can do?

If the GOP retakes control of the Senate in 2024, with a very favorable election map, will an even older McConnell provide the best leadership possible to save our country from the created crises inflicted by Biden, including a de-facto open border, economic malaise, and threats of WWIII?

Looking across the aisle in the Senate, an even more impaired 90-year-old Senator Dianne Feinstein represents 39 million Californians. Feinstein has been in public office since 1970 and regularly appears to be totally unaware of her votes and activities until prompted by helicopter-like hovering staffers.

Traversing down Pennsylvania Avenue, the occupant of the Oval Office regularly creates unwitting viral videos with his verbal gaffes and apparent confusion, shaking hands with “ghosts” on stages and reading TelePrompTers like a toddler.

The White House and its lackey corporate media allies run constant cover to explain away valid skepticism regarding Biden’s cognitive health. But sensible Americans, of any ideology, naturally question placing such a man at the helm of the US nuclear arsenal.

Increasingly, these octogenarian Washington potentates take direction from the oligarchs of big business who largely determine national policy and dominate the public square in America. In fact, the fusion of government and big business in 2020s America represents a systemic threat to true self government in our land.

In stark contrast to past eras, business conglomerates now effectively pay “indulgences” to the permanent political class by advocating for a far left, secular humanist agenda. Admittedly, these oligarchs are not uniformly as old as the ancient autocrats of Washington, but some of these notable business influencers would help America if they joined McConnell, Feinstein, and Biden at the ice cream social hour at Seinfeld’s retirement home “Del Boca Vista.”

Chief among these oligarchs is 92-year-old George Soros. He was welcomed into America as a refugee from war-torn Europe, found his fortune here, and swiftly began a massive and effective Marxist campaign to burn down the very society that was so generous to him.

Soros masterfully exploited the opportunities of capitalism in an open republic to subsequently use his formidable acumen and financial firepower to try to transform America into a collectivist leftist tyranny. If anything, his political power and treachery have only accelerated with his age. Imagine how much better off America would be today if we had never allowed George Soros to emigrate here?

Of course, some very notable people thrive well into advanced age, and can handle the demands of high-pressure jobs well past standard retirement age. Everyone knows a person or two who seems to defy Father Time, remaining sharp and vigorous into very old age. But those exceptions, in fact, prove the rule.

In a dynamic country of 330 million people, we can surely identify and elevate inspiring leaders who do not face the physical and mental risks of the last stages of life.

So, what can be done?

First, for all political leaders, establish not only term limits, but also age limits on the upper end. These limits should apply to all three branches of government. Most companies already use such best practices for executives and board members. Even the Vatican ends the papal conclave voting rights of cardinals after their 80th birthday.

Second, nominate a younger generation for high offices into 2024, especially at the presidential level.

In the scheme of history, America is still a young country, a mere teenager compared to the old nations of the world. As such, the United States can learn to respect the wisdom and dignity of our seniors, without handing the keys of power to those impaired by very advanced age.

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About Steve Cortes

Steve Cortes is the founder of the League of American Workers. He formerly served as a senior advisor to President Trump, and a broadcaster with Fox News, CNBC, and CNN.

Photo: WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 26: (L-R) Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY) reaches out to help Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) after McConnell froze and stopped talking at the microphone during a news conference after a lunch meeting with Senate Republicans U.S. Capitol 26, 2023 in Washington, DC. Also pictured, L-R, Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT), Sen. John Thune (R-SD) and Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA). McConnell was escorted back to his office and later returned to the news conference and answered questions. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)