Politics | Culture

Rise Of The Geriatric State

Why representation for young voters is so abysmal and needs to change.

Sean Kernan
4 min readSep 8


Pexels via Andrea Piacquadio

I’m convinced we are going to see a politician die on TV — and not because of an assassination.

Neither of our two likely presidential candidates can run up a flight of stairs without great risk. Even back in January 2021, the top three candidates (Trump, Biden, and Sanders) would have each been the oldest president ever at the start of their terms.

Mitch McConnell’s eyes are rolling back like a ref is giving him a standing 8 count against Mike Tyson. His publicized medical report said there were no signs of any problem. But politicians decide if medical reports are released. For context, Trump’s doctor also said he was in “extraordinary” good health.

I’ve also stopped buying into Biden’s speech impediment excuse. Watch a few of his younger speeches — there’s a huge difference. Notably, he was also one of the youngest senators in history at age 30. At the time, he said, “The seniority system has more drawbacks than merits”.

God bless Biden for hanging in there but even as a left-leaning moderate, I can’t watch anymore. Per a NYT piece, even his aides are extremely nervous each day, worried he’ll fall or make another serious gaffe.

Politicians have never been a bastion for youth — but a revival is in order. I watched the Republican debates and saw a number of bright candidates, who’d be a much better alternative to Trump. But we are boxed in as usual. Even my parents, who are die-hard conservatives, have lost their enthusiasm.

It’s either a fascist narcissistic billionaire or a democrat who forgets which country he is in.

What a mess.

So what gives?

Why is it so hard to find a fresh 40-something with bold, good ideas —and more cognitive shelf life?

For starters, there’s an incentive problem. The US political system favors experience — but not experience in drafting policy or leading. It favors experience in building allies and raising money.

You might wonder: Why doesn’t a wealthy donor support a younger politician…



Sean Kernan

Always on the hunt for a good story. That guy from Quora. Writing out of Tampa, Florida.