Who determines if you’re fit to sit?

If+Feinstein+has+experienced+the+decline+of+old+age%2C+she+should+take+it+upon+herself+to+step+down.

Graphic Illustration by Lina Mezerreg and Lauren Liu

If Feinstein has experienced the decline of old age, she should take it upon herself to step down.

Ria Phelan

As our society progresses and develops new ideas, the question of who should be leading our governments and what qualifications they should have arises. Politicians such as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez have demonstrated how representation of younger Americans is appreciated by the public, especially by new voters. However, the experience and insight of older politicians often comes in handy. This is one of the main reasons why a majority of government is run by an older demographic. California’s senior senator, 88-year-old Dianne Feinstein, has been senator for 30 years and is currently the oldest member of Congress. Though Feinstein has disputed allegations that she is unable to properly perform her duties, the report shows that America’s increasingly aging leaders are unable to keep up with the demands of their job. If Feinstein has experienced the decline of old age, she should take it upon herself to step down. 

Discussion around Feinstein’s fitness to serve have been furthered by the claims of her inability to lead from fellow lawmakers and coworkers. According to former staff, Feinstein has had trouble following along during complicated conversations and recognizing well-known staff and associates, common problems that come with age. 

If these allegations are true, Feinstein should take it upon herself to step down from her position and choose not to re-run in 2024.  Voters deserve the best and most capable people to manage their rights, alter legislation and voice their beliefs; if Feinstein is unable to provide that, she should not be in office. 

However, limiting someone from office due to their age has historically raised a lot of controversy, and as such, rarely any action has ever been taken. Many of the elderly face ageism in the workplace and are discriminated against. But, having some limits on a politician’s age would be more beneficial in the long run, as it would allow for a mix of younger and older people to represent the country. 

“I don’t think all old politicians should step down but when large groups of people in politics are filled with older people, I think some of them should step down.” said sophomore Kaawon Kim. “Each branch of  government should have a diverse voice of opinions from all ages and backgrounds.” 

Leading groups of people requires immense dedication and hard work to successfully and equitably represent constituents’ interests and concerns. Feinstein has helped pass numerous legislation throughout her 30-year career and is seen as an inspiration to women around the country. After being elected as the mayor of San Francisco, she pursued a career in Congress and has been serving as one of two California State Senators since 1992.

However, some politicians choose to continue in office regardless of their fitness and ability to fulfill their role, such as Dianne Feinstein. Although leaving mid-term may not be the ideal situation, she should take it upon herself to step down if she feels a serious decline in her mental or physical stamina. 

“The world is constantly changing and I think politicians should take that to mind, but some don’t,” said sophomore Sonali Goel. “However, I do understand that older people in politics can also be wise since they have had to deal with so many things throughout the years.” 

Though Feinstein has broken many records in the Senate and gave a pivotal voice in committees like the Senate Judiciary and Intelligence committees, she may be unable to continue dealing with the demands of being a politician. Feinstein should take it upon herself to assess the situation, and if necessary, resign for the benefit of herself and the individuals she represents.