Letters to the Editor: Mitch McConnell, Joe Biden and the need for an upper age limit in Washington

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) set off speculation about his health after freezing up while speaking to reporters on Aug. 30.
(Liz Dufour / Associated Press)
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To the editor: Let’s flip LZ Granderson’s argument about aging politicians in the opposite direction.

I know a couple of 13-year-olds who are wise, sensible and well-read. Should they be able to vote? Yes, these youngsters should. But the vast majority of their peers are far too young to cast a vote wisely.

For every fit and fine 80-year-old like Mick Jagger, there are likely 30 others in various states of decline, and many others who never made it to 80.


The presidency is way too important not to have an upper age limit for the start of a first term, and senators have way too long a term not to have one. The Supreme Court needs either an upper age limit or a limited term of office.

I was 8 years old the last time a sitting president died in office; Granderson was not yet born. Think of the recent chaos that resulted each time a Supreme Court justice died or resigned, and multiply that by 100 for a president.

Diane Scholfield, Vista


To the editor: Granderson’s article on age being just an uninformative number was spot on. I just turned 74 and celebrated by riding my motorcycle 1,500 miles from Palm Springs to our second home in British Columbia.

My wife encourages me to exercise and eat healthy, but I will admit to some age-related issues. I will probably need knee replacement surgery because I damaged it hiking the second-highest peak on the Norwegian island of Svalbard in the Arctic just after turning 70.

But I will continue to enjoy life by attempting things I never thought possible as a younger man. You know why? Because I tell myself I can.


Del Breckenfeld, Desert Hot Springs


To the editor: Granderson quotes Dr. Brian Monahan, attending physician at the U.S. Capitol, as saying about Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.): “Occasional lightheadedness is not uncommon in concussion recovery and can also be expected as a result of dehydration.”

As an experienced critical care physician, I saw the video of McConnell “frozen” and immediately thought he was having a transient ischemic attack (TIA). Given that this is not the first time this has happened, I would have expected more concern. After all, according to the American Stroke Assn., TIAs can be a forewarning of something more serious.

Monahan has had a distinguished career as a hematologist and medical oncologist. I wonder if he is going to defer to the opinion of a neurologist with regard to McConnell.

Dr. Christopher B. Cooper, Los Angeles