When age and mental competency become an issue on campaign trail

Nikki Haley has called for term limits for politicians along with mental competency tests for those aspiring for positions of power at 75 and above.

Nikki Haley / Image- X/@TeamHaley

Nikki Haley, one of the Republican contenders for the party nomination for the 2024 Presidential election, has been perking up not just Americans but perhaps even irritating many in the Grand Old Party when she has been consistently calling for term limits for politicians along with mental competency tests for those aspiring for positions of power at 75 and above. On the face of it, Haley’s idea would come to apply those running for the White House, Congress and even those sitting for life at the United States Supreme Court.

Tempting as it may be to toss out Haley’s thinking as usual campaign rhetoric and fluff that does not stand a chance in the current settings of American politics, the age limit, at least, appears to be getting some attention in opinion polls. About three quarters of America believe that President Joe Biden is “too old” to seek re-election in 2024; and two thirds or slightly more of Democrats feel the same way too. Somehow folks have suddenly come to realise that Biden will be 85 years old at the time of stepping away from the Presidency in 2029, if elected for a second term!

Some would argue that Haley at 51 has the luxury of talking of “age”; but her competition for the party nomination Vivek Ramaswamy at 38 is not inclined to touch her ideas with a barge pole; and many politicians on both sides of the aisle have either blatantly ignored it or defied the notion. Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein at 90 is unwilling to step aside from the Senate; despite two so-called black outs or “freeze” Senate Republican minority leader Mitch McConnell at 81 says everything is fine; and former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi just announced that she is in the re-election fray at 83.

It is highly unlikely that Haley’s attempt to raise the issues of age and mental competency is going to get traction in this election season and certainly not within the Grand Old Party which is seeing the popularity of former President Donald Trump at record levels in spite of his state and federal felony counts. At 77 Trump is not seen in the same age bracket as that of President Biden and few have questioned the mental competency of the former occupant of the White House. If Haley is looking at raising her age and competency factors as a way to get the better of Trump, she has miles to go even within the Republicans Party.

Haley’s point is not too difficult to understand. “This is not just a Republican or Democrat problem, this is a congressional problem There is a reason the American people want term limits. It’s because they don’t want people staying there forever, they don’t want people drunk on the power… The American people are saying it is time to go. If they would approve term limits, the American people would show that. But until then, they’ve got to know that look, we appreciate your service, but it’s time to step away.”















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