Is This Country’s Real Problem Racism or Ageism?

“One of the great things about the good ole days is that they are no longer here.” – Don King

Don King made this statement because prior to the middle of the 1960s, he remembered having attack dogs sicked on him. He remembered being hosed down in the street. He remembered being beaten with billy clubs, and he remembered taking undue punishment for crimes he committed, or worse, for crimes that he did not commit. However, with what now is seen in the news, daily, one would think that the good ole days are trying their damndest to make a rigorous comeback. However, is this the result of a fresh rush of racism, or is it, perhaps, an effort by the remaining white survivors of the good ole days trying to restore what was once the ‘hey day’ of white supremacy? Perhaps, the numbers will tell us……

In the United States House of Representatives, the average age is fifty-seven. In the United Sates Senate, the average age is sixty-three. These are people born to people who grew up in a segregated United States. Even more extreme is the average age of federal justices across the various jurisdictions of the federal court system. The average age in the federal court system is seventy-five. Further, the average of age U.S. Presidents is fifty-five years. The average age of state governors is sixty-five, and the average age of state house congressmen and senators is in the middle fifties. So, the numbers do tell a tail. The average age of the United States government, including the states, is near retirement age. Further, it is estimated that eighty-five percent of the people in these seats are male, while eighty percent of those people are white.

Needless to say, this paints a pretty interesting picture. It says a lot for the ageist perspective, saying that the people in power are just having a hard time adapting to the new younger world that has grown up around them; however, it also says a lot for the fact that most of the people in power are old white men born and raised by people who lived through the most dynamic period of the United States’ racial upheaval. Basically, this means that there is a mixture of racism and poorly adapted aged leaders working at dividing the American people against themselves. This has got to go, but for some reason, up until now, there have been no suggestions on how to make that happen.

First, one might consider making positions in the government actually payable. Essentially, make going into government work more appealing by actually paying government representatives a worthy salary. Stop paying people that play children’s game enough money to buy a small island and start funneling that money to state and federal government representatives. Not only will more people be encouraged to run for office, but they will also be more willing to do their jobs for fear that they would lose their next election and thus, their amazing income. This would also serve to encourage younger people to run for office, as opposed to waiting to run until they are much older, when they are gearing down towards retirement.

Second, it would be prudent to make punishment for violating the rule of law more sever. If these men and women are already making millions of dollars off the public dime, why should they be allowed to get away with blatant corruption. They need to be directed to the nearest lock up for breaking the rules, rather than just getting a slap on the hand, and even, a possible re-election. This would create a much younger and much more honest set of politicians at both the federal and state levels of government.

Third, it would also be prudent to consider setting an age limit for future congressmen, governors, presidents, and even judges, in the various levels of government. Perhaps, setting an age restriction of fifty-five will help to craft a government that is more in tune with the younger generations over which they are serving. One might also consider term limits on those people not yet bound by them. Finally, it might also be prudent to develop a more effective recall option on politicians appointed or elected to state and federal positions, one in which the people are able to generate a recall against a politician that they feel is no longer serving their best interests. This would be the case no matter how far along this person might be in their term of service.

These are only a few suggestions, and frankly, there is much more that could possibly be done. However, this is a good place to start. The next avenue would be to honestly gauge how big a role that race really plays in the lives of young people in the twenty-first century. An initial guess suggests that its role is likely to be drifting away, even in Republicans, as younger people grow up and realize how futile the effort of propping up racism truly is. They would see how doing so only inhibits true cultural exchange that can, not only make individuals stronger, but can also strengthen the moral fiber of the United States.

What do you think? Do you like what is being said here? To check out more of Kent Allen Halliburton’s work, visit his politics and history blog. You will find yourself entranced at www.refusetocooperate3.blogspot.com.

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