I Want Money, Not Old People, Out of Politics

Unfortunately, they usually go together

Kayla Vokolek
6 min readJun 15, 2022


Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash.

I was chatting with a similarly-progressive friend about politics recently and they bemoaned elderly politicians ruining a future that they won’t even live long enough to reap the dire consequences of.

“There should be an age limit for politicians,” they said.

I got where they were coming from. How could I not?

Joe Biden comes across as “older, deflated, and stuck on revisiting a bygone era of American politics” in which parties could actually meet in the middle. If he weren’t the president, the trust he places in a party and its politicians that will stop at nothing to deny Americans democracy and civil rights would be merely laughable. Ha ha, he’s like trusting Charlie Brown and Mitch McConnell is Lucy pulling away the football.

But he’s the president. His inaction is dangerous and infuriating.

And Dianne Feinstein’s mental faculties have been in question for a while; she’ll be 89 in a week. But even if she didn’t forget conversations she just had, she would still no longer be a good political fit. While I respect her political achievements from decades ago, her being tougher on youth climate activists than a relatively inexperienced and clearly partisan Supreme Court pick shows just how useless she is in dealing with today’s pressing issues.

Feinstein is often blind to the way that institutions she holds dear are eroding as they are taken over by an increasingly radical right wing.” — Rebecca Traister, New York Magazine

But still, some are more active, mentally alert, and compassionate at 80 than others are at younger ages. To the friend I stood with for hours to attend a Bernie Sanders rally, I posed the question: would you want Bernie to have already left office? It wasn’t a “gotcha” question — just curiosity.

“You’re right,” they acquiesced. “I wouldn’t want him out of office. Maybe that was a little ageist.”

I think many young progressives, myself included, can attribute a rise in political interest and activity to Bernie Sanders. As old as he is, he didn’t pander to us; our positions had already been his positions for decades. Or otherwise, we…



Kayla Vokolek

Creative writing grad located in LA