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Jakarta Post

When Brezhnev comes to America: Gerontocracy in action

  • Alexei Bayer

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New York   /   Sat, March 21, 2020   /  01:22 pm
When Brezhnev comes to America: Gerontocracy in action U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a televised address in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Wednesday, March 11, 2020. (Bloomberg/Pool/Doug Mills)

The age structure of the United States political leadership cannot be described by any other word than as a gerontocracy. Despite US' President Donald Trump's rather youthful age of 73, he entered office as the oldest man to become US President to date. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is about to turn 80, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is 78. The two remaining Democratic presidential candidates are Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders, 77 and 78 years of age, respectively. If you look around the world, and indeed into modern history, to find an example of another country that used to be governed by a coterie of political fossils, you need to look no further than the old Soviet Union. From around the mid-1970s onward, General Secretary Leonid Brezhnev and the entire Soviet Politburo were looking like death warmed over. By the early 1980s, Defense Minister Andrei Grechko was...

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