'A teetering democracy of gerontocrats?'

Opinion, comment and editorials of the day

Donald Trump, left, speaks as Joe Biden, right, listens during a 2020 U.S. presidential debate
Biden and Trump will be ages 81 and 78, respectively, come the 2024 election
(Image credit: Kevin Dietsch / UPI / Bloomberg viaGetty Images)

'Aging leadership can come to embody a general sense of withering and decay'

David Remnick in The New Yorker

Polls show that much of the electorate isn't thrilled the 2024 election is likely to be a "contest of the ancients," said David Remnick in The New Yorker. President Biden will be 81 in November. His likely 2024 challenger, former President Donald Trump, is just three years younger. Powerful leaders, like the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg, can cost their side dearly when they hang on too long. Anxiety about this can't be dismissed as ageism.

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'Far from a she-cession, we might see a future of prosp-her-ity'

Olga Khazan in The Atlantic

The "she-cession" is finally ending, said Olga Khazan in The Atlantic. Many moms quit their jobs during the pandemic in order to supervise small kids suddenly attending school via Zoom. But "nearly as many women are working now as before the coronavirus pandemic." Remote work has allowed mothers of young children "to join the workforce in record numbers." If the trend continues, women might "face less of a 'motherhood penalty'" in their careers. 

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'More states should adopt tuition-free public higher education'

Nikhil Goyal in The Nation

Recent Supreme Court rulings struck down affirmative action in admissions at elite colleges, and student-debt cancellation, said Nikhil Goyal in The Nation, but those were "Band-Aid interventions to redress the machinery of structural racism and inequality." The "most dire crises" university students face are "affordability and access." To really make a difference for tomorrow's students, "we should invest in tuition-free public higher education — a proven path to economic and social mobility." 

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'My willingness to mask up is a simple courtesy'

Nedra Rhone in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Covid cases ticked up this summer, but "that didn’t lead to a corresponding increase in mask wearing," said Nedra Rhone in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "I get it. We all have to decide our comfort level with a virus that’s going to be with us permanently." But some people get "downright hostile" about masks. It “has become so weirdly polarized that we sometimes fail to see its overall usefulness as a general tool for good health."

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