Reconsidering a presidential age limitation

Category:  Opinions
Friday, October 18th, 2019 at 11:50 AM

This has been a long year for the democrats and the democratic presidential nominees. They're all rushing to figure out who will run against the orange man, President Trump, in 2020. Scandals are brewing and policies — such as health care and immigration reform —that are at the forefront of every debate, have caused the nation to ignore the elephant in the room: there are three presidential nominees over the age of 70 and one of them just had a heart attack.
The 78-year-old Vermont senator, Bernie Sanders, was hospitalized on Oct. 1 for chest pains during a campaign event in Las Vegas. Sanders received two stents and at first, no one — not Sanders or his campaign managers — was willing to say if this was a heart attack. Several days later, Sanders disclosed to the public that it was in fact a heart attack (he also used this as an opportunity to boost his policy for free health care).
While preventative medicine has allowed us to outlive and out-strategize death, we are not immortal. As we age, our bodies — every organ, muscle and bone — lose their ability to keep going and, in turn, so do we.
We shouldn’t have to worry about the health and capability of our presidents, congressmen and congresswomen, and Supreme Court justices. These are the people running our country, and making the decisions on what we do and do not do as a nation.
To this day, there is still this belief that by the time he was finished with his second term, former president Ronald Reagan was not competent enough to hold the office. In 1994, five years after leaving office, he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.
The three frontrunners — Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden — are all over 70 and so is President Trump. When will we as a nation take a step back and question if there must be an age limit?
Former president Jimmy Carter recently advocated for an age limit for presidential candidates. “I hope there is an age limit,” he said. “If I were just 80 years old, if I was 15 year younger, I don’t believe I could undertake the duties I experienced when I was president.”
Our founding fathers set in the Constitution an age limit on when a person may run for office, but it should also force us to consider that 70 is too old.
If not for the sake of their health, then for the sake of societal acceptance. Seventy years ago, Alaska and Hawaii were not even states yet, segregation was alive and well, and the second great war had recently ended. While it is possible that they keep up with the times, it is also probable (as we have seen with Trump) that they welcome a 1950s ideology that just will cause riots and uproar from communities.
The fall of the baby boomer is among us. As millennials and those younger than them prepare to vote, they must consider age at the ballots. Will this candidate be competent enough to run the world's strongest nation, or is it just going to be a bridge we cross when we get there?
Sanders is back on the campaign trail with Biden, Warren and the 16 other nominees. Experience must still have value and be of importance to us (with the exception of those who voted for Trump), but the mental and physical ability to run this country and make decisions for every single one of us has to be something we consider this election and every one after it.

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