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How Old Should a President Be?

NEW YORK CITY - MARCH 31 2016: Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders appeared before thousands of supporters at St Mary's Park, The Bronx - Image

There is a lower age limit for US Presidents, so why not an upper one?

A candidate for President must be at least 35 years old. This rule has been around since 1789. The idea behind this is that for a position so important, political education, behavior, and opinion needs to be refined. This probably needs to be revisited, but today we are going to focus on what happens when people get much older.

If the office of the President is so important, why do we allow people who are at extremely high risk of illness, injury, and death run for office? I realize this sounds very discriminatory, but I am asking the question to spark discussion. Our current President is 73, and if his diet is any indication, is not terribly healthy. The two frontrunners of the Democratic Party are 78 (Sanders) and 70 (Warren.) Biden is 76. Sanders just had heart surgery and is traveling constantly. Whomever he picks for the VP position has a decent chance of having to take over at some point, should he win.

Imgur – MaxEMiller

Just because they are old does not mean they are feeble. Warren runs all over the place and seems pretty healthy, and there are plenty of active and healthy septuagenarians out there. But we’ve seen how a presidency can someone age dramatically in just 4 or 8 years, and this job can really put you through the ringer. So are we gambling on a candidates health if they are at a certain age?

We have seen repeatedly that older politicians are extremely out of touch with the majority of the country. This relates to culture, finances, needs, and technology. These barriers of perception and understanding between the growing younger population and the older “ruling” class creates problems and disconnects when it comes to policy creation. We still can’t get Net Neutrality to be a permanent thing, because most older politicians do not understand it. We are slow to enforce minimums in internet speeds for the same reasons (let’s add lobbying money to these reasons as well.) Someone who understands the people can better serve the people.

So in the future, do we need to have an upper age limit? Would that be helpful? Do you see any disadvantages? Let us know below!

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