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The official student-run newspaper publication at GEHS.

The Blazer

The official student-run newspaper publication at GEHS.

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How Old is Too Old?

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Addie Reiter

In Article Two of the United States Constitution, it states that a president must be 35 years or older. However, there is currently no age limit.

The last two presidents’ ages are double the 35 years. Donald Trump was elected president in 2017 as a 70-year-old and is currently 77 years of age. Joe Biden was elected president in 2020 as a 78-year-old and is currently 80 and still in office. Biden currently holds the position of the oldest president in United States history.

The problem with older presidents is that aging can have an effect on their presidential obligations. Elderly people can have more of difficult time completing tasks due to the fact that their cognitive skills are declining. This starts around your fifties and worsens as you age. 

According to Harvard Health Publishing, “The result is that as you age, it takes longer to absorb, process, and remember new information. The natural loss of receptors and neurons that occurs with aging may also make it harder to concentrate. Therefore, you not only learn information more slowly, but you also may have more trouble recalling it because you didn’t fully learn it in the first place. With slower processing, facts held in working memory may dissipate before you have had a chance to solve a problem.”

Not only do people’s cognitive skills worsen with age, their senses are also deteriorating, which can make it harder to perceive things, especially their hearing.

Harvard Health Publishing, explained, “Hearing loss that often accompanies aging makes it more difficult to distinguish speech in a noisy environment. Because hearing then requires more concentration than usual, even mild loss of the ability to focus can affect speech comprehension.”

If these reasons are known by voters, then why do older presidents keep getting elected when there is plenty of young candidates?

Based on Research done by Pew Research Center, older adults are more likely to vote for an older presidential candidate. Almost all of the age groups want a president that is in their fifties, but as the age group increases so does the age of the presidents.

Therefore, if older adults vote for older people and older people are the ones who count for most of the votes, then the country is going to continue to have older presidents.

According to US News, “Some 64% of citizens age 65 and older voted in the November 2018 election, the best turnout of any age group. More than half of those ages 45 to 64 also cast a ballot. People under age 45 are much less likely to vote. Just 37% of 25- to 34-year-olds made it to the polls in November 2018. And not even a third of the youngest citizens – ages 18 to 24 – entered a voting booth in 2018. 

No matter what side of politics people are on most can agree that the country needs to have younger presidents and politicians to grow and better as a country.

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About the Contributor
Addie Reiter
Addie Reiter, Editor in Chief
Addie is a sophomore who loves the color yellow and drinking iced coffee. She enjoys painting and can often be found playing video games and talking with her friends.

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