How young [or old] should a U.S. President be?

Author: fauxlaw ,

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  • fauxlaw
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    We have James Madison, who I revere more than just about any other founding father, to thank for establishing age as a qualifying factor for Congressional and presidential seats. The President was set at minimum 35, which, today, seems awfully young, and is. However, it was, coincidentally, Madison's age when he penned the Constitution. Illusions of grandeur? We'll never know, but a sobering thought: life expectancy in the late 18th century was just 37. our founding fathers gre to much older ages, even in their generation, because they were mostly affluent, well educated, and ate reasonable diets.

    In this presidential season, to date, we have three old white guys in competition; an R, a D, and [really] an S. In that regard, In regard to age and relative health, I'm disappointed that Trump appears to favor McDs over a good, lean, healthy lamb crown roast and veggies. Oh well, I love to cook, so, sue me. Maybe I should apply for the WH chef position. 

  • Dr.Franklin
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    I'm disappointed that Trump appears to favor McDs over a good, lean, healthy lamb crown roast and veggies.
    TDS?
  • oromagi
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    I think all three candidates are too old both in principle and in practice.  US Generals are required to retire at age 62 even though there aren't many physical requirements for modern generalship.  Why isn't the Commander in Chief held to the same standard?  The average age of US corporate CEOs is 58 while the average retirement age is 62.  Why are government executives and lawmakers a generation older than business leadership?  CEO makes a lot of sense to me as a model- the top job comes at the end of a career and most successful careers end around the mid-60's.

    35 was not too young in 1800 when 35 was also the average life span but now that the average life span is 78, 35 is as much too young as 78 seems too old.

    I'd raise the minimum to 45 and cap the max at 70 (to serve in office, not to run- a 68 year old candidate would be required to retire before the end of her term) with an optimally aged president targeted around 58, not 78.  When the average life span doubles again, we can revisit the limits.


  • fauxlaw
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    --> @Dr.Franklin
    Nope, just a voter.
  • fauxlaw
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    --> @oromagi
    Why isn't the Commander in Chief held to the same standard? 
    Because the Constitution says otherwise by omission. 200 suggested amendments per 2-year congressional session, 116 sessions - you do the math. 27 amendments passed and ratified in 230 years. Not as easy as rolling on a log.
  • Imabench
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    Ive always secretly wanted there to be some clause or condition in the Constitution that any president who is 70 or older should be limited to a single term should they win the nomination. Just as a precaution 
  • fauxlaw
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    --> @Imabench
    And then, as we continue to increase the mean life expectancy, what then? Such limits ought to be tempered by individual cases., and, therefore, not made constitutional absolutes. For example, both Biden and Trump are in excess of 70 [78 and 73, respectively, I think]. However, I don't think it takes much reflection to observe that Trump, on any given day, appears more alert, on point, and certain of himself, than does Biden. In fact, a 70-year-old [happens to be my age] may demonstrate greater qualities of characteristics such as this subject of capability to manage a presidency, than some 50-year-olds. It's relative to the individual, isn't it?
  • bmdrocks21
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    --> @oromagi
    Sounds good on paper. But not every 78 year-old is equal. Some have dementia or are terminally ill. Others have tons of energy and are still sharp.

    This is really something that should be determined on a person-by-person basis. I don't know how much good can come from limiting our pool of candidates. There has to be SOME reason we gravitate towards these older candidates. Likely that they have more life experience and name-recognition.
  • Imabench
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    --> @fauxlaw
    I don't think it takes much reflection to observe that Trump, on any given day, appears more alert, on point, and certain of himself, than does Biden
    Trump can barely make his way through an entire sentence without making Biden look like a MIT professor 

  • fauxlaw
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    Trump can barely make his way through an entire sentence without making Biden look like a MIT professor 



    Joe Biden, Professor, MIT, in still another gaffe on profession, 2/24/2020 at the "First in the South Dinner" “You’re the ones who sent Barack Obama the presidency. And I have a simple proposition here: I’m here to ask you for your help. Where I come from, you don’t go very far unless you ask. My name’s Joe Biden. I’m a Democratic candidate for the United States Senate,”
  • Alec
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    --> @fauxlaw
    No president should be over 80 at the time of their inauguration.  This is so politicians have to live with the decisions they make, therefore encouraging them to make good decisions.
  • fauxlaw
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    --> @Alec
    Why not? What makes you think that an 80 year old cannot be as vital as 70, or 60? Not all, no. Biden is absurd at his age. Bernie is not, and he's older. Look, when James Madison established 35 as a minimum age to qualify running for president in the latter quarter of the 18th century, he happened to be 35. What do you think the average life expectancy was in the latter 18th century? 37. Think about that, and extrapolate what that means to the 21st century.
  • Alec
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    --> @fauxlaw
    I mean, if the candidate is 85 years old, he's not going to live much longer, so he won't have as much time to regret making bad decisions as he would be if he were like 60.  It also provides incentive to make good decisions.
  • fauxlaw
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    --> @Alec
    You keep raising the age in your argument. Tell you what, if you don't want to vote for someone who is 102, don't. What else can I tell you?