How To Tell if You're Too Old To Be President


Let's talk about it: Are Joe Biden and Donald Trump too old to be president? I don't know. Maybe? Probably! They're 81 and 77. Biden is already the oldest sitting president. A win would crown either man the oldest newly elected president, a record slightly less exciting than "world's largest serving of guacamole."

Their advanced ages reflect a growing tendency of American politicians to hang around the high school parking lot in Dodge Darts long after graduation. Still, staying in power past one's prime is not a new phenomenon. Remember when the presidency of Woodrow Wilson became a scene from "Weekend at Bernie's"?

Almost 80% of Americans favor maximum age limits for elected officials, per Pew research, which might be the most Americans agree on anything? The urge to force political retirement makes sense on its face. After all, the Constitution sets minimum age limits in hopes that our leaders arrive to work with fully formed prefrontal cortexes.

In an ideal world, we wouldn't need to enshrine maximum age limits because voters could be trusted to make sound decisions about the fitness of their candidates. But -- pause to help Bernie Lomax review four separate criminal indictments -- we've seen that's perhaps not the case.

Biden recently went to the doctor but did not take a cognitive test. This comes on the heels of a special counsel report that described him as a "sympathetic, well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory." Yowch! Trump has bragged about passing a cognitive test, a test one expert told the Washington Post was "a very, very low bar for somebody who carries the nuclear launch codes in their pocket to pass." Cool!

Obviously, we need some fresh lettuce leaves in the salad, if you know what I mean. But as I plug in my Sharper Image massager to alleviate the aches of midlife, I can't help but think age cutoffs could be tough to define, not to mention politically perilous. Could choosing an arbitrary age eliminate an older candidate who is vastly more qualified in favor of someone who, let's just say, vapes at a "Beetlejuice" musical?


Moreover, at 40, I have started to believe that health, mental acuity, maturity and, uh, flexibility are relative. This weekend, I pinched a nerve in my neck while sleeping. It wasn't even a deep REM cycle in which one might thrash around. It was a light sleep, a few-more-minutes-doze on a Saturday as birds chirped outside. Soon, I stirred. I couldn't move my neck for two days. What is that? How could I be expected to adhere to Geneva Conventions with a crick in my neck?

Altering the Constitution to add an age cutoff would be an uphill quest, one full of political volleying, pros and cons, two-thirds votes and ratification. But! It remains free and easy to ask pointed questions to determine a candidate's spectrum of spryness before heading to the polls.

For example, the following inquiries could eliminate me from the running:

Have you ever asked anyone 12 or younger to help you use electronics?


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