Are Donald Trump and Joe Biden Too Old to be President?

By Sofia Anna Zullo

Trump v BidenColin Grant
Biden’s age has been a topic of discussion that has always been present in the media. However, when he turned 81 in November, the topic resurfaced stronger than ever. Concerns about Biden’s mental and physical health, specifically his memory, have fueled debates on whether he can continue to be a fit president if he gets reelected in 2024. A turning point in the age debate occurred when Biden mistakenly referred to the president of Egypt, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, as the “president of Mexico.” Likewise, his opponent, Donald Trump, is 77 years old, only four years younger, and struggles with similar physical and mental capabilities to Biden.
Recently, Biden addressed the “age issue” on the NBC talk show “Late Night With Seth Meyers.” According to the New York Times  article written by Peter Baker, in the playful interview, Biden tries to expand his efforts to reassure voters that he is still fit to be president. In doing so, he tried to turn the tables on his opponent Donald Trump, stating that he too struggles with memory. In fact, Biden said; “You got to take a look at the other guy, he’s about as old as I am, but he can’t remember his wife’s name.”
By doing this, Biden highlighted an important point in this debate: He’s not the only old candidate, Trump is too! Donald Trump has had plenty of moments of memory issues and confusion. Just to name a few; he mixed up his Republican opponent Nikki Haley with Nancy Pelosi, he has said that the country is on the verge of World War II, and claimed to have beaten Obama in 2016 instead of Hillary Clinton.
Age doesn’t define the character of both of these candidates. However, both are objectively old and they both make frequent verbal gaffes and people are questioning whether or not they’re up to the work.  In Biden’s case, people usually question his ability to campaign effectively. With Trump, it’s usually his mental stability and stamina for actually doing the work of being the executive, (which was a problem during his first term).
As age continues to be prominent in the electoral campaigns, it raises the concerns about the ages of both candidates and their fitness for office.  
According to a survey sent out to Léman students and faculty, 78% of respondents think that Joe Biden and Donald Trump are too old to be presidents, 10% do not think they are too old, and 12% do not have an opinion on the matter.
When asked for further opinions or comments, many students and faculty answered. Some responses include; “Regular people retire in their 60s, why should presidents be the exception?” Additionally, 6th grader and news writer at the Bullhorn, Nola Lee, stated; “Though I believe there shouldn't be an age limit, I definitely want to see younger political leaders, in government as a whole. I would love to see more diversity in government and put an end to the seemingly never-ending list of old white men in positions of power.” 
More statements include; “I think people at their age are completely out of touch with the needs of everyone in the generations below them.", “I think younger generations need more representation in the American government across the board," and, “I think that the opinions and standings of the older generations can sometimes be irrelevant to the needs of the current society.” and, “Opening the doors for the youth and closing for the old might be the best. They don’t have the right to dictate the future that is so far and less impactful for them.”.
According to the data presented in the survey, the general consensus seems to be that both Donald Trump and Joe Biden are too old. Having cognitive confusion or physical limitations at their age isn’t something that is out of the norm or rare. In fact, most elderly people will encounter some sort of mental or physical problem. However, the issue is that a president's job is way more demanding than a “normal” job, and it requires a high level of mental acuity. Therefore, regardless of political ideology, a country cannot afford to have a president that is not fully mentally and physically capable for the job.
Moreover, when asked “Should there be a maximum age limit for presidential candidates?” 87% answered yes, and 13% answered no.  
Additional comments to that question include;  “The Constitution says that the president must be s35 years old to be eligible for the job. However, having an maximum age limit could become a compelling new amendment. The upper age limit would be in place to make sure that the president is in touch with contemporary issues and has the physical stamina to take on demanding roles.” (Zachary Grant, 11th Grade) and, “ It's tricky because you can't speak in generalizations. Many 80 year-olds have lost some mental capacity, but especially with modern medicine, more and more octogenarians are still very sharp. However, it's also true that the U.S. has a minimum age of 35 to be qualified to run for president. If we're being logically consistent, it might make sense to have a maximum as well.” (Chris Potter, Léman teacher)
Imposing a maximum age limit seems to be a good solution to the issue of age concerns in presidential candidates. According to a survey by Pew Research Center, 82% of Republicans and 76% of Democrats are in support of a maximum age limit for federal elected officials.