CON: Older president brings more experience and leadership

Age is just a number. In the 2020 presidential race, five of the 23 candidates are in their 70s. Despite their age, the three oldest candidates in the Democratic nominee race—Elizabeth Warren, Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders—are the top contestants, while current president Donald Trump was the oldest man in American history to enter his first-term.

With the sudden emergence of older candidates, there has been an ongoing debate about what is too old for the job. I don’t believe that age should be a factor when considering presidential candidates. 

According to Ellen Langer, a social psychologist and professor of psychology at Harvard University, old age doesn’t necessarily increase the likelihood of contracting illness. Other variables, such as education and wealth, play a significant role in the well-being of humans, demonstrating how older candidates can maintain rational thinking despite progression in age. 

According to a study conducted by VeryWell Health, cognitive reserve, a development within humans who have educated brains, provides a greater resistance to declines in brain structure and impending diseases. Older candidates are not as susceptible to disorders as one may think and are more cognitively capable than are made out to be. 

Moreover, with the increased accessibility of advanced health care along with the prevalence of medical procedures used to cure illnesses, the health issues of the president are trivial concerns to say the least.

The more pressing issue is experience and capability. Most older candidates have the astuteness and insight amassed from decades of political service incomparable to those of younger candidates, making informed suggestions on mending society’s current issues.

 Sanders, 78, has shown his worth as a candidate throughout his political career, currently ranks third in most voter polls among the 19 Democratic contestants. Sanders spoke for many young people when he proposed the pricey Green New Deal that would eliminate production of combustion-fuel vehicles and promote reductions in electricity bills for citizens. This vision to radically change the complexities of society demonstrates the potential of older candidates to satisfy current needs, even inspiring the advocacy of climate activists and young politicians like U.S. Rep. Alexandria-Ocasio Cortez (D-NY). 

Rather than discouraging these septuagenarians for running as candidates at such an old age, citizens of the younger generation should take this opportunity to support the older politicians of today’s age, appreciating the wisdom and experience that they provide. Older candidates should be included in the discussions of social issues, shedding light on the injustices of discrimination.

All in all, the age of presidential candidates should not be considered. It’s not that older candidates are better presidents than younger ones. Rather, older nominees can serve as inspirations, demonstrating the vast knowledge and political shrewdness required to inhabit the toughest job in America.