Should there be an upper age limit to be a US Presidential candidate?
The minimum age for the presidency is 35. Should there be a maximum, too?
When the US goes to the polls in November, voters young and old will choose between the two oldest presidential candidates in the country’s history.
The issue of age has already been weaponised by the Trump campaign, labelling Joe Biden a dotty, “sleepy”, past-his-best politician despite being just three years the current president’s senior.
Questions over both candidates’ stamina and suitability for the highest office will likely continue until polling day, but just how do the pair of candidates compare to previous US leaders?
Joe Biden, who became a senator in 1973 is 77 years old. If he was to win the election he would assume the office as a 78-year-old, with his birthday set to take place a short time after polling day on November 20.
Donald Trump turned 74 years old on June 14 earlier this year. If he was to successfully claim a second term he would leave the White House as a 78-year-old.
The average age of American presidents at swearing-in is 55, but recent decades have seen many outliers. At 70, President Trump was the oldest to take office, beating a record set by Ronald Reagan, who still remains the oldest person ever to leave it, at 77.
Some might argue that the sheer premise of this debate is ageist, but being President is an incredibly demanding job. To question whether we ought to have an age cap on candidates isn’t designed to disparage the older generation, but to take a long hard look at the job at hand.
The retirement age in the UK is around 65-67 depending on when you were born and in many other countries retirement age is 60.
One could argue that older candidates might bring heightened awareness to issues of inequality and discrimination, a wealth of policy expertise, and the diplomacy that comes with years of experience in the government.
There is no upper age limit for UK Prime Ministers either – should there be?
What are your views? Should there be an upper age limit to be a US Presidential candidate? If, so what should it be? Does age have an impact on competency?
What are your views?
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