Democrats

Is Bernie Sanders Too Old to be President

When you learn about the stipulations on becoming president, one of the main requirements is that you have to be at least 35 years of age.[1] And while the presidential candidates are by no means spring chickens, Bernie Sanders if elected would be the oldest inaugurated president in the history of our country.[2] We should not be prejudice against age in the race, we should be realistic and practical in our assessments. In this case we should ask ourselves, is Bernie Sanders too old to be an effective president?

Releasing records really does not matter

Bernie Sanders released a doctor’s report stating that he was in good health on February 5, 2016. Yes, the report gives detailed information to those which have access, but it really does not do anything to appease the fact that Bernie Sanders would be 78 years old at the end of his first term and 82 if he is re-elected. The fact that Sanders even needs to “just get you the doctor’s note” as reported by ABC news should be cause for concern. I do not want a president that I have to worry about his health continuously. I want a president that is in peak health.

Let us be a bit transparent here. Bernie Sanders and any other politician can find someone to give them a golden star whenever they need it. It is the nature of the political game. When it comes to the need for a guarantee of Bernie Sanders’s health I am reminded of a line from the comedy Tommy Boy “if you need me to take a dump in a box in label it guaranteed, I will”. Just because one person has cleared him does not necessarily make him in good health or ensure that he will not fall into poor health shortly after taking the office. And while the report does give him some validation, and where the potential for poor health is hypothetical, the fact remains that the age of Bernie Sanders does raise a concern, regardless of what the documents may say.

What does research have to say about his health?

According to a study by the British Journal of General Practice, 44% of the patients surveyed in a test had at least one health problem. Out of these 82% had to be treated. Primarily the problem was in physical conditioning. Health reports also state that 1/3 of those over the age of 75 years of age have hearing and balance issues[3]. Yet, this is not the most disturbing of the facts. When looking at the life expectancy of the average man, the Social Security Administration of the United States estimates that the man who is 65 today will reach the age of 84.3. When using the life expectancy calculator on their site Bernie Sanders is estimated to live to 86.8 so long as there are no lifestyle, family history, or factors which would lead to a shorter lifespan. Considering that scientific test show that stress can knock off 4-8 years or more from your expected lifespan, and considering that the presidential office is probably one of the most stressful jobs out there, you could put the estimated lifespan of Sanders at 78.3-82.3 years.

What are our choices?

Unfortunately, the age margin for the other candidates is not too much behind Sanders. Hillary Clinton is at the age of 68 and Donald Trump is 69. While we wish them all long lives and healthy ones at that, it is predictable that there will be some serious age related issues from our candidates. Does the age of Bernie Sanders mean that he will not be an effective leader? No, it does not. Ronald Reagan is currently the reigning champ on being the oldest man to take the presidency and he is considered by many to be one of the greatest presidents that we have ever had. Neither did Regan die right after his presidency. Old age does not mean ineffectiveness.

The bigger and more pressing question when voting for such an old candidate is whether or not a candidate with so many years of “experience” can really bring forth any new ideas. I find that the older the politicians are the more they fall into the category of doing things as they have always been done. As the American people are tired of the same routines and politics, one has to wonder why the masses are following someone that is set in his ways. Granted, Bernie Sanders has issued a few new ideas in his campaign, but a great deal of his politics are the same old stuff we have seen before.

[1] http://usgovinfo.about.com/od/thepresidentandcabinet/a/presrequire.htm

[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Presidents_of_the_United_States_by_age

[3] http://www.healthinaging.org/aging-and-health-a-to-z/topic:balance-problems/

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