The old man and the nuclear button – The Guardian pointed out the problems of American gerontocracy

When the White House turns into a nursing home, this cannot but call into question the tendencies of the American politics.


As noted by The Guardian, what is happening in the United States is completely contrary to common sense. A country obsessed with youth and big changes chooses its president from two gray-haired elders. Obese Donald Trump, 74, is fighting for the right to occupy the White House. If he loses, he will give up the presidency to an even older politician. In less than a month, Joe Biden will turn 78. He will become America’s oldest president, breaking the record of his predecessor.

Against this background, there is a well-founded debate in American society about whether the mental and physical problems of old age can affect the decision-making of a person whose hand lies on the nuclear button.

Former US President Jimmy Carter, now 96 years old, says it is time to impose age restrictions on candidates for the presidency.

“If I were only 80 years old, if I were 15 years younger, I don’t believe that I would be able to carry out the duties that I performed when I was president. You must be able to move from one subject to another and adequately concentrate on each of them, and then combine them in a complex way”, – he said.

Carter was 56 years old when he lost the election to Ronald Reagan, 60, then the oldest winner of the US presidential race. Reagan was often ridiculed for blackouts, and after his resignation it was revealed that he suffers from Alzheimer’s syndrome.

Not surprisingly, Biden’s headquarters published a medical report late last year. According to the document, Biden is “a healthy, energetic 77-year-old man who is fit for successful presidential duties”. The Trump team did the same, publishing a similar report in June.

Moreover, Trump has turned the problem into a weapon. The president began to criticize his opponent, pointing out his old age and related factors.

“Joe Biden called me George yesterday. Couldn’t remember my name. The host helped him finish the interview. The fake media cartel is working overtime to hush up the case”, – Trump said.

The incident occurred during an online event. Presumably, Biden mistook Trump for the Republican George W. Bush, who ruled the United States from 2001 to 2009.

Trump fell into his own trap earlier this month. The Republican, being at risk due to age and excess weight, contracted the coronavirus. Despite this, he has a clear political advantage over a competitor, writes The Guardian.

The old Republican president is a familiar phenomenon in the United States. Conservatives are willing to put up and even welcome wrinkled and gray-haired elders in the Oval Office. For the Democrats, everything is exactly the opposite. John F Kennedy was 43 when he took office, Lyndon Johnson was 55, Bill Clinton was 46, and Barack Obama was 47. Biden stands out from this list, especially since there were younger candidates in the Democratic Party.

“Joe Biden has always said that he is, in fact, interim president, and he knows what will happen next”, – said the head of the Los Angeles County Democratic Party Drexel Heard.

That’s why Biden chose Kamala Harris as his vice president, he said. Ultimately, it is she who will replace Biden if he does not live to see the end of the presidential term.

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