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BEACON Senior News

Are Biden and Trump too old to be president of the United States?

Sep 30, 2023 08:49AM ● By Dr. Glenn Mollette

Are President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump too old to be president of the United States? The answer to this question varies and depends on your perspective.

This perspective hinges on your expectations of America’s president. Should he or she be able to run up steps? What about walking down the steps from Air Force One without looking down? This is a good trick.

We have to be careful about hanging a number on the maximum age to serve as president. Eighty may be too old, but maybe it’s not. I heard Billy Graham preach when he was 80, and he came on the stage talking and preaching like a dynamo! There was nothing inarticulate or incoherent about him. There are millions of 80-plus-year-old people in this nation who live active lives and have a lot to contribute to our country.

However, we have to be realistic. There are millions of 80-year-old Americans who are barely alive. Their health is terrible! Many can’t care for themselves, let alone care for a nation. Furthermore, there are millions of Americans between 36 and 70 who are not mentally or physically healthy enough to hold down the world’s biggest job.

Every presidential candidate must be evaluated by each American. We have to look at all of the candidates circumspectly. Do they have the knowledge, skills and relevant experience? Are they articulate? Does the candidate demonstrate leadership skills that we need to lead this country forward to better times? Will they be a peacemaker? Will they be a strong presence on the world stage? 

Seventy million Americans don’t want a president who is going to cut Social Security or Medicare benefits. Millions of Americans over 50 don’t want the Social Security retirement age raised from 67 to 70. No one in this age bracket is going to support a candidate who infers either of the changes. Some say the full benefits age should never have been raised from 65 to 67. Millions of Americans will pay into Social Security all their lives but never make it to age 67, and thus never collect a penny. Of course, these people can collect a smaller amount if they want to retire at 62 and live on much less, which isn’t a viable option for many.

Don’t vote for someone just because they are young and vigorous. Youth is attractive and often charismatic, but it sometimes makes mistakes. Don’t vote for someone just because they’re 80. Hopefully they are wise and experienced, but they may be on the verge of becoming too frail.  

Look at the whole person. Look at what he or she is able to bring to the job and potentially do to lead our nation. Age is just a number. 

Glenn Mollette is the author of 13 books. His column is published weekly in over 500 U.S. publications. Visit

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