Pro: Should There Be a Maximum Age for Presidential Candidates?

Stephen Koopersmith '26, Staff Writer

Throughout our nation’s history, many of the United States’ oldest presidents have been afflicted by physical and mental health struggles. In 1994, mere years after the conclusion of his presidency, Ronald Reagan, our third oldest president, was diagnosed with severe Alzheimer’s. This age-related disease undoubtedly impacted Reagan’s performance during his second term in office. Over the last eight years, Americans have elected the two oldest presidents in United States history. Former President Donald Trump began his term at 70 years old and concluded it at nearly 75. During his last year in office, Trump’s health was visibly declining as a result of his old age and he had numerous health scares during his time in office including a lengthy hospital stay at Walter Reed Medical Center after catching COVID-19.

President Joe Biden is the oldest president in U.S. history at 80 years old in the third year of his presidential term. Over the course of Biden’s presidency, his cognitive ability appears to have deteriorated rapidly, with the media often calling attention to his incoherent speeches and embarrassing mistakes.

In a modern political scene, a presidential maximum age has become increasingly necessary. The widespread implementation of new technologies in all spheres of American life has transformed the nation into one utterly reliant on technological advancements. As a result, the nation needs younger presidential candidates that can better understand how to handle contemporary technological problems without relying on their cabinet members to supplement their lack of knowledge. The pressure on the Biden administration to respond to and devise methods of controlling internet espionage and increasingly advanced AI exemplifies the need for presidents to fully comprehend modern technology and its shortcomings. President Biden was raised in a time when these types of technology were in their primitive stages, and therefore he lacks the correct background to effectively address these issues. A younger president would be better suited to solve the unprecedented challenges we face today.

There is undeniably more to a president’s suitability and performance in office than age, and introducing an age maximum cannot ensure a perfect presidential future. Nevertheless, the institution of age limits for presidential candidates would eliminate age-related health concerns and out-of-date ideological conflicts in the most powerful position in our nation. It is imperative that new generations take control of American political leadership as the nation grapples with issues our elders do not understand. The United States needs modern leaders to solve modern crises.