We have only just begun to experience the consequences of having a mentally and physically unfit person as Commander-in-Chief. Joe Biden’s shocking display during his first press conference on Thursday was the latest embarrassment that he has brought upon himself and thus upon the country. It certainly will not be the last.
The media is, of course, making things as easy as it can for our senile president by posing questions which effectively ask, “Are immigrants coming here because you’re such a good and decent man?” But even their efforts could not save Biden from himself, as he stumbled, mumbled, and bumbled his way through the hour-long conference with his obedient press corps. Just one notable moment came when the president began to answer a question, trailed off into unintelligible rambling, stopped abruptly, and picked up with a new thought:
“I am going to say something outrageous. I have never been particularly poor at calculating how to get things done in the United States Senate. So the best way to get something done, if you, if you hold near and dear to you that you, uh, um, like to be able to… Anyway, I, we’re gonna get a lot done.”
If this was the first time that Biden had stumbled in this way, we might just assume that he didn’t have enough coffee that morning. But this kind of thing happens all the time — not slips of the tongue, but divergences into full-blown incoherence — and it’s getting worse. It was only a few days ago that Biden proved himself incapable of safely navigating a flight of steps. Now he’s standing on national television proving himself incapable of completing a sentence.
It now seems to be a question not of whether Kamala Harris will be the one finishing out Biden’s term, but when she will take over. Another question: if Biden becomes entirely incapacitated — assuming he isn’t already — will we be informed right away? How can we have any confidence that they’ll tell us the truth about Biden’s condition in the future if they aren’t telling us the truth right now? All of the ingredients for a catastrophic constitutional crisis are present. They were already baked into the cake the moment a 78-year-old man was inaugurated.
This ought to be the last time we allow this to happen. In a sane country, laws and amendments would be passed to ensure it. Quite simply, it is madness to allow a man like this to become President of the United States. Leaving aside my personal and political feelings about Joe Biden — I wouldn’t want him to be president even if he were 30 years younger — there could never be a good reason to put a person so old into the highest political office in the land.
Even if Biden were not already showing clear signs of mental regression, it would still be the case that 1 in 7 people over the age of 70 have dementia. The likelihood only increases as you get older, and it certainly cannot help your case if you happen to be in one of the most physically and mentally demanding jobs in existence. About 2 million people with dementia in this country are age 85 or older, but there are only around 7 million total people in that age bracket. What this means is that mental deterioration is very common for older people, and only becomes more common the older they get. If a man is elected president at 78 — again, even pretending that he is in possession of all his wits at that point — there is a significant probability that he will begin slipping mentally before his first term is completed. Beyond the risk of losing his mind, he may even lose his life in the intervening years, given that the life expectancy for a 78 year old man is only 9 years, even without factoring in the unique stresses and burdens of the job.
We do not allow anyone under the age of 35 to run for president, and I have rarely heard anyone complain about this age restriction. Yet the risk inherent in having a decrepit president are much, much greater than the risk of having a spry, young 32-year-old in office. If we are ruling out that 32-year-old on the basis of his age alone, it does not make any sense that we refuse to rule people out on the other end of the age spectrum. There should be an upper age limit on the presidency, just as there is a lower limit. We could be generous and put the cap at 75. This would give every American 40 years, between 35 and 75, to take their shot at the presidency, if they so desire. If they can’t get it done in those 4 decades, it wasn’t meant to be. Go home and play with your grandchildren. It’ll be better for you, the country, and your grandchildren.
I realize that this age limit will never be put in place because it would have to be put in place by politicians willingly limiting their own chance to become president. There are maybe a handful of politicians in D.C. with the necessary integrity required to support such a self-limiting policy, and we’d need a lot more than a handful to get this done. That is the reason it won’t happen, but it’s a bad reason. Is there any good reason to keep the cap off? Is there any ethically or logically sound argument for allowing 80-year-olds and 90-year-olds the chance to take office, even as we deny 30-year-olds the same chance? I cannot see what that argument would be, and have never heard anyone present it. Yet, in my experience, even now, the idea of putting an upper age limit on the presidency is relatively unpopular. We are watching our president fall apart mentally and physically in front of our eyes, but that has not convinced many Americans that there is necessarily anything wrong with putting a very elderly person in the White House.
Perhaps this should not be surprising. If the last year has taught us anything, it’s that we, as a culture, are in denial about our mortality and the inevitability of death. We like to say things like “Age is just a number,” but that isn’t true. Age represents many significant things, and one of them is proximity to death. As you get older, you get closer and closer to the end of your life. That process is merciless and unrelenting, as your mind and your body progressively degenerate.
There are certain realities that come with being mortal creatures. Many of those realities are not especially enjoyable. This is one such unenjoyable reality: we all die. The older we get, the closer we come to our demise. The closer we come to our demise, the more that our bodies and minds disintegrate. This is a true story, but it’s not the one we prefer to tell ourselves. Our preferred story is one where age has no meaning, our bodies and brains will never fail us, we will never die, and anyone of any age is capable of doing anything and holding any job, and to say otherwise is to display bigotry and ageism and a severe lack of optimism. I confess that I prefer this story, too. But it’s a fantasy. In the long run, it’s better to live in reality. And better to vote there, too.
The views expressed in this piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.