What age is too old to run for U.S. President?

As we see people live longer, it is just as likely Presidential candidates could be older as well.     Just as the Constitution states:   No person (sic), shall be eligible to the office of President; neither shall any person be eligible to that office who shall not have attained to the age of thirty-five years ….

Maybe we need an upper bound on age on Presidential candidates, as well as a lower bound, for a few reasons.

Their World-view is shaped by events that happened many decades in the past, and may not reflect what is occurring today.

Their interactions with others are shaped by a society that likely is very different than those from generations younger than themselves.

According to a NIH study covered in the Washington Post roughly 20% of Americans over 65 experience some form of cognitive impairment.  Older subjects, Researchers from the Georgia Institute of Technology found,  performed worse than others on tasks involving working memory — the ability to remember information while manipulating it, as when calculating the tip on a restaurant bill — and that they’re more impaired when those tasks become more complex.  On tests of reasoning, memory and cognitive speed, the average scores for adults in their early 70s is near the 20th percentile of the population,  average scores for adults in their early 20s is near the 75th percentile.

A Mayo Clinic study of 161 cognitively normal adults between 62 and 100 years of age showed that declines in learning ability closely track with age. “Research has shown that concept formation, abstraction, and mental flexibility decline with age, especially after age 70, as older adults tend to think more concretely than younger adults”.

Their likely-hood of dying, or being partially incapacitated (e.g. having a stroke), while in office raises serious concerns.  We would have to debate in real-time if the President is capable of managing his duties while hospitalized, with a possible extended illness duration.  Does the VP take over for a period and return the President to their role after hospitalization?

The best way to have an open and honest discussion of this issue and others is with the Direct Democracy Referendum amendment.  It allows the Citizens to pass laws and not be interfered with by Congress or the President, that in this situation will have a conflict of interest.

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