A Different Way of Thinking About Older Candidates for President

As humans live longer, Stephen L. Carter argues, we need to redefine “elderly”.

“Reagan, when he won his second term, became the oldest president ever relative to life expectancy, at 88%. This year’s leading Democratic candidates would indeed be older, but not by that much. On Election Day 2020, Bernie Sanders would just have turned 79, and Joe Biden would be just short of 78. For a 78-year-old male in the U.S., life expectancy is about 87.43, according to the Social Security Administration. For a 79-year-old male, the figure is 87.88. This means that Biden, if elected, would be at around 89.2% of his age-adjusted life expectancy; Sanders would be at around 89.9%. Either of them would beat Ronald Reagan’s record of 88% — but just barely.”

Provocative, even compelling argument, but I do not agree with his conclusion in part because he fails to mention Sander’s heart attack. Furthermore, why eliminate the pool by half by eliminating a gender? And then again by half by eliminating middle aged candidates in their physical and mental prime?

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