With Nikki Haley dropping out of the Republican primary this week, a rematch between former President Donald Trump and current President Joe Biden appears inevitable. Trump will run for America’s highest office for a third consecutive time, while Biden will try to secure a second term.

Both candidates are on their way to winning their party’s nomination for president of the United States. Still, questions swirl around their physical and cognitive ability to fulfill the office’s duties. 

Trump will be 78 when the oath of office is taken in January 2025, with Biden turning 82 later this year.  Biden could be the oldest president ever to serve, and Trump the second oldest.

An ABC News/Iposos poll earlier this year revealed that most Americans (59%) think both candidates are too old to serve another term. When party affiliation was factored into the equation, Republicans felt Biden’s age was far more concerning.

Special Counsel Robert Hur released a report earlier this year regarding classified documents Biden kept after serving as vice president during the Obama administration. The special counsel did not proceed with criminal charges but brought Biden’s age and memory into question. The president and the White House strongly pushed back on that part of the report.

In addition to concerns about Biden’s memory, former President Trump has shown signs of memory lapse. He frequently misidentifies colleagues and political opponents on the campaign trail.

He also muffles his words and sentences, often voicing unintelligible remarks. After video testimony surfaced of him during depositions, he had difficulty identifying his former wife, Marla Maples. 

Voters’ concerns about Biden and Trump should not be considered an opportunity for ageism. Now that Biden and Trump are the presumptive nominees, one must contemplate the candidates, as well as the electorate’s responsibility in selecting and electing officials.

Along with the presidential candidates, Congress is filled with an aging population. Republican U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley is 90, while Democrat Senator Bernie Sanders is 82. 

On the other end of the age spectrum, Democratic Representative Maxwell Frost is the youngest serving member of Congress at age 27. Frost sounds young compared to Biden, Trump, Grassley and Sanders, but he would be closer in age to the Founding Fathers than most people serving in the halls of Congress today.  

Jonathan Dayton, from New Jersey, was the youngest delegate to the Continental Congress in 1787, at 26. The oldest was Benjamin Franklin, who was 82. 

Alexander Hamilton was 30, James Madison was 36, and George Washington was 55. When the Declaration of Independence was signed in 1776, each was ten years younger.  

I’m going to give you a moment to think about that reality.  

America was founded by a generation 40 to 50 years younger than the current two presidential candidates. When our first president, George Washington, took office, he was 57, more than two decades younger than Biden and Trump.  

Their comparable age to America’s Founding Fathers does not prevent them from faithfully serving the country. Still, it does call into question the country’s inability or refusal to hand over the reins to a younger generation.  

While I am resolved that Biden and Trump will be our presidential choices come November, this could be when the country begins shifting its gaze toward the generations emerging behind them.  

The country is filled with passionate and intelligent people who want to serve their country. Therefore, the time is now to begin preparing for that future.  

So many bright and faithful men and women are waiting for their turn to lead. After this election, I hope they will be allowed to do so.  

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