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Cognition Concerns: Candidate Ages in 2024

Likely candidates for the 2024 Presidential Election, former President Donald Trump and President Joe Biden, are poised to be the oldest candidates ever in the White House.

While many American voters are focused on candidate policy like the economy and immigration, some of the voter base has shifted the limelight to a lesser-known criterion: age.

After Special Counsel Robert Hur issued a report commenting on President Biden’s poor memory, President Biden’s age has dominated most political conversation over the past month.

However, Biden is not the only political figure facing concerns over memory, age and cognitive faculties. While many see President Biden as the worst of the two, voters are also hesitant about how well former President Trump’s mental strength will hold up, especially since the businessman is only three years shy of his eighties.

Americans across the nation are increasingly disillusioned with their choice of candidates this election year and find themselves criticizing the two-party system more than ever before.

“Slightly more than half of respondents said they were dissatisfied with the U.S. two-party system, with just one in four satisfied by it.

“Whitney Tallarico, 33, a consultant interviewed in Washington, is among those considering an alternative.

“‘The independents don’t really have a voice. Polarizing characters usually take the front seat, and it’s a little sad for our country,’ Tallarico said this week. Asked whether she would vote for Biden or Trump, she said, ‘I’ll probably go for a third party,’” according to Reuters.

When it came to the issue of age in the Oval Office, Americans from both parties voiced dissatisfaction with how old the presidential candidates are.

“Three-quarters of poll respondents agreed with a statement that Biden was too old to work in government, while half said the same about Trump, who at 77 would also be among the oldest U.S. leaders ever if returned to the White House. Just over half of Democrats saw Biden as too old while a third of Republicans viewed Trump that way,” according to Reuters.

Strikingly, younger voters, specifically students here at Oklahoma Christian, voiced opinions similar to the Reuters poll about the two main presidential candidates’ ages. 

“There is a lot of wisdom to be had in age, but there is also wisdom lost in age. The age at which our candidates are at is the side of which they lose their wisdom,” One student said. 

Students also asked how older generations could understand the fiscal dangers many younger Americans are experiencing currently due to the age gap.

“How can the older generation understand the plight of the financial crisis that our generation is going through?” Another student said. 

Besides experience and age gap economic differences, functionality also seemed to be a recurring concern for candidates and their mental stability among the student body.

“A lot of experience is gained in age, but functionality is lost at a certain point. You can’t function as much, not as often. Less coherency is there,” A student told The Talon.

Students even called for cognitive tests to be issued so candidates could prove they are mentally suited for the position of the most powerful executive office in the free world.

“It would be great if there was some kind of cognitive ability test. There is a lot of value in having older leaders, but neither of our candidates are at the age we need right now,” A student said.

Most of the United States seems to be on the side of our candidates being much too old for office, a trend which seems to be gaining ground as anti-two-party system sentiments heat up among young American voters.

Attention shifts to former President Trump and President Biden to see if both candidates will try to prove they have what it takes to be president, even when time marches on.

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