Why America Wants an Older President

For most people, 65 is the age to enjoy your golden years in retirement. For others, 65 means exploring new dreams. Growing old is a new chapter in life; why not try new things? That’s what our presidential candidates are doing. For the first time ever, our country has two seniors running for president.  This isn’t the first time America will have an older president. Instead, it’s the first time where age doesn’t matter.

Older Candidates in Elections

It’s unusual for age not to come up during elections. America hasn’t always been ready for an older president. In 1980, Ronald Reagan was almost 70 years old when he was first elected.  During the campaign he was up against the younger Walter Mondale. The public worried about how Reagan’s age would affect his ability to run the country. During a debate, Reagan won back support when he quipped about Mondale's "youth and inexperience." That line has since become infamous in presidential debate history.

Even after Reagan’s successful presidency, ageism was still prominent during election years. The most recent case was the 2008 election between John McCain and Barack Obama. Many people criticized the then 71-year-old McCain for not being fit enough for the presidency. To prove his good health, McCain released his medical records to the public. Candidates are well aware of the impact of age on their campaigns.

Today, the public isn’t concerned with candidates’ age. This year’s candidates don’t let age slow them down. Hillary Clinton is 69, and Donald Trump is 70, and their age is not being met by public outcry. In fact, people appear to value their age. During this year’s primaries, older candidates beat out their younger peers to win their party’s nomination. There’s a new perspective on how an older president will improve our country. Here are the top reasons why America wants an older president.

Age Means Wisdom

There's a universal acceptance that older people are wise. Seniors tend to have more life experience and learning than younger generations. As a result, many people think seniors are calm and rational in their decision making. Being wiser also means they’re able to shed light on unnoticed issues. This perceived wisdom makes Americans favor older candidates. 

Age is Only a Number

According to current surveys, many Americans don’t consider a candidate’s older age to be a disadvantage. America has a new outlook on what it means to age. Retirement isn’t the only option for seniors. Instead, seniors see aging as the time to pursue new goals and challenges. Nothing should be limited by age.

Instead of age, people are more concerned with a candidate’s health. When candidates give the perception of good health, people tend to forget about age. In his speeches, 70-year-old Trump likes to bring up his “exceptionally great” health status. When Clinton fainted at an event, the media wondered if she was fit enough to be president.

People Want Stability

People of all ages run for president, but their victory is often decided by what America needs at the time. Americans tend to vote younger candidates for radical changes and older candidates for reliable methods. After the recession from the Bush administration, people wanted a new direction. The young Barack Obama, who tied his campaign to hope and change, was able to win over the American people.

Today, America perceives itself to be in a state of uncertainty. Americans aren’t sure how to solve issues like ISIS, the refugee crisis, and gun violence. The perceived turmoil has the country wanting more stability.  This may explain why older candidates won their party’s nomination over their younger peers in the primary.  

Success as Seniors

Hilary Clinton and Donald Trump prove that age doesn’t stop them from finding new success. Despite their political differences, Clinton and Trump have demonstrated that growing old can’t hold them back.

After performing her duties as the First Lady, Clinton could have retired at 53. Instead, she chose to run for the New York Senate seat. Two terms in the Senate didn’t slow her down. At 60, she ran her first presidential campaign in 2008. Although she did not win the nomination, she became President Obama’s Secretary of State. Clinton shows that aging doesn’t slow down opportunities to grow.

Trump keeps expanding into new opportunities as he grows older. Although he was well-known as a real estate mogul, Trump found new success as a media personality. He started the TV show The Apprentice at 58, which continues to air over a decade later. Even with his many successes, Trump still expanded his brand with new real estate properties. Trump has no plans to slow down, as evident by his running for president.

Our Next President

The ability to run a country should not be judged by the candidates age. Given the chance, seniors are capable of many great things. Clinton and Trump may be older than previous candidates, but they still have the potential to change the country. They’re proving their dedication to work hard for our country every day.  It’s never too late for seniors to try something new, and that includes being our next president.