Age is a factor in presidential hopefuls

Should there be a gathering of Americans including Bernie Sanders (77 years old), Joe Biden (76), Donald Trump (73), Elizabeth Warren (70) and this opinion writer.

It’s argued that Keizertimes readers would judge us to be a group of older white guys who are close to the same age.

Now that fact may be of no importance to the reader, but it means a lot to me for several reasons. I was born without any problems, grew to maturity without physical or mental limitations. I suffered through the mumps, chicken pox and many a winter cold but went to a doctor to receive vaccinations against small pox and measles. Since this writer has no information on the others in my age group—save their ages and apparent ambulatory ability—I assume they were also mentally and physically healthy Americans during their formative years.

I have reached a point through my septuagenarian years where age has resulted in limitations that slow me physically, prevent a night’s sleep without water closet visits, encourage rest after strenuous activity, and discourage sports like tackle football and sand lot basketball with people half my age. It’s presumed that my age-related contemporaries are likely going through age changes with cautions and conditions similar to my own.

Less physical activity in general is common to the 70-plus set. Research on older Americans has also disclosed that cognitive abilities begin to fray dramatically after the age of 70. Age-related factors mean declining skill at concept formation, abstract thinking, mental agility, response time, and creative thinking.

Septuagenarians practice self-deception known as telling themselves they are as good at everything as they were when in their forties while those with good phony-detectors know they are lying to themselves. They disguise their mid-sections by gut suck-ins to look thinner and must work diligently at good posture without slumping their shoulders. Every full day at activities brings fairly pronounced fatigue by 4 p.m., the need for a stiff drink, a soft chair and noise abatement.

Besides my fictitious group gathering of Biden, Sanders, Trump, Warren, and me, there are others on the slippery slope of 70, including Jay Inslee (69), Marianne Williamson (66) and John Hickenlooper (67) who should take a long, hard look at themselves and stop the self-kidding. Others aspiring to be President of the United States are in what this opinion writer views as the prospect range where the body and mind have experienced a lot but not enough to drain them by the constant demands of the presidency. Alphabetically ordered, my favorites are Michael Bennet (54), Cory Booker (50), Kamala Harris (54), and Kirsten Gillibrand (52).

We’re still months away from the first primary election in 2020, so there’s a lot of time to listen and watch in order to choose wisely. I do not believe that any Democrat who expounds a full socialism menu can succeed at being elected at this time and it would seem that most voters in this country will be more leary of pie-in-the-sky promises.

Encouraged is the candidate who speaks with the Fireside Chat reassurances of a Franklin Roosevelt, the “I’ll never lie to you” convictions of a Jimmy Carter, and the charming, while skillfully-delivered, humor of a Ronald Reagan.

(Gene H. McIntyre shares his opinion regularly in the Keizertimes.)