It looks like after the Super Tuesday Blow-outs it is now a two old-person choice. Will the next president be a 75 year-old, or a 78 year-old, or a 79 year-old. The possibilities are what this post is all about.
I’m going to say this bluntly, I think we Baby Boomers when we were young, made some serious improvements in the way our way of life. Now that we are older, we seem to be stuck in the past the same way as those we rebelled against in our youth. I don’t know if we just don’t trust people in later generations or if we just don’t want to lose control. Maybe six of one, and a half dozen of the other. I have included a table at the bottom of this post to show you why I believe this is true.
Whoever the next president is, it seems inevitable that he will be the oldest one in history. If you look at the table you see that the average age of a president taking office is in his early fifties. Why are we now making this giant leap in age. Before you chime in, don’t give me the fact that we now live longer. The statistics show that on average we are living longer, but that is primarily driven by the fact that fewer of us are dying early due to health issues. Even at our founding, a person living in his seventies and eighties was not that unusual. Ben Franklin died at the age of 84, John Adams was 90, and Jefferson was 83.
Let’s get to the primary focus of this post, which is the Democratic Primaries. While Bernie Sanders is a pre-Boomer he attracts many young voters. I think it is the idea of education loan forgiveness and free healthcare that drives many of them. If the youth vote comes out in mass this year then that gives Bernie a boost but right now they just don’t seem to be enthusastic enough about him to stand in the voting lines. While I agree with much of what Bernie is shouting, I think his timetable is just too short. We shouldn’t just start at the desired endpoint in healthcare. We need to take baby steps and prove to more people that universal Medicare is better than what they currently have. Bernie just seems to be in too big a hurry, and given his age I guess I can personally understand that.
Biden is the pragmatic choice. He is the least radical of the two. I can see Biden as the transition president in 2021. He will do what is needed to undo much of the harm done to our country and the world by the current occupant. But, other than being a “good guy” he seems to have not particular agenda for his time as president. It is almost certain that due to his age, he will be a one-term president. So, perhaps the most important thing he could do is to pick the right running mate, as that person will likely be the 2024 candidate. I just hope it is someone closer to 50 than 70.