Biden, Trump Aren’t Too Old To Be President

A special counsel won’t file particular criminal charges against Joseph Robinette Biden Jr.

One reason is that Biden “will likely present himself to the jury, as he did during his interview with our office, as a sympathetic, well meaning, elderly man with a poor memory,” the special counsel said.

Shortly thereafter, Biden held a press conference and confused Egypt and Mexico.

These set off stories in the press, plus multiple public-opinion polls, about whether Biden is too old to be president of the United States.

Or, to put it more generally, whether anyone of Biden’s age should be president.

There are multiple reactions to this. You, faithful reader of this column, already know one: Biden isn’t too old to be president.

Neither is Donald John Trump Jr.

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For Biden, cognitive impairment, not age, is the issue.

This assessment of Biden isn’t new. None of this came to light when the special prosecutor announced his findings and Biden held his ill-fated press conference.

Rather, this came to light by 2020. By then, it took no professional to discern that he had crossed the threshold of cognitive impairment such that being president of the United States would, at best, be a cognitive challenge.

It took no professional then, and it takes no professional now, to discern that his capability in that regard was and is highly unlikely to return.

This has always been serious. This has always been sad. This has never been funny.

In these respects, nothing has changed since 2020.

In these respects, whether his cognitive impairment is worse in 2024 than in 2020 is beyond the point.

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Can someone of Trump’s or even Biden’s age be capable of being head of state or head of government? Yes. The 20th and 21st centuries aren’t short on examples in other countries.

Nevertheless, some Biden supporters in the press now talk about his age, rather than his cognitive impairment.

It’s easy to surmise they’ve concluded that Biden may–you can never know for sure–have a hard time preventing any Republican, including Trump, from becoming the 47th president of the United States on Jan. 20, 2025.

If defeating Trump, rather than re-electing Biden, is their primary objective, then talking about age, not cognitive impairment, fits that objective: Raising Biden’s age allows them, however obliquely for now, to raise the possibility of replacing Biden as the Democrats’ nominee while simultaneously criticizing Trump.

In other words: If they talk about age, they can lump Trump in with criticism of Biden, because Trump is but a few years younger than Biden.

By contrast, if they talk about cognitive impairment, they can’t legitimately lump Trump in with criticism of Biden, because Biden has cognitive impairment, and Trump doesn’t.

This isn’t hard to understand.

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Does Trump ever make mistakes when he speaks? Yes. Everyone does. It’s particularly easy, when one is in front of a crowd and the lights are up, to misspeak occasionally. It just happens.

Just as it’s easy for occasional typographical errors to occur, including in this column. They just happen. Perfection is elusive.

Yet there’s a big difference between occasional mistakes and cognitive impairment.

Moreover, it’s no secret–not to readers of this column or to anyone else–that occasionally misspeaking isn’t Trump’s main challenge. Rather, it’s that he says things that he shouldn’t and does so in an unconstructive way.

Which is why it’s no secret–not to readers of this column or to anyone else–that Trump’s worst enemy is often not in the swamp, in the press, among liberals, or among active, partisan Democrats.

On Feb. 10, for example, he again made the correct point that fellow North Atlantic Treaty Organization, or NATO, allies should spend more on defense.

So far, so good.

But here’s the transcript: “I came in, I made a speech, and I said, ‘You got to pay out.’ They asked me that question. One of the presidents of a big country stood up, said, ‘Well, sir, if we don’t pay and we’re attacked by Russia, will you protect us?’ I said, ‘You didn’t pay. You’re delinquent?’ He said, ‘Yes, let’s say that happened.’ ‘No, I would not protect you. In fact, I would encourage them to do whatever the (expletive deleted) they want. You got to pay. You got to pay your bills.’ And the money came flowing in.”

Let’s focus today only on the whatever-they-want line: Just what did it accomplish?

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Nevertheless, it’s apparent that many Trump opponents understand that their ideas are vulnerable to his ideas–meaning those that he espouses and really means–and his supporters’ ideas.

Which, in an odd-sort-of way, is a compliment to Trump and his supporters.

Just imagine how popular he’d be if he developed a personality like, well, Ronald Wilson Reagan’s. Or if Trump developed some personality traits like Reagan’s.

This also isn’t hard to understand.

Randy Elf joins those who understand this.



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