Joe Biden became the first eighty-year-old President of the United States this Sunday. A birthday celebrated with a family brunch 24 hours after her granddaughter Naomi’s wedding avoided giving visibility to the 8 and 0 that makes her the oldest person to ever occupy the White House in history. The magic is not trivial and comes after the country held midterm elections – which gave better results than Democrats expected – and Donald Trump has announced that he will run for the presidency in 2024.
Biden has not yet confirmed whether he will seek re-election in two years, though he has said he would like to do so despite suffocating scrutiny for his physical and mental condition. Ageism, the discrimination caused by the date of the DNI, infuriates Biden, who, if he competes and wins in 2024, will be 82 when he takes office and 86 when he runs for his second and final term. Said goodbye after tenure.
The debate is not new. Barack Obama had already written about it in his memoir, “A Promised Land”, published after eight years leaving the White House and with Biden as number two. “As I got to know Joe, I found that his occasional mistakes were trivial compared to his strengths.” What happens is that the conflict has become even more bitter after the retirement of Nancy Pelosi at the age of 82, among those who believe that Biden should not repeat this, taking refuge in his dialectical errors and his sudden downfall. Taking, and those who they think so.
Questioning Democrats about their age may be a valid exercise, given how physically and mentally demanding it is to lead the world’s foremost power. But it is cruel to do so, especially when he has shown no definite signs of incapacity.
Advanced societies are those that respect elders who are still active and seek their good judgment, their experience, and their guidance. All this while carefully preparing a succession of its leaders. So, it’s time to stop using age as a throwing weapon, especially against eighties like Biden, who are in good health and, at least for now, serving their positions with skill. Huh. Biological age does not always coincide with that marked by calendar sheets.