The Glasgow Courier - Serving Proudly As The Voice Of Valley County Since 1913

By Virgil Vaupel
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An Ageless Question


Let’s take a look back in history to Ronald Reagan’s reign as POTUS. He was a half-month short of being 70 years old when he was sworn in the first time. There were no outward signs of the loss of mental acuity in the first four years of his presidency other than the fact that he really didn’t wear the pants in the family letting Nancy pretty much control him. But that didn’t effect his running the country ... much.

However he was 74 years old when he took the reins in 1985 making him 78 when he left office. He had been diagnosed with early-stage Alzheimer's during his second term and it became increasingly evident in his day to day memory and decision making.

The point I’m trying to make is this: I want a president who has at least a 50/50 chance of completing his/her first term. (Playing devil’s advocate here I can’t guarantee I have a 50/50 chance of seeing tomorrow!)

At the risk of being labeled an ageist I have to say that Bernie Sanders is just too old. Period. He’ll be 74 years old when and if he gets the nod and should he make it through his first term he’ll end his second term at the age of 82.

Hillary Clinton will be just short of 69 years old should she get the chance to be the star at the Jan. 20, 2017 inauguration ceremony. And she has had health problems already. And she has been known to have answered too many questions with, “I don’t recall.” Could that be early signs of dementia or a simple case of CYA?

Trump is in the same boat as the two democratic candidates. He’ll be 71 on inauguration day and 79 at the end of his two terms. And he doesn’t look presidential. Cruz and Rubio, are both youngsters comparatively and would be the better choice from that standpoint. I say elect a young person and tether the oldsters out in the the Rose Garden as advisers.

Do a side-by-side photo comparison of past presidents, one on the day they were sworn in and the other on the day eight years later when their life in the White House has ended. One doesn’t have to be eagle-eye-sharp to see a marked difference in appearance and not just the natural aging process. That job, the presidency, is brutal. We, as loyal subjects can not possibly imagine the strain of daily life as the most powerful person in the world.

My suggested requirement for any presidential hopeful would be that he/she be subjected to a stringent physical examination very much like the one required to get a CDL medical card. Why? The President of the U.S. is in control of 330 million people and can be a big influence on world events. That’s why.

Drug screens, breath tests, blood tests, urine tests and various other tests are standard requirements to determine if you are fit to drive a truck across America’s highways and other roads. A truck driver is in control of an 80,000 pound rig and if he/she gets into an accident maybe four or seven other people are involved. See the difference?

I doubt Sanders, Clinton or Trump could pass a trucker test. I suspect Rubio and Cruz would be able to.

But to be fair and politically correct, our current president was about 50-years-old when he was inaugurated and look at the pitiful mess he has had a large part in creating for the next poor soul who will hold court in the Oval Office.

That’s it for now folks. Thanks for listening.


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