Gaffe Way Through the First Term

July 31, 2023

As the 2024 season begins in earnest, speculation over President Biden’s competency has intensified. While people are living longer, more active lives, fitness- both mental and physical- endures on an individual basis. At 81, the President has indeed lived a full life, both personally and diplomatically, as he prepares to make one more run for the highest seat in the land. Making matters worse, this octogenarian has spent the last ten years- eight as Barack Obama’s sidekick and two in his own right- occupying the Oval Office, a notoriously stressful place to be. An analysis of Presidential medical records dating back to the 1920s showed that the job caused its occupant to age at twice the rate of the general population- eight years over each four-year term. Former title holders Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama all famously left the White House with souvenir White Hair and drastically aged appearances overall. While Scranton Joe arrived on the scene already gray, his aging has been likewise accelerated.

Any candidate for President must be at least 35 years of age when sworn into office. There exist no parameters for an upward cap outside of good sense, and no precedent, as Joe Biden is already the oldest Commander in Chief in American history. Analysis of his tenure shows an increase in missteps and gaffes, despite less time being spent in the public eye. At least twice in 2023, he has suffered significant falls, one down the steps of Air Force One, the other on stage during a commencement speech. Studies show that falling is exceptionally dangerous for older adults, both physically and psychologically, and our President is very lucky to have escaped unharmed both times. A desire by the Democrats to mask Joe’s decline has put him in increased jeopardy, as mobility aides or assistants have not been implemented following either incident.

President Biden has likewise made intellectual missteps over the past few months, drawing into question his ability to focus on a subject or answer impromptu questions. Regarding their invasion of Ukraine, Joe commented that Russia “was clearly losing the war in Iraq” and confused Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s first name with that of aggressor Vladimir Putin. Recent video also showed Biden evidently falling asleep while attending the COP26 Climate Change conference, during which he closed his eyes several times, once for over twenty seconds. His diminished capacity to perform publicly has led to fewer general appearances and extemporaneous exchanges- since his assumption of office, the President has not interviewed with the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, or the Washington Post. Following his election, he did not hold a full-length press conference for 65 days, the most prolonged waiting period of any newly sworn-in American President in over 100 years, despite the chaotic circumstances of his election, including the ravages of Covid-19 and a so-called inaugural insurrection.

As the campaign unfolds, the American people can expect to see even less of the President, begging the question- for whom do we vote? Has the qualification for Commander in Chief been reduced to avoiding offensive remarks and having a capable team of handlers figure out the rest? While all Presidents do- and should- utilize a team of advisors and aides, voters deserve to understand the ideological nexus of each administration. The Democratic National Committee cannot be allowed to present a figurehead candidate for election and fill in the necessary gaps with party propaganda. If Joe Biden cannot be individually interviewed or participate fully in a debate, he is categorically unqualified for the American Presidency.

Furthermore, a significant moral issue exists surrounding the continued service of an individual who is beyond an appropriate capacity. Respect for the office of the Presidency is likewise owed to its occupant, and allowing a long-standing public servant a legitimate retirement, during which to see his grandchildren, is an act of kindness. Overt encouragement, or even lack of appropriate intervention by party officials, is borderline elder abuse, given the President’s apparent confusion and physical instability.

Do you feel President Biden is too old to run again for office? Should the Presidency have an age limit?

Hilary Gunn is a Connecticut native with a degree in Criminal Justice from the George Washington University. She works for a nonprofit and has previously collaborated with the CT GOP as an activist, political campaign manager and field director, and social media organizer. She is currently serving in her fourth term of municipal office and has previously acted as a delegate on the Republican Town Committee.

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Antigrav1117 on Jun 16, 2023 11:43 AM
DOE has become less an instrument of advancing education and more a political tool. If it cannot be reoriented to remove political bias- it must be eliminated. It's too well placed to for parents to allow it to be an instrument of… See Comments
JRB18 on Oct 24, 2022 2:30 AM
Election day is two weeks away! Let's make sure we reach out to friends and family to get out the vote, critical races this year both at the national AND local levels. See Comments
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