Christian Bongiorno

This is an expansion of a point made by a previous column titled “Aging leaders should pass the baton.”

The past presidential election featured two candidates — Donald Trump and Joseph Biden. What do these two have in common? If you guessed them both being over 75, then, my friend, you’re correct. Many people don’t want these two to run since they’re old. However, it’s looking like the 2024 election in November will be a Biden versus Trump rematch as both candidates hold convincing leads in their respective primaries. The President of the United States (POTUS) website lists Biden as the oldest elected president in United States history at age 78. If Biden wins, he’ll be 82 when inaugurated in January 2025 and by the time 2028 rolls around, Biden will be 85. On the flip side, Trump will be turning 78 this June and if he wins the presidency, Trump will be 82 come 2028.

An online poll conducted by found that 58 percent of adults in the United States feel that there should be a maximum age. Among these adults, 64 percent of Republicans favored an age limit, while 60 percent of independents and 57 percent of Democrats agreed. These statistics say a lot — people don’t want old people in office, and it’s not just the presidents, but every politician in the United States.

People say that “age is just a number,” and that statement holds true in most aspects. For example, you have a user called TacticalGramma on TikTok gaming away at age 59, (you go granny)! Also, I’ve seen many grandpas/grannies at the gym during my visits to Timber Pines, my grandpa’s community in Spring Hill, Florida. One honorable mention goes to my grandpa on my dad’s side who’s still owning a tailor shop at age 86. Don’t forget that George Blanda (kicker/quarterback) played 26 seasons and retired at age 48, making him the oldest player to retire from the sport of American football while Egyptian footballer Ezzeldin Bahader holds the Guinness world record for being the oldest player to ever play a soccer match at age 74 in 2020 (he even scored a goal in the match by the way). Finally, Shigemi Hirata is credited with being the oldest person to graduate from college at age 96.

Anyhoo, let’s get down to business — age matters in politics. Biden has been caught on video numerous times repeating words, which could be an early sign of Alzheimer’s. Biden has also stumbled up the steps of Air Force One. Trump has also been making some blunders of his own as of late. He mistook Nikki Haley for former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi at his rally in New Hampshire back in January, falsely claiming that Haley had been in charge of Capitol Security on Jan. 6. In addition, Trump didn’t know what country Viktor Orban is the president of — he said that Orban was the president of Turkey. Orban is the prime minister of Hungary while the president of Turkey is Recep Erdoğan. These blunders raise eyebrows among the public, speculating that Trump is on a mental decline due to his age.

An age cap should be implemented to United States politicians since they lack the ability to connect with young voters. Young people are simply fed up with how older politicians relate to them. Voter Alexandra Chadwick points to a generational gap and feels that President Biden and other Democrats lack imagination and the will power to fight back. She says, “How are you going to accurately lead your country if your mind is still stuck 50, 60 or 70 years ago?” A Siena College/New York Times survey found that only one percent of 18-29 year olds strongly approve of Biden’s efforts while 94 percent of Democrats under age 30 preferred that someone else should run. The Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade and limiting state’s abilities to control firearm carrying has bent voters the wrong way, proving that politicians don’t care for younger voters. Voter Juan Flores says that “A majority of [the politicans] don’t really fully understand the scope of what the majority of the American people are going through.”

While there’s support for an age cap, the question remains — what should be the maximum age? Though people support an age cap for United States politicians, it’s understandable that there would be a debate on where that age should be. Some say 65, while others say 70 or 75. I say the age cap for United States politicians should be 75.

Why 75 you may ask? To me, a person should be enjoying retirement in their 70s, not busting their ass off working, unless there is a legitimate reason a person at that age has to work. That’s not the case in the United States political scene where voters go to the polls each Election Day to swear in a leader willing to make change while sympathizing with their constituents and that won’t mesh well when two presidential candidates over age 75 are on the ballot. Drumroll please — age cap is subbed in!

An age cap works wonders since there would be room for new ideas and encourage a higher voter turnout. This is because younger politicians are more likely to connect with younger voters since their biggest concerns include climate change and social justice. By having young faces in United States politics, they can tackle these issues with a fresh mindset and long-term mindset in order to implement solutions that ensure an equitable future. Having a younger politician as an election choice would inspire the under 40 population to get out and vote — after all, a Pew Research Center survey found that only 52 percent of voters 18-29 partook in voting in 2020.

Look, I get that holding a position of high power is valuable, whether that be CEO of a Fortune 500 company or president of the United States — you’re going to make a crap ton of money. But, good things must come to an end eventually, and one must hand the keys over to someone younger and motivated to make change.

Christian Bongiorno is a sophomore majoring in political science.

Views expressed in the opinions pages represent the opinions of the columnists. The only piece which represents the views of the Pipe Dream Editorial Board is the Staff Editorial.