Declaration of Independence

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. - That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.

Tuesday, June 14, 2022

What Should Be Done About Elderly Politicians?

            The Constitution of the United States gives clear directions as to who can serve as Representatives, Senators, and Presidents. Article I, Section 2, tells us that Representatives must be at least twenty-five years old and have been a United States citizen for at least seven years. Article I, Section 3, states that Senators must be at least thirty years old and have been a United States citizen for at least nine years. Article II, Section 1, declares that Presidents must be “a natural born Citizen,” be at least thirty-five years old, and lived in the United States for at least fourteen years.

            The Constitution does not give a maximum age limit for Representatives, Senators, or Presidents. However, Article II, Section 1, states that the “Powers and Duties” of President will become those of the Vice President if the President dies, resigns, or becomes disabled. Amendment 25 was proposed by Congress and ratified by the states after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. This amendment gives directions on how to remove a President who is no longer capable of fulfilling the duties of President. The Vice President and the Cabinet take a leading role in removing the President from office.

            Discussions are becoming widespread about the capabilities of President Joe Biden to fulfil the duties of President. Kevin D. Williamson posted an article about this topic at The New York Post in December 2021. 

President Biden is having a series of worrisome episodes that seem to be a mix of his trademark plagiarism (adopting episodes from other public figures’ lives as his own in addition to appropriating their words) and what we sometimes euphemistically call a “senior moment.” …

A certain kind of Republican takes a lurid and celebratory view of Biden’s mental fugues. But you do not have to be a bitter partisan to be concerned about the fact that the president of the United States has become a sort of Walter Mitty, so deep into his fantasies that he muses in public about events that – let’s go ahead and emphasize this once more – never happened.

To broach the subject of the president’s competence in a formal way is a serious thing, one that Republicans probably cannot do effectively on their own…. But it is difficult to imagine a single Democrat, much less a meaningful group of them, stepping up on this.

So we must rely either on Republican credibility or on Democratic political courage – i.e., we are hosed.

Because of Biden’s long history of habitual dishonesty, it is difficult to tell how much of this is Biden being Biden and how much of it is Biden no longer quite being Biden – how much is his longstanding and familiar moral disability and how much is, as it may be, late-life mental disability.

We need an independent medical assessment of the president’s mental health. That is a sobering fact to face, but face it we must. And right now, we need a Democrat who will say so in public.

            Biden is not the only politician who is elderly and shows signs of senility. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (age 82) also shows signs of mental weakness. At the time of the writing of the Constitution, there were no career politicians getting rich on the citizens’ dime. Politicians served for a time and then went home to care for their plantation, farm, or business. Politicians continue to run for re-election long after they should retire. We need to either have term limits, or citizens who are willing to vote the elderly politicians out of office. 

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