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The increase in the Firat States of America

Maybe you start with the bare facts. As a Joe Biden (76) Bernie Sanders (77) came to the world, were not invented the colour television and the microwave. India was a colony of the British, in Europe, Hitler's armies raged, and no one knew what a Bikini is. Biden and Sanders are Survivors of a time that has long since passed, and yet you have a good chance in the upcoming US presidential election for the democratic party against Donald Trump . Trump, 2016, the previously oldest President when taking office, will be on the day of the election in 2020, 74 years old, Biden 77, Sanders 79 – fight the silver back.

A politician who wants to be with at the end of 70 in the Federal Council to choose? In Switzerland, this is unthinkable today. In the US, however, is a discussion about the biological age of Biden, Sanders, or Trump. Of course, the moderators in the Late-Night shows talk. Jimmy Fallon had Sanders in his parody of the Senator say: "Many of my competitors know what is the meaning of our Constitution. I know – I was there when it was written." Spells, Yes – but a serious debate about how meaningful it is that a man in the eighth decade of his life the most difficult, most stressful Job in the world trying? Does not take place.

Video: Biden, Sanders, or a female candidate? Biden, Sanders, or a female candidate? The video analysis of the US-correspondent, Alan Cassidy of the democratic candidates who want to compete in 2020 against Donald Trump. (Video: Alan Cassidy, and Adrian Panholzer)

Not even the Americans and the Americans of the younger Generation. As Monica Liu (25) was born, sass more than 20 years of Biden in the Senate. Today, the student, with some Friends, waiting in front of a Union local in Pittsburgh, where Biden will be his first election campaign speech. Before you decide whether or not you choose Biden, she wants to listen to what I say to topics that you are interested in: minimum wage, gun laws, climate change. But his age? "I have no concerns," says Liu. "He looks pretty good." Also, Sanders has in the young Americans, no problems, on the contrary, His following consists of an above-average number of younger voters.

he Also wants to challenge US President, Trump: The 76-year-old Joe Biden. Photo: Reuters

The USA is in many ways a country that is obsessed with youth. Its inhabitants celebrate the Nerds in Silicon Valley, already in my mid-20 corporations which are richer than some state. Keep track of spellbound as eccentric investigate methods to overcome the death. You spend, annually, $ 16 billion for surgical procedures, which are designed to make you younger and more beautiful. In advertising, in Hollywood, in sports, in the business world: Everywhere youth is the trump card. Only in politics, as Mr the the Old.

The will not stop in the fight for the presidency. Nancy Pelosi, speaker of the house of representatives, is 79 years old. Mitch McConnell, majority leader in the Senate, 77, Chuck Grassley, Senator from Iowa, is 85. Dianne Feinstein, Senator from California, will be celebrating in a few weeks, your 86. Birthday. Almost all of the most influential politicians in Washington have exceeded the age of retirement for a long time, particularly in the Senate, where the politicians should not assume after several terms of office of all the coveted Committee chairs.

"The US is a Gerontocracy. The founding fathers designed the System from the beginning."John Seery, a Professor of political theory

This has the potential for embarrassing and leads to moments in which it becomes clear to all what that actually means. For example, last spring The Senate had to load Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, to interrogate him on the business model of the group. As for the platform, earn any money at all, where you will be for your users, but free-of-charge, asked the then-84-year-old Senator Orrin Hatch. "Senator, we advertise," replied Zuckerberg. Rarely a exchange of words showed the world distant from the political establishment.

The age should bring wisdom

John Seery (61) only needs a sentence to describe all of this. "We are a Gerontocracy," he says. Seery is a Professor of political theory at Pomona College in California. Many democracies have suffered from it, that their older citizens would have a disproportionately large influence, but in the U.S. this was particularly pronounced. "Our founding fathers have this built in from the beginning into the System." In the year 1787 written Constitution, only to the house of representatives can choose who is at least 25 years old. Candidates for the Senate must be 30 years of age or older. And the President can be only, who is at least 35 years old. "So, a large proportion of the population is made second-class citizens."

The height of this age limit was chosen arbitrarily, and was associated with the Belief that wisdom can be achieved only with a certain age. He had been 21 unable to, so it would have to be Years of most of the other 21: the grounds of George Mason, one of the pioneers of the founder of the state, the age limits go back significantly was. How high is the recognised limit of 35 years for the presidency, it is clear, if you look at the average life expectancy in America in the late 18th century. Century is in sight: it was estimated between 33 and 37 years.

Referred to himself recently as a "young man": The 72-year-old Donald Trump. Photo: AP/Keystone,

a few years Ago Seery, wrote a book in which he called for the abolition of age limits – one of the First at all, as he says: "as far as I overviews the history, it was never an issue." Seery attended universities across the country and noted: "The idea that the pursuit of a political office requires a certain age, has burned deep." Not only older Americans, but also among the Younger. "I discussed with students, they said to me, I would never choose a lazy Millennial." America let its young people, says Seery, "but the car key for the state carriage, we do not trust you".

Great is the trust that Americans place in the type of a Wise Old Man, the wise old man. He appeared in the U.S. policy, often in the form of the adviser of the President. Of John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson, you knew you were in the foreign policy crises of veteran politicians and generals such as Dean Acheson and Omar Bradley lead. And big is also, and especially, the trust that older politicians for action are then still capable of, if you show up physically and mentally already visible signs of Decay. In Washington, many celebrated in 2009, the seriously ill, Senator Robert Byrd (92), the Democrats in a wheelchair pushed in the Council chamber, so he could make a decisive voice.

age discrimination

Only a bother but a the rest. Robert Kaiser (76) worked almost 50 years at the Washington Post until he retire in 2014 went. A few weeks ago he published in the newspaper a long post, in which he raised the question: Can someone be simply too old to run for President? The Emperor spoke about it with various Gerontologists and neurologists. What aspect of mental performance to consider, too: In most areas, people scored over 70 compared to Younger significantly worse. Nevertheless, one can discuss gender, ethnicity or class, but never about the age, quoted in Emperor of the gerontological Harry R. Moody lie: "This is weird."

"When a two hellish years, he has the stuff to be President."Eric Schneidewind, a lawyer and Lobbyist for retired people

Maybe this has to do with the fact that critical statements about the age of a Person can be quickly assessed as "ageism", discrimination on the basis of age. "Such discrimination," says Eric Schneidewind (73), "is not acceptable." Cutting wind, until recently, was President of the Association, the AARP, the American Association of retired people. The age is not a suitable measure to evaluate the performance of a Person, he says. "If a politician can get through two hellish years, a presidential election campaign, he has proven that he has what it takes for this office." In the US there is no taboo, what is the role of the age of the people concerned in the policy. On the contrary: "In our System, we evaluate candidates according to their individual performance, not according to the age. We have overcome the discrimination that there is elsewhere, maybe, so."

It is an optimistic reading – and a very American one.

(editing Tamedia)

Created: 03.05.2019, 18:44 PM

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