Cognitive Test for Presidential Candidates: Think about it

With the 2024 presidential election just around the corner, many politicians have been beginning to pay more attention to the age and mental state of the president. With Joe Biden currently being the oldest US president yet, many are skeptical about how capable he is for the job. This raises the question: Can someone be too old to be president?

Senators like Nikki Haley, Bill Casidy, and Lindsey Graham have been advocating for a cognitive test since November of 2021. They argue that with age comes senility, and the American people need to make sure that they are in the right state of mind to properly run their country.

“Even if you are forty and fit, I just think that it’s fair to the American people that they know that their president is still fit to lead the country,” stated senior Collin Teschky.

However, many politicians make the point that how old any elected official should be should be up to the American people.

“People knew my age, and I won by 15 percent,” said Republican Senator Chuck Grassely.

While there are people both for and against the idea of establishing a cognitive test, this has led to people talking about other possible regulations for candidates wishing to run for president. The most common one is an age cap.

“I don’t think there should be an age cap. You can be in your 80’s and still cognitively there,” said junior Rimalie Brown, “and some other people could lose it in their 60’s. It’s about the individual, not the age.”

There has also been a number of people questioning the motives for why some politicians might be pushing for a cognitive test now, rather than when Trump was president.

“Those in opposition of his presidency may want to prove that he’s not an effective leader,” said sophomore Suri Azan-Pinchinat. “Though I think for the most part people just want to be reassured in his abilities.”

While a cognitive test has yet to become a permanent guideline for future presidential candidates, the discussion has the potential to change the way older politicians are seen among the American people for generations to come.

“Due to the public’s negative reaction to Biden’s age, I don’t think there will be a high increase [in older politicians],” said Azan-Pinchinat, “There may be an increase in younger candidates, seeing as the opposition to old people in office has grown.”