Constitutional Amendment 28 (Proposed)

 

Before sending this to my respective U.S. Representative and Senator, I invite the Ricochet community to read, reflect and comment on the following proposed Amendment XXVIII to the U.S. Constitution:

As pertains to Article II, Section 1, Clause 5; and Amendment XXII, Section 1:

“No person shall be eligible to the office of President who shall have exceeded the age of seventy-two years by the time of inauguration to the first term of service.”

It’s simple, direct, and addresses a multitude of problems. No candidate, no matter how seemingly hale and hearty, would be eligible if they have exceeded by two years the age of mandatory Social Security (seventy). The high physical and psychological demands of the presidency are indisputable; hoping that the normal and expected consequences of aging will not affect an individual’s capacity to perform the duties of President is wishful thinking at best.

If passed by Congress and ratified by the states prior to 31 December 2023, it would apply to the 2024 General Election. Both political parties would have sufficient time to adjust to the new requirement. Both sides of the “Blue-Red” divide would have the means to “save face” by turning aside from superannuated “senior leaders” whose “best days” are behind them.

Thoughts? 

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  1. DaveSchmidt Coolidge
    DaveSchmidt
    @DaveSchmidt

    Hang On (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Hang On (View Comment):

    No. The people should decide. Technology will change what is ‘too old’.

    Then why can’t the people decide to elect someone younger than 35?

    Good point. They should be able to.

    35 minimum is correct. 

    • #31
  2. Cassandro Coolidge
    Cassandro
    @Flicker

    I think not.  Age is important, but mental clarity is the issue, not age.  Many people remain mentally clear, insightful, retentive and creative into their 80s.  This might just be the man we’re looking for one day.  Even a wheelchair is not prohibitive, so why should age be?

    And just as a side thought, what if a great president was turning 72 a month before his second term were to begin?  People would know if he’s good at the job or not.  He has a proven track record for good or bad to refer to.  Why should he be limited just because of his age.

    Maaaybe psych evaluations* should be mandatory for all candidates, and mental status exams* mandatory over a certain age.  But we’ve seen that used against viable presidential candidates before, too.

    *And who’s to say we would ever find a candidate who would run for president and who could function as a good president who didn’t have a psychiatric disorder?  Or who may have some mental disfunction that is benign and could be treated and/or dealt with?  And what would the disqualifying diagnoses be, and then what would the disqualifying severity be?

    When you start getting into disqualifying personality or mental attributes and their severity, you can see that it’s not nearly as simple as saying that a 73-year-old is by definition uniquely unfit to be president.

    • #32
  3. namlliT noD Member
    namlliT noD
    @DonTillman

    Postmodern Hoplite: No candidate, no matter how seemingly hale and hearty, would be eligible if they have exceeded by two years the age of mandatory Social Security (seventy).

    Why on earth should eligibility for the highest office in the land have ANYTHING to do with the age of “mandatory Social Security”?  That doesn’t even make sense.  What’s the connection?

    And the number this revolves around, 72, seems all the world to have been chosen to allow Ronald Reagan but not allow Donald Trump.  

    So it doesn’t sound like this proposal is being made in good faith.

    • #33
  4. namlliT noD Member
    namlliT noD
    @DonTillman

    This proposal also assumes that the American people are UNABLE to recognize dementia when they cast their vote.

    I don’t believe that.   And you haven’t made a case for that.

    So you want to counteract election fraud with an age limit?   That doesn’t sound like an optimum approach.

    • #34
  5. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    namlliT noD (View Comment):

    This proposal also assumes that the American people are UNABLE to recognize dementia when they cast their vote.

    Whether unable, or just unwilling, they apparently didn’t recognize it.

    • #35
  6. namlliT noD Member
    namlliT noD
    @DonTillman

    kedavis (View Comment):

    namlliT noD (View Comment):

    This proposal also assumes that the American people are UNABLE to recognize dementia when they cast their vote.

    Whether unable, or just unwilling, they apparently didn’t recognize it.

    Or, far more likely, some mechanism doubled the number of actual Biden votes.

    • #36
  7. davenr321 Coolidge
    davenr321
    @davenr321

    Emphatically “NO”!

    Repeal the 26th.
     

    • #37
  8. Doug1943 Member
    Doug1943
    @Doug1943

    This idea has merit.  I personally would require all candidates for office to have completed their military service.

    Of course, someone would take this to court, as violating the ‘equal protection’ clause … I’m surprised they haven’t done this for the limit at the other end.  No doubt they will when they have packed the Supreme Court.

    BUT … isn’t this re-arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic? 

    We’re swirling down the drain, still slowly, but the direction of motion is clear.  We have finite resources, only so much energy. Is this what we should put our energy into?

    However,  I congratulate the author on thinking outside of the box.  We need more such thinking.  Soon.

    • #38
  9. JoelB Member
    JoelB
    @JoelB

    ToryWarWriter (View Comment):
    I am well aware it blocks Ike as well.

    And Washington, Adams, Jefferson, Lincoln. To name a few more that the requirement to have been a governor would have eliminated.

    • #39
  10. Doctor Robert Member
    Doctor Robert
    @DoctorRobert

    Hang On (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Does your flexibility extend to people voting at whatever age they like?

    If not, why not?

    And if not, why not apply the same logic to ages of office-holders

    3-year olds should not be voting. Live 80-year-olds should be voting.

    This is so obviously aimed at Trump while claiming to be aimed at Biden.

    Also #21.

    You guys are dreaming.  A second Trump term will be more of a disaster than was his last year.  I love the guy and admire all that he did through April 2020, but after that he was a dumpster fire.  Our best bet is to get a Trump-light figure, such as Governor DeSantis, into the POTUS.

    • #40
  11. Ansonia Member
    Ansonia
    @Ansonia

    Gary Robbins (View Comment):

    Yes! Actually, I would suggest the age of 70.

    I would suggest the age of 80.

    While I get that Biden’s recent fall off a bike, due to those stupid toe protectors, is seen as a kind of metaphor for his presidency, I don’t think a younger, more mentally with it person would necessarily have remembered the toe protectors and avoided the accident.

    I also don’t think a president has to be all that physically fit to be a good President. Roosevelt wasn’t. Judging by pictures, Prime Minister Churchill, over in Britain, wasn’t in great physical shape either. He was still a great prime minister.

    That doesn’t mean I don’t think Biden is a horrible President , or that I think he hasn’t shown real signs of not being in his right mind.

    • #41
  12. DaveSchmidt Coolidge
    DaveSchmidt
    @DaveSchmidt

    Doug1943 (View Comment):

    This idea has merit. I personally would require all candidates for office to have completed their military service.

    Of course, someone would take this to court, as violating the ‘equal protection’ clause … I’m surprised they haven’t done this for the limit at the other end. No doubt they will when they have packed the Supreme Court.

    BUT … isn’t this re-arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic?

    We’re swirling down the drain, still slowly, but the direction of motion is clear. We have finite resources, only so much energy. Is this what we should put our energy into?

    However, I congratulate the author on thinking outside of the box. We need more such thinking. Soon.

    Military service would get watered down to “service.”  And then every lefty activist voluntary activity would qualify.   Think a 2 year internship with BLM would prepare someone to serve? 

    • #42
  13. MWD B612 "Dawg" Member
    MWD B612 "Dawg"
    @danok1

    Doug1943 (View Comment):

    This idea has merit.  I personally would require all candidates for office to have completed their military service.

    Of course, someone would take this to court, as violating the ‘equal protection’ clause … I’m surprised they haven’t done this for the limit at the other end.  No doubt they will when they have packed the Supreme Court.

    When you make that an Amendment to the Constitution, it doesn’t matter. You can’t say something in the Constitution in unconstitutional. Not that someone won’t try to do so.

    • #43
  14. MWD B612 "Dawg" Member
    MWD B612 "Dawg"
    @danok1

    Ansonia (View Comment):
    While I get that Biden’s recent fall off a bike, due to those stupid toe protectors, is seen as a kind of metaphor for his presidency, I don’t think a younger, more mentally with it person would necessarily have remembered the toe protectors and avoided the accident.

    Way OT, but toe clips aren’t for protecting the toes. When used properly, they increase efficiency by allowing the rider to pull back at the bottom of the pedal stroke and pull up on the upstroke. Now, of course, they’ve been replaced by clip-in pedals and cleats.

     

    • #44
  15. Hartmann von Aue Member
    Hartmann von Aue
    @HartmannvonAue

    kedavis (View Comment):

    ToryWarWriter (View Comment):

    Meh.

    I think the USA would be better served by barring anyone from being President who hasnt done a single term as governor of a state.

    It would solve so many problems, and provide a record of accomplishments and failures for any candidate.

    And would have blocked Trump, but then again if we hadn’t had Obama and so many other non-governors, Trump might not have been necessary.

    There have been plenty of whacko governors, though, who became president. Carter, Clinton…

    Ehh…Carter was dull- in spite of being a nuclear engineer- and naive. Clinton was crooked as a dog’s hind legs. Neither was what I would call a loon…while in office.

    • #45
  16. DaveSchmidt Coolidge
    DaveSchmidt
    @DaveSchmidt

    kedavis (View Comment):

    namlliT noD (View Comment):

    This proposal also assumes that the American people are UNABLE to recognize dementia when they cast their vote.

    Whether unable, or just unwilling, they apparently didn’t recognize it.

    Hard to recognize cognitive ability when the candidate campaigns from his/her basement. 

    • #46
  17. Cassandro Coolidge
    Cassandro
    @Flicker

    kedavis (View Comment):

    namlliT noD (View Comment):

    This proposal also assumes that the American people are UNABLE to recognize dementia when they cast their vote.

    Whether unable, or just unwilling, they apparently didn’t recognize it.

    Or maybe Beiden didn’t win the popular vote.  Because people saw he was cloudy.

    • #47
  18. Cassandro Coolidge
    Cassandro
    @Flicker

    DaveSchmidt (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    namlliT noD (View Comment):

    This proposal also assumes that the American people are UNABLE to recognize dementia when they cast their vote.

    Whether unable, or just unwilling, they apparently didn’t recognize it.

    Hard to recognize cognitive ability when the candidate campaigns from his/her basement.

    Maybe it’s actually a good sign of cognitive inability, but it shouldn’t arbitrarily be used as a gauge of suitability, either. 

    • #48
  19. Cassandro Coolidge
    Cassandro
    @Flicker

    This seems not to be aimed at Trump, but at Beiden.  But what makes 72 a reasonable cut-off age compared to say, 65 or 68?  Trump was in his early 70s and he wasn’t constantly fatigued or addled or physically weak.  People knew Beiden wasn’t mentally with it, and they ostensibly voted for him anyway (or did they?).

    But if you’re right, that age 72 is a sign that someone isn’t capable of thinking or acting correctly, then by the same reasoning they shouldn’t be allowed to vote, or campaign for others, or own a gun.  Who wants to empower a 72-year-old with a deadly weapon?  Does the experience of a lifetime mean nothing?  Apparently it does.

    What I would suggest is blocking corrupt politicians of any age.  What more dysfunction does the age 72 display than past criminal corruption?

    And if we’re going to start limiting candidates from the presidency, why not actually do something that shows an arguable reason for the limitation?  Like having them take a battery of psychological tests or mental acuity tests.  People have been advocating the former for years now.

    Of course, psychological test results can be politically engineered, too.

    • #49
  20. Postmodern Hoplite Coolidge
    Postmodern Hoplite
    @PostmodernHoplite

    To all who have commented thus far: THANKS – I appreciate the critique!

    To several specific points:

    1. @dontillman – Why 72? Fair question. Apologies for not explaining this further. If one is going to propose an upper age limit to the Presidency, it ought to be grounded in a recognized Federally-established and recognized retirement age. That make it 70, the age at which those eligible for receiving Social Security benefits must begin drawing them. I’ve added two years to that to insure that any person otherwise determined to be “of retirement age” has a reasonable opportunity to prove to the voting public that they are physically and mentally fit to begin their term of office. Once inaugurated, the 25A becomes operative.
    2. @rightangles – yes, this proposed amendment would apply to Trump if passed by Congress and ratified by the states prior to the start of Primaries in 2024. Trump appears to be in much better shape for his age than Biden. However, I don’t believe in that he, himself is “indispensable.” I’d rather have Trump than Biden, but I think Trump’s age works against him.
    3. @danok1 – I agree, an Article V convention is probably necessary. However, the current Congress may take this up, as it would provide the Democratic Party a face-saving way of dumping Biden, even if it comes at the cost of preventing a ’24 run by Trump (which may have the unintended consequence of giving him a “face-saving” way of bowing-out gracefully, and throwing his not insignificant weight behind a younger candidate).
    4. Several other who have made comparisons to Reagan and FDR. Reagan was 69 at his first inauguration; my proposed amendment would not have applied to him, and would not have prevented him from serving two terms. The 22nd Amendment was passed to prevent what happened as a result of FDR. By 1940, Roosevelt believed that he had become indispensable, that only he could lead the U.S. in the face of the war in Europe. However, I’ve read nothing that suggests any of his political rivals would have done anything significantly different between 1939 and 1941. By 1945, he was patently physically unfit to serve; an argument can be made that his declining mental capacities at Yalta in Feb. ’45 would lead to far-reaching consequences with repercussions to this day. Would my proposed amendment have prevented FDR from serving? No; but he illustrates the potential harm in having a mentally declining President who is being protected by the Press and his own immediate staff.
    • #50
  21. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Ansonia (View Comment):

    Gary Robbins (View Comment):

    Yes! Actually, I would suggest the age of 70.

    I would suggest the age of 80.

    While I get that Biden’s recent fall off a bike, due to those stupid toe protectors, is seen as a kind of metaphor for his presidency, I don’t think a younger, more mentally with it person would necessarily have remembered the toe protectors and avoided the accident.

    I also don’t think a president has to be all that physically fit to be a good President. Roosevelt wasn’t. Judging by pictures, Prime Minister Churchill, over in Britain, wasn’t in great physical shape either. He was still a great prime minister.

    That doesn’t mean I don’t think Biden is a horrible President , or that I think he hasn’t shown real signs of not being in his right mind.

    Toe protectors?  Is that what they’re calling them?

    My younger brother used to do some bicycle training and racing, and what they used weren’t for protecting the toes, they were called cleats, and they were to hold the foot to the pedal so that you could increase power and speed by PULLING UP on the pedals as well as pushing down.

    There was a notched/slotted part that attached to the bottoms of their shoes too, and “snapped into” the rest of the cleat apparatus.  Which meant you couldn’t just lift your foot from the pedal, you had to “disengage” it.  Even experienced riders would sometimes forget, and fall over because they couldn’t quickly move their feet out.

    • #51
  22. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    DaveSchmidt (View Comment):

    Doug1943 (View Comment):

    This idea has merit. I personally would require all candidates for office to have completed their military service.

    Of course, someone would take this to court, as violating the ‘equal protection’ clause … I’m surprised they haven’t done this for the limit at the other end. No doubt they will when they have packed the Supreme Court.

    BUT … isn’t this re-arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic?

    We’re swirling down the drain, still slowly, but the direction of motion is clear. We have finite resources, only so much energy. Is this what we should put our energy into?

    However, I congratulate the author on thinking outside of the box. We need more such thinking. Soon.

    Military service would get watered down to “service.” And then every lefty activist voluntary activity would qualify. Think a 2 year internship with BLM would prepare someone to serve?

    It might, if BLM still meant Bureau of Land Management.

    • #52
  23. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Cassandro (View Comment):

    This seems not to be aimed at Trump, but at Beiden. But what makes 72 a reasonable cut-off age compared to say, 65 or 68? Trump was in his early 70s and he wasn’t constantly fatigued or addled or physically weak. People knew Beiden wasn’t mentally with it, and they ostensibly voted for him anyway (or did they?).

    But if you’re right, that age 72 is a sign that someone isn’t capable of thinking or acting correctly, then by the same reasoning they shouldn’t be allowed to vote, or campaign for others, or own a gun. Who wants to empower a 72-year-old with a deadly weapon? Does the experience of a lifetime mean nothing? Apparently it does.

    What I would suggest is blocking corrupt politicians of any age. What more dysfunction does the age 72 display than past criminal corruption?

    And if we’re going to start limiting candidates from the presidency, why not actually do something that shows an arguable reason for the limitation? Like having them take a battery of psychological tests or mental acuity tests. People have been advocating the former for years now.

    Of course, psychological test results can be politically engineered, too.

    It would have to be convictions of corruption, and that rarely happens even to the most corrupt politicians.

    • #53
  24. Cassandro Coolidge
    Cassandro
    @Flicker

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Cassandro (View Comment):

    This seems not to be aimed at Trump, but at Beiden. But what makes 72 a reasonable cut-off age compared to say, 65 or 68? Trump was in his early 70s and he wasn’t constantly fatigued or addled or physically weak. People knew Beiden wasn’t mentally with it, and they ostensibly voted for him anyway (or did they?).

    But if you’re right, that age 72 is a sign that someone isn’t capable of thinking or acting correctly, then by the same reasoning they shouldn’t be allowed to vote, or campaign for others, or own a gun. Who wants to empower a 72-year-old with a deadly weapon? Does the experience of a lifetime mean nothing? Apparently it does.

    What I would suggest is blocking corrupt politicians of any age. What more dysfunction does the age 72 display than past criminal corruption?

    And if we’re going to start limiting candidates from the presidency, why not actually do something that shows an arguable reason for the limitation? Like having them take a battery of psychological tests or mental acuity tests. People have been advocating the former for years now.

    Of course, psychological test results can be politically engineered, too.

    It would have to be convictions of corruption, and that rarely happens even to the most corrupt politicians.

    Yeah, that’s the down side.

    • #54
  25. Jason Obermeyer Member
    Jason Obermeyer
    @JasonObermeyer

    All politicians – past and present – must report for Carousel on their 71st birthday. 

    • #55
  26. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Jason Obermeyer (View Comment):

    All politicians – past and present – must report for Carousel on their 71st birthday.

     

    • #56
  27. DaveSchmidt Coolidge
    DaveSchmidt
    @DaveSchmidt

    kedavis (View Comment):

    DaveSchmidt (View Comment):

    Doug1943 (View Comment):

    This idea has merit. I personally would require all candidates for office to have completed their military service.

    Of course, someone would take this to court, as violating the ‘equal protection’ clause … I’m surprised they haven’t done this for the limit at the other end. No doubt they will when they have packed the Supreme Court.

    BUT … isn’t this re-arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic?

    We’re swirling down the drain, still slowly, but the direction of motion is clear. We have finite resources, only so much energy. Is this what we should put our energy into?

    However, I congratulate the author on thinking outside of the box. We need more such thinking. Soon.

    Military service would get watered down to “service.” And then every lefty activist voluntary activity would qualify. Think a 2 year internship with BLM would prepare someone to serve?

    It might, if BLM still meant Bureau of Land Management.

    Nicely done.  

     

    • #57
  28. RightAngles Member
    RightAngles
    @RightAngles

    namlliT noD (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    namlliT noD (View Comment):

    This proposal also assumes that the American people are UNABLE to recognize dementia when they cast their vote.

    Whether unable, or just unwilling, they apparently didn’t recognize it.

    Or, far more likely, some mechanism doubled the number of actual Biden votes.

    We did too recognize it and so did the Dem voters. He’d never have made it through the primaries if they hadn’t cheated him through. What I’d like to see is a law stating that no bill can have a bunch of extraneous pork in it that has nothing to do with, and at times even clashes with, its main point and intent. And it can’t be 2,000 pages long either. The Democrats always do this. They have a bill that everyone likes and approves of on both sides but they add a bunch of partisan crap that they know the Republicans won’t like.  So we could have a law against kicking puppies with an added paragraph at the end forcing every company to hire a black blind trans woman in a wheelchair as CEO, the GOP would vote no, and then Pelosi and Schumer would get in front of cameras shouting “The Republicans hate puppies!”

    • #58
  29. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    RightAngles (View Comment):

    namlliT noD (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    namlliT noD (View Comment):

    This proposal also assumes that the American people are UNABLE to recognize dementia when they cast their vote.

    Whether unable, or just unwilling, they apparently didn’t recognize it.

    Or, far more likely, some mechanism doubled the number of actual Biden votes.

    We did too recognize it and so did the Dem voters. He’d never have made it through the primaries if they hadn’t cheated him through. What I’d like to see is a law stating that no bill can have a bunch of extraneous pork in it that has nothing to do with, and at times even clashes with, its main point and intent. And it can’t be 2,000 pages long either. The Democrats always do this. They have a bill that everyone likes and approves of on both sides but they add a bunch of partisan crap that they know the Republicans won’t like. So we could have a law against kicking puppies with an added paragraph at the end forcing every company to hire a black blind trans woman in a wheelchair as CEO, the GOP would vote no, and then Pelosi and Schumer would get in front of cameras shouting “The Republicans hate puppies!”

    They don’t even have to actually put in the part about puppies.  It can be just about the black trans woman but it’s CALLED the “Puppy Protection Act” and that’s enough.

    • #59
  30. Cassandro Coolidge
    Cassandro
    @Flicker

    RightAngles (View Comment):
    What I’d like to see is a law stating that no bill can have a bunch of extraneous pork in it that has nothing to do with, and at times even clashes with, its main point and intent.

    In the infinite complexity of intersectionality (just like the use of the commerce clause) anything can be justified.

    • #60
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