U.S. President Joe Biden was born on November 20, 1942. Donald Trump was born on June 14, 1946. Biden is 80 years old, Trump is 76 years old. He will turn 77 on June 14, 2023. There is not that much age difference between these two men. Yet the former president and his supporters, as well as Republicans such as former South Carolina governor Nikki Haley, continue to make an issue of Biden's age. Haley, a presidential hopeful, has suggested that Americans should not vote for Joe Biden because he may die during his second term, in which case, Vice President Kamala Harris would assume the office of President of the United States.
Here is what Haley said about Biden in an interview with Fox News (of course). "He's announced that he's running again in 2024, and I think that we can all be very clear and say with a matter of fact that if you vote for Joe Biden you really are counting on a President Harris, because the idea that he would make it until 86 years old is not something that I think is likely." By the way, Trump would be 78 if he assumed the presidency in January of 2025 and 82 at the end of his term, providing that he left office of his own accord.
Republicans enjoy painting Joe Biden as senile, bumbling and mentally unfit. The fact that Biden has had to overcome a speech impediment (stuttering), makes it easier for them to criticize him for sometimes stumbling over words. In fact, Biden is an inspiration to those who have been bullied or held back because of speech impediments such as stuttering.
President Biden's physician, Dr. Kevin O'Connor, stated in a memorandum released by the White House press office in February that Biden "remains a healthy, vigorous, 80-year-old male, who is fit to execute the duties of the Presidency, to include those as Chief Executive, Head of State and Commander in Chief."
If you think Dr. Connor's assessment of Joe Biden's health is too rosy and too biased, allow me to remind you of the assessment Donald Trump received from his former physician, Ronny Jackson, at a January 2018 press briefing. Jackson, an ex-U.S. Navy admiral turned Texas Representative, told reporters that Trump could possibly live to 200 years of age as a result of his "good genes."
There are no guarantees regarding longevity. A person's health or circumstances could change drastically at any time. No one can control the vicissitudes of fate. Much of life is unpredictable. For than reason, it is said that the Vice President of the United States is a heartbeat away from the presidency. Eight American presidents have died in office, four of them by an assassin's bullet. Abraham Lincoln was 56 years old when he was killed by John Wilkes Booth in 1865. John F. Kennedy, the youngest person ever elected president, was only 46 when he was shot in Dallas in 1963.
In September of 1955, Dwight D, Eisenhower, the 34th President of the United States, suffered a massive heart attack during a golf trip to Colorado. Vice President Richard Nixon became acting president at that time, and again in 1956, when Eisenhower had surgery. Despite his health issues, Eisenhower went on to win re-election in 1956. He died on March 28, 1969 at the age of 78.
It is ridiculous that Nikki Haley should speculate on how long Joe Biden will live. He could live to be 100 or he could die tomorrow. However, there is much more to Haley's comments about Biden's age. Read her words carefully and you will realize what is really behind her remarks. The issue goes beyond President Biden's age, or his health. Donald Trump is not much younger than Joe Biden, and Trump doesn't exactly seem in the best of health, mentally or physically. No, folks. The real issue is the possibility that Kamala Harris could become president. Republicans are trying to scare Americans with the possibility that a woman of Black and South Asian heritage could sit in the Oval Office. Imagine that! Horror of horrors!
I must say that Nikki Haley, should know better than to try to scare conservative Republicans with the prospect of Kamala Harris as president. Haley herself is a woman of colour, the daughter of Sikh parents from India. With that background, she of all people should understand the hurdles Kamala Harris has had to face. Instead Haley seeks to win the approval of he Republican right wing base by appealing to their racism and misogyny. She'd be much better off by trying to attract moderate Republican voters. She doesn't seem to realize that it is futile to try to out-Trump Trump.
Here's what should really frighten Americans and people in other countries around the world. It's the possibility that Donald Trump, an authoritarian, who admires Vladimir Putin and other dictators, could once again assume the presidency of the United States. If Trump should become president again, he would change the political and social fabric of America. He would likely tamper with the Constitution. He would equate loyalty to himself with loyalty to country,.
Remember that Trump has attacked two of the most fundamental pillars of democracy - a free press and the peaceful transfer of power after an election. He has called the media "the enemy of the people" He refused to recognize his defeat in the 2020 election, which by all evidence was fair and free. At Trump's bidding, a mob of right-wing fanatics and racists stormed the Capitol building in Washington, D.C. They desecrated that temple of American democracy. They threatened to hang then-Vice President Mike Pence because he refused to block certification of Biden's win.
I write this to warn Americans. If Trump attains power again, God help us, he will never relinquish it. He will never leave the Oval Office until he dies. American democracy will be lost. Consider my warning when you vote in November of 2024. Don't say that you haven't been warned.