No Country for Old Politicians

After Thursday’s presidential debate, not only are Democratic-friendly political analysts and pundits seriously questioning Biden’s run for the presidency, but there’s also increased handwringing among the Democratic Party faithful.

Understandably, no election, regardless of jurisdiction or importance, is won or lost solely based on a political debate between the leading candidates.

And it’s unrealistic to assume that most voters carefully weigh the pros and cons of contenders, their positions, party platforms, and accomplishments.

Mundane issues, such as weather conditions or childcare responsibilities on election day, can impact electoral outcomes.

More significant is the last-minute discrediting and often false information, that candidates reveal about their opposition to sway potential voters.

The deciding factor, however, is that election outcomes often depend on emotional feelings people have about candidates and their parties long before the official campaign begins.

If we consider the emotional aspect, Biden’s performance at the recent debate was disappointing.

He came across as a thoughtful, but forgetful grandfather—endearing in a family setting, but not necessarily the image of a strong leader.

The challenge of Biden’s age and its impact on his electability versus Trump has been a known issue for quite a while, not just among Republicans, but among the Democratic Party leadership, and Democratic voters.

And if age was really the issue then why aren’t we calling for Republican Senator Chuck Grassley (90) or Democratic Party representative Grace Napolitano (87) to step down. The issue here is the fossilization of the American political party system that thinks it’s okay to keep running senior citizens for important political positions and thereby holding back younger, more diverse, skilled, and energetic candidates with new ideas to address the challenges of this country.

That being said, there are many factors at play, including the Democratic Party’s decision and strategy for supporting Biden. But from the day Biden was elected, the party should have been seriously considering an alternative ticket for when his term ended.

Few Americans want to see either a kind but forgetful elder statesman or a highly controversial and polarizing figure (not to mention convicted rapist, felon, etc.) like Trump with a problematic past as their commander-in-chief.

There are lots of alternative presidential tickets that might work. But the Democratic Party has to act now by supporting other electable candidates for the presidency. And Biden needs to fully support such new leadership.

If this is not done, then if Trump wins, the Democratic Party will have no one to blame but themselves.