Opinion: Testing Cognitive Ability Of Elderly Politicians is a Necessary Measure to Safeguard Democracy

What is more physically and mentally demanding…running the United States or driving to the grocery store? The answer is obvious.

While many want to politicize this question, it is in fact a very real and serious question. And it’s long-overdue for Americans to put those differences aside and soberly ask, “Is Biden cognitively able to handle the demands and stresses of the Presidency?” Because if he isn’t, no one wins. Well, maybe our enemies.

Driving vs. Running A Country

As we age, our cognitive abilities can decline, impacting our decision-making skills and reaction times. That’s why many states require elderly drivers to take a cognitive test before renewing their driver’s license. So if this is the case for everyday citizens, shouldn’t politicians over the age of 80 be subject to similar requirements?

It’s no secret that there are several politicians in positions of power who are over the age of 80. President Joe Biden himself is 80 years old, making him the oldest president in U.S. history. If reelected, he will be 82. While age alone doesn’t necessarily indicate cognitive decline, it’s important that our leaders are able to make sound decisions and lead effectively.

If Governments Require It Of Citizens, Shouldn’t Citizens Require It Of Their Leaders?

Every state in the union has requirements for senior citizens to pass what can be considered to be a cognitive test. In fact, the large majority of states require these type of tests for seniors who are far younger than 80. Very few states start this re-licensing and testing process at 79 and 80 (Texas and Florida are included in that).

There is NO state that allows seniors to get behind the wheel unless the state does their best to determine seniors are able to do the simple, and dangerous, act of driving. Yes, each state has their own way going about this. But, it is completely reasonable to assume the act of running a nation vastly pale in comparison to the act of driving to the local grocery store.

There’s Nothing Citizens Can Rely On Know If Their Politicians Are Fit To Do The Job

Currently, there is no requirement for politicians over a certain age to take any kind of cognitive or competency test. This means that even if they are experiencing significant cognitive decline, they could still be making important decisions that impact our country and its citizens.

This lack of oversight is particularly concerning given Biden routinely exhibits concerning speech and behavior that suggests he could, at least, be struggling with memory loss. While these incidents may not have directly resulted from cognitive decline, they do raise questions about whether our leaders should be subject to more rigorous assessments as they age.

Some argue that requiring cognitive tests for politicians would be discriminatory or unfair. However, when we consider the potential consequences of having a leader who is unable to make sound decisions due to cognitive decline, it becomes clear that this is an issue that needs addressing.


Doing So Would Need To Be Done For All Parties And At All Levels

Of course, implementing such a requirement would need careful consideration and planning. It would need to be non-partisan and apply equally across all political affiliations. Additionally, it would need to be conducted by independent medical professionals with expertise in assessing cognitive abilities.

Just as elderly drivers must undergo cognitive testing before being allowed on the road, it makes sense for politicians over the age of 80 (or another appropriate threshold) to submit themselves to similar assessments in order to ensure they are fit for duty.

The duties of the President are just too stressful. And, decisions are too big for us to believe politicians of a certain age are immune from what nature does to the human body over time. As Americans continue to demand transparency and accountability from their elected officials, this could be an important step towards ensuring our leaders are capable of making informed decisions on behalf of their constituents.