How Old is Too Old?

In this photo taken May 20, 2015, Democratic Presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., poses for a portrait before an interview with The Associated Press in Washington. For Democrats who had hoped to lure Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren into a presidential campaign, independent Sen. Bernie Sanders might be the next best thing. Sanders, who is opening his official presidential campaign Tuesday in Burlington, Vermont, aims to ignite a grassroots fire among left-leaning Democrats wary of Hillary Rodham Clinton. He is laying out an agenda in step with the party's progressive wing and compatible with Warren's platform _ reining in Wall Street banks, tackling college debt and creating a government-financed infrastructure jobs program. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

I will be 82 years old next month, the age that Bernie Sanders (above, left, with Hillary Clinton) would be in the last year of his second term as president. And, yes, I know I am no Bernie Sanders but  I shudder at the thought of being responsible for the survival of the free world at my age.

My body is still able to cope with golf twice a week. And my mind is still able to cope with writing these blogs. But I have to admit I’ve lost a step or two over the years.

And I’m sure you would agree that being President of the United States is tougher than golf or blogs. More demanding, physically and mentally. More stressful. A lot more stressful.

Thinking back to when I was Hillary Clinton’s age, things were different for me then. I was physically and mentally a lot stronger at 68 than I am today.

I was stronger at 72, too – the age Hillary will be if she runs for a second term. It seems that the older I get the faster I age.

I know, you’re going to tell me not to judge other people by myself.

Peyton Manning isn’t 82 but – in NFL player years – he’s getting there, and he just won his second Super Bowl. Somerset Maugham wrote “Points of View” when he was 81. Mary Baker Eddy founded the Christian Science Monitor at 85. Rembrandt, Picasso, Philip Roth and dozens of other famous names remind us that talent has no expiration date.

But writing “Points of View’ isn’t wrestling with Congress and keeping the world from going up in flames. That takes a lot more energy – and a lot thicker skin. It’s not just the rigorous work schedule that intimidates me. I would wilt under the venomous criticism a US President must face.

Is Bernie sure he wants to face that kind of life in his sunset years?

Perhaps he is. As I said, I am no Bernie Sanders.

Another view of aging

gwgraeme

I am a Jamaican-born writer who has lived and worked in Canada and the United States. I live in Lakeland, Florida with my wife, Sandra, our three cats and two dogs. I like to play golf and enjoy our garden, even though it's a lot of work. Since retiring from newspaper reporting I've written a few books. I also write a monthly column for Jamaicans.com

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