Biden’s Age as a Major Campaign Issue

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Democrats and allies of President Biden rushed to his defense on Sunday.Credit…Haiyun Jiang for The New York Times

To the Editor:

Re “Voters Wonder What’s Too Old for a President” (front page, Feb. 10):

The polls show that a majority of the U.S. voting population thinks President Biden is too old to run for re-election in 2024.

I am a thriving 81-year-old psychologist who has taught graduate psychology courses about aging. I believe that the assumption that he will be unfit to serve is based largely on our prejudices about aging.

Men and women in their 80s are a strikingly diverse group. Aging is not just about decline. Older individuals can outperform younger people on tests of intelligence that are based on accumulated knowledge and experience. Optimism and satisfaction increase with age.

While the president shows age-related signs of memory loss, research has also shown that some cognitive skills increase with age.

Let us not allow our prejudices to cloud our decision about the next president.

Alan Swope
Oakland, Calif.
The writer is emeritus professor in clinical psychology at Alliant International University.

To the Editor:

The time has come for the Democratic Party to have its “Goldwater moment,” wherein a handful of party grandees march, however reluctantly, into the Oval Office and tell President Biden that it’s time to go, much as a delegation led by Senator Barry Goldwater did in 1974, when President Nixon was told that he faced impeachment.

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