Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders has announced he will throw his hat into the ring once again to compete for the Democratic nomination to take on Donald Trump in the 2020 presidential election.
The 77-year-old, who lost the Democratic nomination to Hilary Clinton in 2016, said he will challenge the current president, building on his previous campaign from three years ago.
In his announcement on Tuesday, Sanders called on the support of the nation to “repair the damage” Trump has done since being elected and to forge ahead with the policies he championed the first time around.
“Together, you and I, and our 2016 campaign, began the political revolution, now is the time to complete that revolution and implement the vision that we fought for,” he said in his announcement on YouTube.
“Together we can create a nation that leads the world in the struggle for peace and economical, racial, social and environmental justice, and together we can defeat Donald Trump and repair the damage he has done to our country.”
However, despite his clear plan for presidency, many have questioned whether Sanders is too old to lead the country. At 77 years of age he is the oldest candidate to campaign for the presidency in US history. Ronald Reagan previously held the record having been 73 when he was elected president.
Sanders is instead edging closer to Winston Churchill, who was 80 when he left office for the second time. The progressive senator is also 10 years older than Australia’s oldest leader, John McEwen, who was 67 when he became prime minister in 1967 following the death of Harold Holt.
In fact, next year’s presidential race is shaping up to be the greyest yet with former Vice President Joe Biden, 76, expected to announce his candidacy for president within weeks. And while older leaders are far more common in countries ruled by dictatorships or royal families, most modern Western countries are run by leaders between the ages of 40 to 65.
Many Americans have already taken to the internet to debate the topic, commenting on everything from Sanders’ mental ability to his expansive knowledge of the country and life experience.
While many claimed they don’t want a president who may be facing serious health problems in the coming years, others said they don’t have any problem with Sanders’ age and see him as fit for the position.
“There is no legal age limit to being president, but I don’t think people are going to vote for a man that age – he will be 79 in 2020,” one person wrote on website Quora. “I am age 66 and I wouldn’t want the stress of being president. He looks to be in a bit better shape than I am, but I still don’t want a president that old.”
Another added: “Yes, he’ll be nearly 80. He is too old for the rigours of that highly demanding job”.
On the other hand, some claimed a candidates eligibility shouldn’t be dependent on age, but simply the individual’s own health and capacity.
“Sanders seems sharp as a tack, is still incredibly mobile and actually appears more energetic than his competitors,” someone wrote on Quora.
“Sanders seems to be in good health and in possession of his full mental faculties, so if he thinks he can handle the stresses of the job, who are we to say different? It might shine a little more light on who he selects as his VP, but it’s not a deal-breaker in and of itself,” a second said.
While a third added: “You have to consider the overall health of the individual. The physical and mental capacity coupled with leadership skills, and proper mainstream policy positions that ring true to the best interests of the majority of the American people are reasons to be running for president”.
Meanwhile, Trump has added his two cents to the debate, telling reporters on Tuesday it is too late for Sanders to become president.
“Personally I think he missed his time,” the current president said according to the BBC. “But I wish Bernie well. It will be interesting to see how he does.”