Tags: beto orourke | pete buttigieg | tulsi gabbard

Are Beto and the Democrats Too Young to Be President?

Are Beto and the Democrats Too Young to Be President?

Democratic presidential hopeful and former U.S. Representative for Texas' 16th congressional district Beto O'Rourke speaks to the crowd during a prayer and candle vigil organized by the city, after a shooting left 20 people dead at the Cielo Vista Mall Walmart in El Paso, Texas, on August 4, 2019. (Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty Images)

By    |   Monday, 12 August 2019 05:17 PM

We have quietly heard discussed that Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, and even President Donald Trump may be too old for the presidency. But what about being too young?

Could this be a factor in eliminating a candidate from ascending to the highest office in the land? The theoretical answer is no, it should not. But the practical one is not so clear.

Psychologists in their analysis of intelligence parse the difference between chronological age and mental age. They differentiate chronological age as the actual amount of time a person has been alive, while mental age is a measure of an individual's mental attainment. The relationship between these two constructs constitutes what is commonly known as IQ — intelligence quotient.

So let’s consider chronological age and whether it should be considered when selecting a presidential nominee.

A good way to begin is to cite that the average age of our presidents is 55 at the time of their inauguration.

With 55 as a standard, the following Democratic hopefuls are “above average” — Sanders (79), Biden (78), Warren (71), Inslee (69), Williamson (68), Hickenlooper (68), Steyer (63), Klobuchar (60), de Blasio (59), Delaney (57), Harris (56), and Bennet (56).

Those who are not are Gillibrand (54), Bullock (54), Booker (54), O’Rourke (48), Ryan (47), Castro (46), Yang (46), Moulton (42), Buttigieg (39), and Gabbard (39).

Chronologically, Beto is below the average age. And some would go so far as to criticize his rhetoric as reflective of someone even younger in terms of his mental age.

And that’s the point — one common trait of being young is being closed to others’ points of view. It’s, “I am right, they are wrong and if one doesn’t agree with me, well there is something wrong with them!” These youthful indiscretions of the verbal mind are verified in the musings of the ever-popular Mayor Pete Buttigieg and the newest flavor of the week, Tulsi Gabbard.

Buttigieg’s preachy style and demeanor can alienate anyone who is over 50 years of age. His picking a fight with the Vice President over his (Buttigieg’s) sexuality to using bible verses to shame Republicans over the issues of the day are dividers. They don’t help bring people together.

And Gabbard’s attack on the president, where she contended that he helped Al-Qaeda by arms sales to Saudi Arabia, is another instance where youth doesn’t meet tolerance or finesse with political discourse.

What this all highlights is a disconnect between what Democrats say they feel the American people want and their actual rhetoric. And it’s most acute in the younger nominees.

The Democrats articulate the need to bring the country together. What they appear to be saying instead is that there is a need to bring Democrats together so that they can defeat Trump.

They forget, whether they like it or not, that when one criticizes the president, they are also criticizing the 60 million who voted for him. For the Democrats to have a more convincing message they need to better understand human nature. This means voters don’t want to be sermonized and told by politicians how they should live their lives.

Said another way, aspirational is noble but pocketbook issues are practical and get votes. The issue becomes whether the younger Democratic candidates understand that it’s not about them but all about non-party voters who may see politics differently. One thing that could help Democrats no matter their age — it is always easier when you have marketing in mind.

Dr. John Tantillo is a marketing and branding expert, known as The Marketing Doctor. JT utilizes his doctoral skills in applied research psychology to analyze the issues and personalities of the day utilizing his marketing and branding lens. This provides his readers with additional insight needed to understand the “new normal” in politics, news, and culture. Dr. Tantillo is the OpEd writer for Political Vanguard. He is the author of "People Buy Brands, Not Companies,” and the Udemy course "Go Brand Yourself!" You can follow him on Twitter @marketingdoctor and at Facebook.com/dr.johntantillo. To read more of his reports — Click Here Now.

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We have quietly heard discussed that Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, and even President Donald Trump may be too old for the presidency. But what about being too young?
beto orourke, pete buttigieg, tulsi gabbard
Monday, 12 August 2019 05:17 PM
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