Presidents Have to Be 35? Time to Scrap That Rule

Maybe modern problems require younger minds: Daniel Freedman
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 15, 2011 1:36 PM CDT
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg. He can found a billion-dollar company but would not be able to run for president.   (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)

(Newser) – Americans require their presidents to be at least 35 years old because surely nobody younger could run the country. It's time to retire this "undemocratic, and even un-American" rule, writes Daniel Freedman at Forbes. People can decide for themselves whether "they want the 'wise' 45-year-old or the 'inexperienced' 32-year-old," he writes. "It may be true that in the conventional sense you become wiser with age, perhaps to deal with today’s problems we need youthful enthusiasm and a willingness to challenge the status quo and take risks."

Forget the historical figures such as Jesus or Alexander the Great who would be deemed unfit to run. Just look at what the likes of Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, and Steve Jobs accomplished before the age of 30, let alone 35. Contrast that with someone who has spent virtually his entire adult life in politics: the "mature" 40-something Anthony Weiner. Let's allow American voters to make the choice, Freedman writes.

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