By William Lewis
When we consider the three leading candidates in the Democratic presidential primary, including Vice President Joseph Biden, both Bernie Sanders and Biden are in their early 70s. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is in her late 60s—as is the leading Republican candidate, Donald Trump.
It has been suggested that candidates in that age category may want to serve only one four-year term, although President Ronald Reagan ran for re-election for president at the age of 74 and won 49 out of 50 states.
With people living longer, candidates for public office will be running for office at increased ages.
There has been controversy in the Republican presidential primary involving critical statements made by Donald Trump regarding his opponents in both the Republican and Democratic parties. Back in the 1950s, we had a situation in the U.S. Senate where Sen. Joseph McCarthy of Wisconsin got into verbal conflicts with other senators and members of the Eisenhower administration regarding Communist infiltration of our government. Much of the national press opposed McCarthy.
Yet in 1952, McCarthy faced a Republican primary that year for the U.S. Senate against a moderate Republican and won by a sizable majority. McCarthy in his attacks on his opponents once referred to the Roosevelt and Truman administrations from 1932 to 1952 as “20 years of treason.” In spite of his comments the Republicans of Wisconsin still supported him.
Although Trump cannot be compared to McCarthy, especially since McCarthy was not running for president, it will nevertheless be interesting to see how Trump does in the primary and if he wins, will it be a close general election or a considerable victory for Trump.
In the Democratic presidential primary, the amazing campaign of Bernie Sanders with his Socialist program is unusual, to say the least. Hardly no one thought he would do as well as he has.
This is the year of candidates who are not establishment gaining support.
One thing is certain when we look at the electorate of 2015 and 2016: The American people want change. They are not happy with the way our country is moving, both domestically and in terms of foreign policy.
It seems that they are ready to support the candidates who offer the most change. It seems that we will have a large participation of the American people between now and election year 2016. It will be good to get more people involved in the election process if democracy is to be lived up to.
As I have indicated, the 2016 elections for the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives, in addition to state elections, will all be affected by the presidential race. The results of the 2016 elections will affect our nation for many years to come.