What happens if one of them dies?
Category: Op/EdVia: gregtx • 3 weeks ago • 38 comments
Let's start with the obvious: It's perfectly normal for men in the back half of their 70s and beyond to die. The current life expectancy for men in America is 76 (and plummeting by the day). Former President Donald Trump will be 78 next November. President Joe Biden will be 81.
Both men also appear visibly unhealthy. Biden frequently falls. It's easy to forget that each tumble Biden takes on the steps of Air Force One is a potentially life-threatening event. In fact, 32,000 elderly Americans die per year due to injuries related to falls. The fall Biden took on his bike in Delaware last summer was particularly disturbing because his reflexes didn't seem to activate as he collapsed sideways to the pavement.
Biden also frequently wanders despite being closely handled by his staff and the first lady. Wandering is common among people who develop Alzheimer's disease, which is the fifth leading cause of death in Americans above the age of 65. Reports of his increasingly frequent and severe temper tantrums are also consistent with an Alzheimer's diagnosis, as are his frequent mental lapses in public.
Trump isn't faring much better. While he's maintained his mental acuity, he is visibly heavier than ever. The last physical results from his term as president revealed that his body mass index was 30.4, which is considered obese. His waistline seems to have ballooned significantly since then, a fact he recently admitted . Obesity is particularly deadly for men at Trump's age. The higher someone's BMI, the shorter their lifespan. The life expectancy of an individual with a BMI over 30 is 77.7 years, which will be Trump's age by Super Tuesday. Doubtless, Trump's poor diet and admitted lack of exercise are leading contributors to his obesity. His son, Donald Trump Jr., recently remarked that no one alive has eaten more McDonald's per capita than his father.
Trump is also a relentlessly negative person, which tends to exacerbate poor health, particularly in the elderly . People who regularly engage in negative emotions are more likely to develop dementia than those who don't, and people who are frequently hostile have a higher risk of developing heart disease. It stands to reason that Trump's tendency toward negative emotion will become more pronounced in the coming months as he attempts to fend off multiple federal indictments that carry the potential of a life sentence while running for president.
Of the two possibilities, a premature Trump death is the more harrowing. Forty percent of the country would immediately pour into the streets for a victory parade that would make Pride month look like supper with Great-Aunt Doris. Another 40% would scour the internet for the real story — after the Russiagate hoax and the Hunter Biden laptop cover-up, who could blame them? Others would greet revelers in the streets with AR-15s slung over their shoulders. Who knows what might happen next?
A premature Biden death would be less immediately intense but no less calamitous. It would elevate Vice President Kamala Harris, a politician of such little stature that she was slated to finish sixth in the presidential primary of her home state in 2020 before dropping out. Her presence atop the Democratic ticket would further debase our national politics. A general election matchup between Harris and Trump would almost certainly be the pettiest, dumbest, and most combustible in American history. The sheer idiocy that would reverberate out from such a clash could finally undo the social fabric for good.
The Trump era has seen the nation undergo one monumental stress test after another. That our democracy still stands is a testament to the genius of the framers. But the sudden death of either Biden or Trump would stretch our internal tension to its limits.
The odds of a major political death are untenably high as we enter presidential election season. There is still a chance that one or both of the parties will come to their senses and deny their respective nominations to these old and unhealthy men. But I'm not holding my breath.