It happened again. Saturday, November 11, Joe Biden was where he was supposed to be on Veterans Day – participating in a wreath-laying ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery. The question is: Did he know where he was and what he was doing? A video of the solemn occasion shows the president wandering around in a confused state until a serviceman points him in the right direction. As most Americans know, this is not a rare incident and barely makes headlines these days. What is of interest is Biden’s cognitive decline has inspired the left and right to seriously question former President Donald Trump’s senior moments. After all, they say, one is 80, and the other is 77.
As medical experts will tell you, not all ages are created equal. One person may be sharp as a tack into their 90s while another suffers from various cognitive challenges at 70. It all depends upon the individual.
Cognitive decline happens to everyone and shows up in mental processing, word retrieval, and attentiveness. However, there is a difference between cognitive decline and cognitive impairment. Cognitive impairment is not merely a slip of the tongue but reveals itself in complex executive functions like spatial relations, poor balance, difficulty controlling emotions, and confusion. The bottom line is that decline is normal, while impairment reveals an underlying medical problem.
GOP Challengers Question Trump
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley appear to be vying for first place in a game of gotcha involving Republican frontrunner Donald Trump. At 45 and 51, respectively, the former president’s two challengers are hammering away at Mr. Trump’s age and trying to catch every gaffe they can find. The DeSantis war room put out a video on X that showed the former president mixing up the names of people or places.
Meanwhile, Nikki Haley continues to pound away at requiring cognitive testing for politicians over the age of 75. In typical Trumpian fashion, the former president responded, “I’m all for the test.” Whether his rivals can successfully convince the electorate that Mr. Trump is exhibiting a diminished mental acuity is unclear. But they are doing everything in their power to persuade voters that he’s a step slow or, put not so delicately, a few bricks shy of a load.
Trump Facing Incoming From the Left
These attacks on Mr. Trump by his GOP rivals have not been lost on his Democratic challengers. According to a prominent Washington Legacy newspaper, the Biden Campaign is using the Republican criticism of Trump’s verbal gaffes to their advantage. But one wonders if bringing up the former president’s missteps is a wise move considering their candidate carries the heavy baggage of audio and video clips from the last three years that reveal what can only be regarded as damning evidence of cognitive impairment.
From a non-medical point of view, wandering around in a confused state, inappropriate or agitated verbal responses, and repeatedly falling while going up the stairs by Mr. Biden appears to be on a different cognitive level than calling Ron DeSantis Rob – or even confusing the Obama administration with the Biden administration.
No matter whether the individual is friend or foe, it’s difficult to watch someone in mental decline. Still, making the case that Messrs. Biden and Trump are functioning at a similar cognitive level because of their age appears to be a bridge too far.