Joe Biden Is More Than His Age

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Credit…Ben Wiseman

To the Editor:

Re “The Overlooked Truths About Biden’s Age,” by Frank Bruni (Opinion, March 30):

Mr. Bruni was absolutely right to point out that the presidency is not a one-person job. When we go to the polls in November we are electing a general manager/captain/coach. His job is then to get the team assembled and come up with a plan. That is what our executive branch is about.

The president needs the right people under him and around him. Joe Biden put together a great cabinet and other advisers quite quickly three and a half years ago. Seven and a half years ago, Donald Trump put together a band of conniving circus performers.

The country needs a team that will offer support as well as alternatives and criticism to the president and will keep us all safe “from sea to shining sea.” Let’s not focus on the speed of Mr. Biden’s gait or the loudness of his voice. We need to keep our sights set on his sanity and on his mental abilities, which are still functioning quite well.

Janis Delson
New York

To the Editor:

Like President Biden, I turn 82 this fall. As I imagine is true for us both, the stairs have gotten steeper, the newsprint smaller, sleep more interrupted. And, yes, we sometimes experience brief memory freezes as the memory bubbles surface more slowly through our brain’s molasses. As fellow old men, we understand the difference between forgetting a name and dementia.

Yet my profession — psychological science — documents that we octogenarians retain or grow three important strengths, which, to affirm Frank Bruni, “get too little consideration”:

Crystallized intelligence. Our knowledge and the ability to apply it crest later in life. Thus many historians, philosophers and artists produce their most noteworthy work in late career.

Wisdom. With maturity, people can better take multiple perspectives, offer sagacity amid conflicts and appreciate their fallibility. The wisdom to know when we know a thing and when we do not is born of experience.

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