Letter to the Editor: Presidents are living longer these days


Friday, March 2, 2018

The president recently underwent his yearly physical examination, as required.

The Navy doctor who performed the physical declared that the president was in good shape for a septuagenarian.

He’s sort of roly-poly, President Trump is, but he’s tall at 6 foot 3 inches and carries the extra pounds pretty well.

The doctor alluded to the prez’s good genes. That helps matters, having good genes.

President Trump plays golf, but apparently doesn’t work out otherwise.

Most all presidents have been golfers beginning with “Ike,” President Eisenhower.

JFK was a golfer, as were Gerald Ford, Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, and both Presidents Bush were golfers, too.

In the old movie “Seven Days in May,” made during the height of the Cold War with the former U.S.S.R, the actor portraying the president is annoyed at the preoccupation with his physical health.

“They ought to worry about my mental health,” he mutters, or words to that effect.

It makes a certain sense, being more concerned about one’s mental health than his physical health.

After all, the president controls the nuclear war option. The “button”.

Here, the reasoning must be related to the old classical view first advanced by the Greeks (or was it the Romans?)

Sound body, sound mind.

If one’s body is fit and performing as it should, then one’s mind will be functioning as a high level as well.

U.S. presidents don’t smoke as a rule. They don’t imbibe either, not that we know. President Trump is a famous tee-totaler, which has to be unusual for a native New Yorker. He’s not from the Bible Belt, where tee-totalers are fairly common. U.S. presidents live long lives, too. Jimmy Carter is 93, George H.W. Bush is 93, also.

The job of being president is demanding for sure. It requires that one be in relatively good health, although one need not be a fitness buff.

Is the job more taxing now?

That doesn’t appear to be the case. Both Reagan and Ford lived into their nineties. In recent times, four presidents have lived beyond 90! 

People are living longer these days, including our presidents.


Rocky Mount