Excerpt from Tilden Memorabilia: A Series of Historical Letters
The approaching Presidential election may be regarded as another "Impending Crisis." Mistakes made now may be attended with irretrievable consequences. We made one in 1876. Shall we make another in 1880? I have been thinking a good deal of late, as probably a great many others have been doing, whether it is wise policy to put very old men at the head of the Government. I think it is bad policy, because an aged man holds his life by a frail tenure and may pass away at any moment. Frequent changes of administration are full of peril. They disturb the country and are unfavorable not only to the national and business interests, but to the stability of our institutions. To put an infirm man of 70 years of age at the head of affairs is to run a great and unnecessary risk. That is the age at which the constitutions of many of the States retire Judges from their seats on the bench. Such a provision is founded in wisdom, the inspired wisdon of the Bible, for 70 years is what the Psalmist allows as the measure of our days. "The days of our age are three-score years and ten; and though men be so strong that they come to four-score years, yet is their strength then but labor and sorrow; so soon passeth it away, and we are gone."
There are two things of great interest to the American people at this day upon which the Constitution is silent: First, It does not prohibit a candidate from running for a third term for President; Second, It does not disqualify a citizen who is 70 years of age from filling the Presidential office.
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