Monday, July 21, 2008

Pam Varkony is Back in the Blogosphere

... and she's mad as hell at the appearance of yet another 'ISM. For Barack Obama, its RacISM. For Hillary, it's SexISM. For John McCain, it's AgeISM.

OK. She's not really mad as hell. But she's still arguing forcefully that McCain's age (he's older than dirt) is being used against him. And she's right, too. MyDD, in a blog entitled "Too Old and Brain-Dead," declares McCain unfit because ... horrors ... he does not use the Internet.

The Constitution does allow ageism, but only against presidential aspirants who are less than thirty-five years old. After just finishing a biography about Alexander the Great - who died in his thirties - I know why. Alexander's empire, such as it was, died with him. Perhaps a million people died or were enslaved for ... nothing.

Not so great.

I was once young and stupid myself. Now I'm old and stupid. At age 57, my mind is still a steel trap, but it's become awful rusty. I spend hours looking for my glasses, and they're on my head! We're all aware of our own mortality. We do slow down as we get older. That's life. No law can change that. That's why, eight years ago, McCain himself expressed doubt about running for the presidency now. "If I were 43 or 53, it might be different. But I'm 63, a pretty old geezer."

The real question is whether McCain, at age 72, or Obama, at age 46, can handle this most demanding job in the world. Do they possess the wisdom of a 57 year-old sage like me?

If the answer in both cases is yes, then age is irrelevant.

(Photo credit: Youngstown Funnies)

16 comments:

A.J.C. said...

For Barack Obama, its RacISM. For Hillary, it's SexISM. For John McCain, it's AgeISM.

This election is showing the entire world how many people in this country are still uncomfortable with people of different races, genders, and so on. It's also showing how divided the United States truly are.

As for age being irrelevant, I completely agree. It's usually those who argue age that have no real argument.

A.J.C. said...

I'd like to adjust a bit of what I just wrote.

Concerning the presidency, age could be an issue, but only if it's linked to health. Correct me if I'm wrong, but both candidates are healthy.

not so casual observer said...

The medical experts tell us that longevity, and vitality are in many ways genetically determined. Last year Mccain's 96 year old mother was denied a rental car in France due to her age, so she bought a car and drove herself around instead. Fast forward a generation, and having met Mccain, I can tell you he is NOT an old man, and the doctors say that despite the grim reminders of torture, he is VERY healthy.

Anonymous said...

Age is absolutely an issue, as is race. The campaigns, people and MSM made them issues, and will keep them issues.

Should they be issues? Of course not. But it's reality. Any talk otherwise ignores what's really happening out there.

The Banker

Anonymous said...

Hmm - just go out into the Lehigh valley as a 71 year old and apply for a job - good luck with that.

Sarina said...

It's not necessarily age that's the issue for me, but whether someone is in touch with the public or, at least, seems relatable.

Sarina said...

Let me clarify that, of course, a candidate's policies matter most!

hayshaker said...

I think some people at 72 are more "with it" than others at 72. McCain seems to be able to travel around and give speeches and seems up to the energy level required.

The question is are McCain's ideas aged and is his generation up to the task of governance any longer?

And it isn't about using the internet, it's about being in touch with something that is ubiquitous in society. The internet is like TV. It's like McCain saying he never watches TV or even worse, that he never seeks out varied opinion. How can one say they are in touch by simply reading the NYT and Washington Post? I can't stand when people say they are computer "illiterate" like it takes some great mental acuity to grasp clicking a mouse button. It merely shows me laziness and the refusal to learn new things.

Anonymous said...

Hayshaker, agreed with most not all.

I know several older (and some middle aged) people who have refused cell phones, email, etc. and quite frankly they get more quality work done than most people I know.

Not being tech savvy doesn't connote laziness. If you're lazy, you can be as connected as the next a$$hole with a Blackberry / iphone / bluetooth headset / etc. and still never get anything done.

McCain gets stuff done. That's my biggest problem w/ Obama - given his experience level I'm just not sure he's ever gotten anything done

The Banker

Bernie O'Hare said...

It's like McCain saying he never watches TV or even worse, that he never seeks out varied opinion

Really?

Except for PBS and Channel 69 News, I rarely watch anything on TV. And that's precisely because I prefer to seek varied opinion over the slop that is fed to us by the news/entertainment/marketing industry.

hayshaker said...

But you watch TV. I didn't say anything about the quantity or quality of what is watched - just that it is not alien to your existence like the internet is to McCain.

The Banker - I'd be VERY hesitant to do business with anyone in finance who described themselves as "computer illiterate."

One cannot deny the transformative power that the internet has played on our economy and our very society. To deny it is to live with one's head implanted firmly in the sand.

Perhaps it shows the life of a career politican who has legions of people to do his bidding, of a person who never needs to shop for himself or do any research personally.

Anonymous said...

Hayshaker, while we're drifting OT here, you just hit on one of the biggest issues we have - Career Politicians. They have no idea what it is to earn a living or deal w/ the regulations they pass.

Bring back the days of true part-time citizen legislators (at a part time salary), complete with term limits. Make them earn an honest days pay to live.

The Banker

Bernie O'Hare said...

But you watch TV. I didn't say anything about the quantity or quality of what is watched

Yeah, you did. You said, The internet is like TV. It's like McCain saying he never watches TV. I don't think TV or the Internet has anything to do with seeking out varied opinion. That's tripe, designed to make you feel good about yourself. Don't.

We are creatures of habit. And just as McCain never got used to the Internet, you watch the same channels on what is, after all, called a boob tube.

I thought you wanted to talk about the issues. I can't popint out that Sam Bennett looks like a moron during a concession speech buut you can argue that McCain is an idiot bc he does not use the Internet.

Good luck with that argument.

hayshaker said...

I didn't say he was an idiot. I said he was lazy and out of touch with popular culture and alternative media.

There are two different issues that you are combining into one to create a straw man. One issue is ignoring the internet as a segment of popular culture. This is somewhat excusable but comes off like George Sr. ogling the grocery scanner in disbelief. The second issue is not seeking out varied opinion in alternative media (which the internet most strongly represents).

radical moderate said...

I think some people at 72 are more "with it" than others at 72. McCain seems to be able to travel around and give speeches and seems up to the energy level required.

The question is are McCain's ideas aged and is his generation up to the task of governance any longer?

And it isn't about using the internet, it's about being in touch with something that is ubiquitous in society. The internet is like TV. It's like McCain saying he never watches TV or even worse, that he never seeks out varied opinion. How can one say they are in touch by simply reading the NYT and Washington Post? I can't stand when people say they are computer "illiterate" like it takes some great mental acuity to grasp clicking a mouse button. It merely shows me laziness and the refusal to learn new things.


I agree wholeheartedly. This is the problem with our society. No one takes the initiative to do things. They just whine and bicker.

radical moderate said...

Age has little to do with me not supporting McCain. He has proven himself to be wishy washy. He has given into the political machine. 8 years ago he really opposed Bush and went at him hard! Now he kisses his but.

I as the Radical Moderate do not endorse either major candidate. Vote Liberterian! Barr 08!