Tuesday, November 22, 2022

Biden's Age - A Problem for the Media - But Not Sensible Citizens Uninfected by Ageism


The parade of pop-eyed pundits calling for Joe Biden to step down in the running for president is staggering. From Bret Stephens, to Hugh Hewitt, and Ross Douthat and David Brooks, it's like a veritable firehose of nagging Nellies who are hysterical over Biden turning 80.  (This past Sunday).  The usual pundits blabbering holds that he is clearly "feeble" (which he absolutely is not, he bikes regularly) and fumbles his words (Newsflash, many older folks do!). Oh, and has memory issues (Well, I wager I have more than Joe).  

Most amusing was a WSJ piece last Thursday( p. A6), which cited: "a poll of 94,000 registered voters", noting:

More than half of the electorate thinks Mr. Biden, 79 years old, lacks the mental capacity to effectively serve as president"

Lacks the mental capacity to serve as president?  The guy got 4 major bills passed in the last year (American Rescue Act, Infrastructure Investment & Jobs Act,Chips Act, Inflation Reduction Act).  That's more than Trump accomplished in his four full years, not counting his 'build the wall' and charge it to Mexico - which flopped.

What are these WSJ polling respondents taking, magic shrooms?   High dose MJ candies?  At the very least Biden has shown he's high functioning and more than capable - something Trump hasn't.  Oh, wait. Did I forget Biden's masterful Ukraine policy? See e.g. this WaPo article:

So I suspect we can say this WSJ poll carries about as much weight as their "red wave" pre-midterm poll forecasts.  It's as if the American political punditry has never heard of multiple people in their 80s leading nations, as well as organizations, but I suspect 9 of 10 Americans hasn't either.  So let's take a rundown to abolish some of this elderly ignorance which I believe fuels the national disease of ageism:   

- Harald V, King of Norway, 85 yrs.

- Pope Francis, 85 yrs.

- Michael Aoun, President of Lebanon, 87 yrs.

- Paul Biya, President of Cameroon, 89 yrs.

And let's remember that had Queen Elizabeth II not had to deal with Covid- related health issues she might still be the regent at the age of 96.

For more, go to:

So what is so different about this country, the US of A, that it has such a phobia about elder leaders?  I theorize that since at least the 60s the nation has been captured by what I call youth cultism, making youth a fetish, and the aspiration to keep it an obsession. In line with this misplaced veneration is the erroneous conviction that youth alone has all or most of the answers, and is most to be trusted in running everything  - from a corporation to a country.  Which is total baloney. This is also why so much is being made about Biden being "the oldest president in U.S. history."  

So instead of applauding that milestone, the ageist punditry holds it against him as if it's some kind of major liability or dysfunction.  How different that is from assorted Oriental cultures which venerate the elderly and regard their wisdom as a critical repository of knowledge, custom and culture. But not in the U.S.   Once a person hits the big 7- oh, and it's "all over" - or so we've been told.  Often in not so many words, but with plenty of nonverbal signals.  

When you press some of these pundits, when you tag them with ageism, they instantly try to dodge it by saying:  "No, no, that's not it. But look, he will be nearing 82 if he runs again in 2024 and if he's elected what happens if he dies? Well, Kamala Harris would become president! Horror of horrors!"  

Indeed, in a relatively recent op-ed George Will in the WaPo presented just such an argument, e.g.

But that is Will's opinion, and after all, he's a WaPo opinion columnist.
However, the sundry ways he denigrated Kamala Harris were deplorable and also signaled for me that the real reason he wants Biden gone: his pathological fear Harris could assume the presidency.  Read his piece and see if you agree.  

 It was gratifying, though, to see Jonathan Capeheart's much more honest take on the issue, with cogent reasoning on why he may well be the Democrat's only logical choice.  See link at end of post. 

 And I have also argued this case previously, 

Especially if Trump were to run again - which he plans to - and especially if he's nominated. My bottom line was simple: Trump must be stopped at all costs, even if it means re-electing  an 82- year old Joe Biden.  That must be to preserve what's left of our democracy, and fuck the naysayers and nervous Nellies. In the same piece I cited  Barbara F. Walter, a political science professor at the University of California at San Diego.  She serves on a CIA advisory panel called the Political Instability Task Force that monitors countries around the world and predicts which of them are most at risk of deteriorating into violence. 

It also turns out to be applicable to those nations with the highest degree of political polarization such as the U.S.  The fact the fascist, pro-Trump GOP managed to capture the House – even if by a few more seats – is testament to this.  (And on learning from the WSJ this mainly occurred because these maggots peeled off more Dem votes from college educated whites and also minorities - not to mention 6 points more white suburban women.  I just hope they know what they're in for now, and it will not be easing inflation or bettering the economy. It will be nonstop bogus investigations and political grandstanding.  

So I have no problem with Joe Biden running again, if it means beating the ass off of Trump again.  As for his "halting gait", please. Have you seen him on his speed bike?  As for the verbal "flubs" the pundits keep reminding us about, I will take those any day instead of Trump's nonstop vitriolic tweets and bombastic buffoonery. 

All the crappola about his mental fitness is also a bunch of bollocks, especially when one compares it to Trump's psychosis.  There's no way in hell anyone can convince me that Trump has more mentally and psychologically on the ball than Biden.  And as far as age impacting his acuity, that is a game for "armchair gerontologists" as Dr. S. Jay Olshansky put it in recent NY Times piece. According to Dr. Olshansky:  

"In the distorted mirrors of social media commentary, every slip is magnified into supposed proof of senility."

 But that again is a function and also a feature of the youth cultism (as well as culture) which dominates this country.  The sad fact is that Biden's age is only a problem for certain regressive sections of the media, it isn't for more advanced citizens who welcome his decency and ability to get things done - which so few don't appreciate.

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