Joe’s Journal

Old guys rule: Should they?

Ramblings from an old scribbler
Wed, 09/04/2019 - 8:00am

The Red Sox had a day off the other day, and I flipped through the alleged news shows to catch up.

The talk show hosts and their rented experts went on and on dissecting the mass shootings, the economy, the Middle East, Europe, and other world hot spots. All tried to relate these events to the current occupant of the White House, and, more importantly, how it might affect the 2020 presidential election.

I know, I know, it is too early to concentrate on presidential politics, as the Iowa caucuses won’t be held until Feb. 3, and the New Hampshire primary is a week later. For the record, Maine recently abandoned the caucus system in favor of a primary election to be held on Super Tuesday, March 3.

As the so-called experts gnawed over the tea leaves to divine the future of our nation’s leadership, it seems to me that no one is talking about what I believe is the elephant in the room – age.

Let’s just for a moment set aside the personality and policies of three major candidates. I know it is tough to do, but humor me, for a moment. Answer this question. Do we want a senior citizen sitting in the Oval Office? Think about it.

Before I am accused of ageism or being prejudiced against the elderly, I confess to being older than any of the three senior candidates.

Here are the facts. Democrat Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders are 77 going on 78. Donald Trump, 73, is already the oldest person elected to the presidency, edging out Ronald Reagan who was 69, when he was sworn in for his first term.

Did the recent TV footage of Woodstock trigger flashbacks to the rock and roll/peace and love generation? Do you remember protesting the Vietnam War?

Great memories all, but that was when we could party late into the night and still get to work on time. Are we as capable as we were back then? Sure we are. Aren’t we?

We all know the presidency is the toughest job in the world. I’ll grant you, the president has help, and a crack medical staff on call, someone to cook and clean for him and others to make sure he remembers to tie his shoes and zip his fly.

I know he has the Secretary of Defense and the Joint Chiefs to help him manage the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard. His attorney general handles the FBI and the justice system. The Secretary of State controls the rest of the world, and the National Security Advisor referees the battles between the various intelligence agencies. All three candidates have very loving and capable wives to help out and advise.

Even with all that help, the stress and pressures of that job will still blow the bulb out of the presidential blood pressure cuff. Think about the stress of dealing with or being responsible for a crisis of any sort.

At any moment, a bunch of idiots might fly an airliner into a building, or a bunch of zealots might grab some weapons, jump into a Boston whaler and zoom out into a shipping lane and whack an oil tanker or, perish the thought, a U.S. Navy vessel.

The world seems filled with blockheaded leaders who could push a button and send us all to the brink of a terrible war. A misplaced word from the White House could trigger the computerized buy and sell programs to send the DOW over the cliff. It seems there is always some whacko who decides that it would be a significant political statement for “the cause” to pick up an AR-15 with a 100 round magazine and …

I am not going to get into the tensions over abortion, racial inequality, immigration, #metoo, and the Second Amendment.

There are storms and floods and fires. What should we, or can we, do about climate change? I am afraid it just won’t do to pretend it doesn’t exist.

When Boothbay lobstermen find sea horses in their traps, and Deborah Bronk, Barney Balch and the gang of merry brainiacs at the Bigelow Lab tell us something is going on, I choose to believe them.

And, dear reader, there is a bit of tension from politics. Nuff said about that.

It will be up to the next president to cope with these problems and others that are so hush-hush that even the usual leakers zip their lips.

In the next year, we will all chew over the issues and personalities as we pick a candidate to lead our nation.

So, I ask you, do we want to elect a president who is in his middle 70s before he walks into the Oval Office?

Just a thought.