Sunday, October 26, 2008

Age Ain't Nothing but a Number


On Friday, one of my fellow bloggers made a very valid point that the President’s job is more stressful than any CEO’s job at any point in history. And for this reason, he asked how anyone could consider a 72 year old guy for the biggest job in the World.

He concluded by saying: "At the end of the day, you can’t be 72 and get my vote for leadership. Sorry like Atari, John."

Love the Atari reference, but I'd like to argue the point that age ain't nothing but a number. I hear 70 is the new 50 (or maybe that's just what they tell people like me fast approaching 40).

Today, I watched my mother finish her seventh Marine Corps Marathon. I ran a marathon once the summer I turned 30. It took me the equivalent of an entire work-day WITH the lunch break included to complete what my mother did in half the time. As much as I hate to admit it, even at age 61, my mother can run circles around me and look great while doing it. Check her out at the finish line in 2007 and 2008.

Truth be told, if it was clear to me that John McCain:
  • proposed doing something more than "trickling on" the working poor;
  • made an attempt to actually engage people of color, especially those living in our nation's most challenging rural and urban communities
  • seemed disturbed or even vaguely aware of the fact that 50% of Black and Latino young people are dropping out of our nation's schools, essentially cementing their fate and earning potential before the age of 17;
  • appeared as interested in rebuilding, safe schools, reliable infrastructure and peace-keeping right here in the states as he appears to be about nation-building in Iraq; or
  • placed as much emphasis on diplomacy and peace than he did on maintaining some John Wayne, tough guy, American dominance at all costs, Cold War mentality

...if John McCain were all of these things and more, AND 72, I wouldn't mind him being at the helm of this American enterprise.

But John McCain won't be getting my vote on November 4th--not because he's almost eligible for his 20-year AARP membership pin. He won't be getting my vote because I disagree with his fundamental philosophy about the role of government, his tax policy, and his seemingly disregard and ambivalence for anything having to do with domestic and social policy.

For me, if you demonstrate a more than a passing interest in and are ready to address the needs of ALL of the people (especially those most in need of assistance), you could actually get my vote for the biggest job in the world whether you're 47 or 72.

Our nation--in fact our world--has incredible challenges to face. We need the active civic participation, energy and idealism from people of all ages, from our very young to our marathon grandmas, and even our 72 year old mavericks.

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