Entry 556: No Country for Old Men (or Women)

As should be painfully and bipartisanly obvious to all voters in America, none of our current presidential candidates is qualified to run the country.

I’m not only talking about the fact that, even if you used all three of their faces, you couldn’t piece together a genuine smile.  I’m referring to their ages.  They’re all too old.

Hillary Clinton, the youngest of the group, will be 69 in October. She’s just nocountryseven years older than I am, only one year older if we were both cocker spaniels. Donald Trump will turn 70 next month.

That means universal health coverage is a non–issue for them; they’re both on Medicare.

At 62, I’m getting too old to sit on the floor to play with my dog. It takes me about 10 minutes to stand up again, all the while saying “Oooh, oh, ow, oy.” Why would we want a president even older than that?

At 69 and 70, you’re supposed to be retired, playing golf, greeting people at Walmart. Not ordering strikes on terrorist strongholds.

In fact, the average retirement age in the U.S. is 63, so both Trump and Clinton should be looking to move into assisted living, not the White House. Plus, they’re taking jobs away from younger people. At least that’s what Ted Cruz told me.

Also, having a president that old will leave the country vulnerable to all sorts of phone scams. Vladimir Putin will be calling constantly about trouble with the president’s credit card account (“Now, Comrade President, if you would just confirm your account number…”). And won’t visiting dignitaries be flummoxed at the idea of a state dinner beginning at 4:30?  Not to mention the frequent interruptions of delicate trade negotiations so that POTUS can pee.

We need a president who’s an agile thinker, but old people are too set in their ways. For instance, I get all thrown off if, for some reason, we have Chinese take-out on Thursday instead of Wednesday. I mean, come on, people! Wednesday is Chinese take-out night! We can’t really abide a Commander-in-Chief who would veto a bill to raise the minimum wage because, hey, it’s been $7.25 since last decade.

Let’s not forget that older people always seem to have trouble with the latest technology, as Hillary has had with email. And 70 is around the age when people start forgetting about political correctness and begin making the kinds of comments my mother comes up with, like how the man at another table in the restaurant reminds her of Raj on The Big Bang Theory even though the other diner is around 50 years old and bald. (He was possibly of South Asian descent, though.) We have already seen some evidence of this syndrome seeping into our political discourse, especially when the conversation has turned to wall-building.

That mention of my mother reminds me of the other candidate. Bernie Sanders is 75. He corbett-monica-09[1]already looks and sounds like the gentleman who rolls around the lobby of my mom’s assisted living place, obnoxiously asking female residents if they want to go with him to see Corbett Monica, an ancient comedian who’s been dead since 1998.

If he is elected to two terms, Bernie will still be president at 83. At 83, my mother was collecting losing lottery tickets so she could deduct them from taxes in case she ever won. She has a drawer full of them going back years.

There’s an excellent chance that an 83-year-old will suffer from bouts of forgetfulness. It’s one thing to misplace the car keys; it’s another when you forget where you put the nuclear launch button.

To give you an idea how old Bernie is, Ronald Reagan, our oldest president, was only 77 when he left office.  And there’s a good possibility that Margaret Thatcher was running the country for the last couple of years of his term.

There are those of you who would accuse me of ageism, but, really, I’m too old for that. I’m just suggesting that the country might be better served by people who may still be alive when the consequences of their actions are truly felt.

The bottom line is this: we really should have a mandatory retirement age for all our elected officials. Then maybe our government won’t be run by a bunch of crotchety old people.

See you soon.

P.S. I’ve proposed this before, but this seems to be an appropriate time to mention it again: Our ballots should have a “none-of-the-above” choice indicating that the voter took the time to vote, but wasn’t thrilled with any of the selections. That way, voters could express dissatisfaction without appearing to be apathetic. If “None of the Above” wins an election, it has to be held again with all different candidates. Eventually, a decent person might run. He or she will probably lose, but at least we’ll have had a shot.

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