USA Elections: Age matters?

Posted in Politics by clogsville on October 18, 2008

I’m not an American but Dutch. To some people that may disqualify me from commenting on the US-elections. If only because of our very direct stake in the war in Afghanistan I beg to differ. There are several things though that strike me as odd regarding US-elections, to say the least. I’ll probably never fully comprehend the concept of voter-registration, let alone the apparent lack of an ID-check, nor the fact that union-bosses can use their position (and union’s treasuries) to sponsor a candidate of their chosing. A laudable concept is that there are apparently no electoral age-limits for public office: as long a constituents want to vote for you, you’re in. However, this very inclusive policy seems to be threatened by the very group that claims to be progressive and tolerant. The number of direct and indirect (constant use of ‘old fish’, ‘same old policies’ etc.) slurs regarding Sen. McCain’s age used this election are legion. Somehow so-called progressive Americans suddenly think McCain is too old to hold public office.

And that surprises me.

Like Lance Armstrong, McCain has fought cancer and won. Lance is lauded a hero for doing his thing again,  so to me McCain also proves his pluck (again). The best reason however is that there are many Senators who are much older than McCain. From Barack’s  teenage-paradise Hawaii come for example the  -Democratic – Daniels Inouye and Akaka, both 84 and counting. Most glaringly, the eldest, Senator Robert Byrd (D) from West Virginia, is old enough to be McCain’s father: 90 years and ticking. He’s even President ad tempore, meaning if Bush, Cheney and Pelosi would drop dead tomorrow (I know, it sounds like a bad joke), the Democrats basically feature the 90+-year old Robert Byrd as POTUS till the newly elected one is sworn in.  


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