Why is it so chic, so smart to say any octogenarians running for office, or in Joe Biden’s case, for reelection as President, are way too old and should call it a day?
As the new publisher of Boomer Times, serving the senior community in Florida, and with my own big toe dipping into that octogenarian forest myself, I have trouble with that smug idea.
I still feel fit as a fiddle, and as my concert violinist dad would say, the older the Stradivarius, the more valuable.
So why do we as a culture devalue age . . . in ourselves?
Why is age perceived as such an enemy, such a weakness, such a clunker in politics?
Why do we want so knowledgeable, well-worn, fine-tuned, albeit ageing politicians put out to pasture, hung out to dry, when they still have so much to offer? Perhaps something called wisdom?
Trump’s heading for 80 himself. On June 14, he’ll be 77. Is that going to be close to the end of his MAGA road too? If elected President again, he’ll be, pardon the expression, an octogenarian in office. Yet, I doubt it’s going to slow him down!
So, what’s so wrong with that?
Some of the smartest people I know are in their 80’s and would make capable presidents of companies, condos or even countries. So, what’s so terrible about an octogenarian president of the United States of America? I’ll bet billionaire Buffett would agree aging doesn’t make you less effective. It hasn’t hurt him any and he was born in 1930.
What’s wrong with wisdom and experience, even if a president once in a while trips, occasionally stutters? What’s the big deal?
When you hear or read the word “ancient,” you likely think of something old and outdated. We use it as a pejorative. But you may be surprised to hear that many of the ideas and institutions that came from ancient Greece still exist today.
We have the ancient Greeks to thank for things like present-day democracy, libraries, the modern alphabet, and even zoology.
Even Plato had reached that octogenarian plateau.
Thanks to Plato, we know about another old timer, Socrates and his Socratic method, based on critical thinking, reasoning and logic.
Philosopher Socrates taught students by asking question after question, seeking to expose contradictions in the students’ thoughts and ideas to guide them to solid, tenable conclusions. The method is still popular in legal classrooms today.
Nevertheless, Plato made his own important contributions, influencing Western philosophy by developing several of its many branches: epistemology, metaphysics, ethics, and aesthetics. Plato is also famous for being the teacher of another important philosopher, Aristotle.
Plato was also a prominent writer. One of his most famous writings, Republic, examines justice, its role in our world, and its relationship to happiness, themes familiar to the founding fathers of the United States, some of whom weren’t so young themselves.
Benjamin Franklin was active until age 84. Even on his death bed, he spewed wit. One day his daughter asked him to change positions in bed, and he reportedly said, “A dying man can do nothing easy.”
Well, that’s my sermon today and please vote early as all candidates are, pardon the expression, aging faster than a raccoon climbs palm trees.
When he was younger, Tom Madden used to be called “SPIN MAN,” the title of his first book. Today, he’s the “WORDSHINE MAN,” the title or his latest book, because that’s what he does these days, polish press releases for his dynamic daughter Adrienne Mazzone, who runs his PR firm. And when Madden’s not shining words, he’s placing the reputations of his clients into a media spotlight with masterful public relations at his 40-year-old PR firm TransMedia Group in Boca Raton, FL.