Sta Hungry Stay Foolish

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

A blog by Leon Oudejans

Geriatrics in American politics

14 September 2016


Several media have stated that Barack Obama (1961) is looking forward to his retirement. No wonder given his extreme facial ageing since 2008. My mother (1934) is of the opinion that there should be an age limit in politics of 60. Born in 1960 myself, I fully agree. Many Western countries show a rejuvenation in politics. Justin Trudeau (1971) of Canada was another recent example.

The geriatrics in American politics is demonstrated by Hillary Clinton (1947) and Donald Trump (1946). Given the stress of a presidential campaign, it’s hardly a miracle that Clinton has physical issues (eg, dizziness, pneumonia). I’m more concerned about the sleep deprived Donald Trump. His erratic mental behaviour may well result from a chronic lack of sleep.

The call for a strong leader and the admiration for Vladimir Putin (1952) suddenly gets a different context. The Russian President indeed seems very fit compared to these overdue US pensioners. If Obama’s ageing is any indication of the stress of being President, the running mates of Clinton and Trump – Tim Kaine (1958) and Pence (1959) – better prepare for action.

The trend of geriatrics in American politics is intriguing. Bernie Sanders (1941) was another example. It doesn’t help that younger candidates make terrible gaffes. Some examples: Gary Johnson (1953) – “What is Aleppo?” Or Marco Rubio (1971) and his Marcobot. Ted Cruz (1970) had a string of gaffes before he surrendered. The lack of knowledge in American politics is astonishing. This may be another reason for the rise of fact checking by agencies like PolitiFact.

The main difference between US politics and any other country’s politics is money. The cost of a US presidential campaign now runs in the billions of US$ and is far beyond any other country (eg, MJ). The financing of US political campaigns is the place where Money meets Politics. Apart from the usual average small political donations, Money only trusts Politics if it listens and wins.

Age might be a bonus to Money. Age has lost its youthful principles and gained determination and perseverance. A quest for history and legacy may also blind someone’s ambitions. Youth and its principles may always turn around against Money. Age knows the art of loyalty.

The power of Money in US politics is demonstrated by Donald Trump. Firstly, by publicly refusing the strings attached funds of some billionaire political masterminds, and secondly by using his “own” money for buying his way into the US 2016 Presidential election. It’s worrisome that Americans still view this process as evidence of “democracy”.

Perhaps my main issue with geriatrics in American politics is that you hardly know what you are voting for (eg, policies). The best – or worst – example is the ongoing flip-flopping by Donald Trump. Hardly anyone knows where he really stands for. The large number of Republicans who are now supporting Hillary Clinton is – to some extent – similar evidence.

The inexperience and the dogmatism of young politicians never appealed to me. I also don’t like the vast pragmatism of seasoned career politicians. The distance between both couldn’t be bigger.

Young Gun Silver Fox – Distance between us (2015) – artists, tumblr, video, Wiki

Note: no lyrics online


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