But now—physically ailing and mentally in somewhat of a fog--I am so estranged from what I can only observe from a distance that I feel like an alien. Oh, I read what is left of a major metropolitan newspaper every morning from beginning to end and am informed about the political and social spectrum by reading and watching cable news on TV, but I hardly ever go out and socialize with tattooed young people cloaked like monks in hoodies who do not look up when you pass them because they have ear phones wrapped around their heads while peering down at little square flat phones. They never say hi when I try and greet them. Hell, they don't hear me, and since they're looking down at the phones they don't see me, so it is as if I, to them, do not exist, and, furthermore, probably don't count, since I'm on the way out.
I don't blame them. What good am I anyway as a member of this country and this world, besides breathing air and taking up space and consuming whatever I can gather that is good for me so I can hang on a little while longer and become further alienated.
I learned a whole lot about what goes on with younger people when my 39 year old nephew visited me for 3 days and nights over Labor day weekend. He wanted to get away from the madness of his high pressure job and the relationships that go with it, as well as Los Angeles. Supposedly, my sister's son, who has a masters degree in business but is also an artist and is in charge of creating advertising for national corporations, has a lot in common with me, possibly because he is still unmarried and there is fear among my sister and brother in law that he will end up somewhat like me—a lifetime bachelor with absolutely no desire to have kids and therefore produce no grandchildren to dote upon.
When this nephew was not stuck on his high tech phone and computer, or dealing with complications with friends and relationships and complaints from those renting his Air B&B in Big Bear Lake, he was making some sense.
He said, after observing me limp around and flounder conversationally from memory loss, “I think it's ridiculous that somebody over 65 can be president of this country when they're well past their prime and do not have all their faculties and are probably unaware of what people think and feel. A person in his prime years, like Obama, who was still mentally and physically strong but also experienced enough in his 40s, is perfect.”
He's right. At 75, I cannot imagine myself driving a cab or tending bar any more, much less running a country and dealing with the hardest, most hellish, pressure packed, scrutinized job in the world.
Recently, books are out attesting to our current blithering President at 71 throwing infantile rages in the White House, tweeting emotionally untethered nonsense in the wee hours, and being so feeble minded and misguided that his closest advisers refer to him as an “idiot” and a “moron.” The young leader of North Korea outsmarted and made an ass of him in a meeting after calling him a “dotard,” which, according to the dictionary, means a “person in decline, or senile, or lacking mental alertness.”
This certainly describes me and probably Joe Biden, too, an ex vice president supposedly high on the list of democratic candidates to run against Trump in 2020. Biden looks like a scrofulous old bag of sticks and talks too slow and is sappy of sentimentality. Grab some young guy like Beto O'Rourke or a woman like Kamala Harris or any of the young bucks in the party and go after the dotard.
Right now, the people running this country are the senate's oldest republican leaders, people like Mitch McConnell, John Cornyn, Charles Grassley, and Orrin Hatch, a crew so clueless and out of touch from today's world that they should be immediately moth-balled and told to shut up and have absolutely nothing to do with the future of this country or anybody's lives. These doddering, creaky old fogies haven't had a clue as to the needs and minds and hearts of today's youth in decades and are mere mouth-pieces for the young aides writing everything down for them and whispering in their ears when they hold hearings aired on cable news stations. They are embarrassing, shameless, rigid, and in some cases out-rightly compromised to the point of abject stupidity—take mush-mouth 85 year old Charles Grassley of Iowa.
Senator Pat Leahy from Vermont, who looks and sounds 95 but is only 78, and Diane Feinstein, at 90, have no business conducting business of any kind and are only in power because young people are too lazy and unconcerned or cynical to vote. And I don't want to hear about their experience, how they are fountains of knowledge and wisdom. They are not. They are products of a bygone system that allows such people to hang around forever. Age discrimination? My ASS! For God's sake look in the mirror! Take a gander at yourselves babbling incoherently or as if you've lost your mind on TV? Orrin Hatch! Calling the hate-mongering ignoramus in the White House one of our “greatest presidents?” Shame on you!
They are like leeches, clinging to the flesh of America, sucking its good blood, unable to give up their power, incapable of admitting like all of us should that it is no longer our world to operate, and that in our compromised state we should hand it over to the young and strong and agile-minded.
Term limits? How about, as my nephew proposes, age limits on these clueless, obdurate fossils.