11.02.2002

Yes, Grandpa Mondale


Intersting article in the NY Times today. It's talking about the growing "gerontocracy," supposedly the growing trend in seniors taking roles of leadership.

Two things I think the article misses:
1) It's not that people are working closer to the time when they pass on, it's that, with modern healthcare, people are living longer. What once were debilitating diseases related to aging are not so serious; people now regularly live into the 80s and 90s. The CIA Factbook lists US male life expectancy as 74.5 years. And nearly 13% of the population is over 65. Why is it so surprising that that a few (and the article only lists a few) of these people are sprightly enough to work?

2) When talking about elections, as this article beings by, age is good. Especially when one is an established politician beginning a campaign on short notice. Mondale. Lautenburg. Everyone knows their names; they would not need to campaign as much as a younger politician would. It's not experience or wisdom that's a factor here, it's the name recognition.

And please, no one mention Thurmond. He's (thankfully) a hapless aberration the likes of which we (if the heavens smile upon us) will never see again.