I do have to say this:

President Joe Biden is too old.

I say it in a non-political way, because I have previously been advised that I don’t know enough about American politics, and I have no wish to offend those who do, but can a man who apparently gets lost on his way to the end of a sentence be competent to conduct the orderly withdrawal of forces from a remote tribal hunting ground like Afghanistan?

President Biden was born in November 1942.   In November this year he will be 79.   Just in case you think I am making a political argument, can I also point out that his most likely rival in the last race for the Democratic nomination, Bernie Sanders, is also 79.

Donald Trump

Donald Trump is 75.

Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House of Representatives (have I got that right?) is 81.

Nancy Pelosil.

As a quick comparison, I offer Boris Johnson (UK Prime Minister) at 57, Emmanuel Macron (French President) at 43, Angela Merkel (Retiring German Chancellor) at 67, Vladimir Putin 68, and Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada, 49 (I know, he dyes his hair).

Boris Johnson

There are things I would like to know, as a small cog in this giant wheel of the ‘Free World’ and my reason for wanting this knowledge is vested interest:  I want my children to stay alive.

emmanuel Macron

In total, how many grams of statins, Bisoprolol, Irbesartan, Rivaroxiban, Fuorosimide or similar are required daily to keep these extravagantly senior politicians functioning?

Angela Merkel

Is there some controlled environment solution for their rest periods, those times when they are away from the public eye (I understand about three days is the average)?  I think back to Michael Jackson, although he was much younger, of course.

Who really pulls the strings?  You see, I can’t believe it is the will of the American people that they should be represented by geriatric wealth magnets who presumably accumulated their fortunes by leeching off them for generations.  The job of President does not seem to be a sinecure, therefore unless you believe its incumbent is fully capable, somebody is doing the work.   If I were the American voter, I would feel entitled to know who that is (or ‘they are’ – see how conspiracy theories can grow?).

Justin Trudeau

It would be disappointing to discover that the cut and run from Afghanistan without regard for the lives it would waste or the pleas of allies it would ignore was truly at the centre of American thought.  It would be preferable, and more plausible, to believe the shambles of withdrawal was at the behest of a congenial old man who, if you discovered him loitering and confused on your doorstep, the charity in you would demand you call the Nursing Home, at the very least.  Will you extend that charity, though, when you have it in your power to reconcile him to a contented old age and keep him away from the nuclear button?

There are so many challenges to this generation – so many pivotal issues.  The balance of superiority is poised to topple towards the East, and there are those of us who do not wish that to happen.   Climate change, internal strife and ‘human rights’ in all their various guises are not restraints that inhibit the ambitions of the Chinese, the Iranians, the newly-emergent Russians.  South America will spill over, not matter how hard or high we build the walls.

In this humble British view, America needs to rediscover the dynamism and vitality of those in middle years who have wisdom enough but also energy enough to recognise and manage change.  Has the political class of whatever colour so fortified itself against the needs of its people that it can’t be questioned or allow its structure to be examined?

Ever since the inception of the nuclear solution it has been hanging there, increasingly accessible to more and more primitive people.  No-one has yet introduced the final spark.  Isolation and confrontation are the flints ready to strike, yet I tend to follow the notion that the trigger to the fatal conflagration will be more likely a tragic accident – a hand in panic, or a mind not fully engaged.

These are very dangerous times.

© Frederick Anderson 2021.  Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from the author is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Frederick Anderson with specific direction to the original content.

 

31 Comments

    1. I might agree, but again, this is NOT a political post. these issues are far too serious to be dismissed as political interplay. Something fundamentally wrong, in the eyes of the world perhaps – is that too extreme – needs to be rectified.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Well, maybe. I’m not trying to set examples, and this is NOT a political message: I’m merely pointing out the obvious, and lamenting the cost in human lives it represents. There’s no doubt the withdrawal had to happen, any more than there is doubt it could have been better managed. To do it in winter for example, when the Taliban would have been less mobile, or even before the harvest, when most of their agrarian followers would have been busy on the land… Or even to have consulted with allies before doing it?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Also, preferring an opinion from the other side of the Atlantic, I tend to agree with you. However, I do not blame Biden or the Americans for pulling out. Afghanistan was a losing cause And militarily you do not follow a defeat to try to gain a victory. The takeover was because the Taliban fought and the Afghan Army did not. The Afghan government sold their people out. They all took the money and ran. I fought in the US Army and I can tell you that I would not want any more military deaths over there nor more US dollars being wasted or being stolen in that country. Those that deserve to be rescued and accepted as refugees should be rescued, the rest are not the problem of the western world. I hope you understand. I don’t pass judgement, I share an opinion.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. And that is exactly the response I hoped for when I posted this – we should be able to freely discuss the bigger picture and if there are serious issues (I would say crucial issues in the state of the world as it is) we shouldn’t be hiding from them. Somebody need to be asking questions about the correlation between the ages of senior politicians at this time. Age and free thinking don’t exactly go hand in hand. Afghanistan? The pullout was never going to be pretty: the Afghan Government was minority and corrupt, but then how could it have been otherwise when the Taliban suppressed the vote? Should we have been there in the first place? That’s another question. We all have been touched by this war – I had a relative by marriage who served there and committed suicide after his return – so there are measures we must all address. Discussion! Open minds! That’s all I ask!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I fully agree Frederick. We have a right and almost a duty to proffer our opinions, discuss our ideas and share them in a civilised manner. Right now 2 bombs have gone off at Kabul airport. There are 14 dead and an undetermined number of injuries. It is believed that IS (Islamic State) is responsible. It is a dangerous place, no one knows where the danger is coming from and the reason I believe that is westerners should just leave is because the Afghans do not fight for their country, they are a weak front that could be quite dangerous to our forces there and since there is so much corruption one does not know who is a friend or who is a foe. The Taliban will lie and manipulate information but once they are there alone and in power, they will create a closed Islamic emirate unfriendly to the west and probably a hub for all Islamic terrorists from all over the world. I don’t think we should have been there that long. The initial mission, to catch Osama failed, it was time to re-deploy out of there. Good show my friend.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Thank you Francisco. I can’t disagree with any of your comments, There may be good will amongst the Taliban but in the end it will be the extremist clerics who decide policy. Whatever we did in Afghanistan, we were the enemy there, either to be opposed as invaders or espoused as sources of revenue. The British are expert at making such mistakes, the Russians discovered it for themselves and now the US has to acknowledge the same thing. Thanks again for your comments – everyone I’ve spoken to with experience of Afghanistan would totally agree with what you say.

          Liked by 1 person

  3. I do understand your point and I share your concerns. When you look at photos of the president and also group photos of members of Congress it’s like looking at photos from a rather upscale geriatric center. One of my friends refers to the Republican party not by its usual nickname, the GOP (grand old party, or grand old pissants, as I call them) but as the Old White Men because so many of them are old, male and white.

    As for why, let’s face it. The political system in the US has become so corrupt that it is a joke, really. The political parties here sold out for cold, hard cash and access to power years ago.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. So is it too late? We have a world to save and we need inspired genius to help us save it! Thank you so much for contributing – this post has already inspired more discussion that anything else I have posted recently, I’m still trying to avoid the politics rather than dip my toes into unfamiliar waters. However, I think I agree with the corruption charge, and I’ll match it with almost any government in the world, Britain included. To me it is the defensive wall that has been built up around the corruption; the way it is defended by law and even the press – who should, after all, be the fourth estate – that fills me with such dread. Closed minds and closed gates; how do we break them down, even if we know we must?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I think things can be salvaged but it will take a great deal of work to overcome the problems. Unfortunately we’ve reached a point where so many people find the current situation to their advantage that it will be very difficult. But things are changing. The population of the country is changing rather rapidly. People of Hispanic and African heritage, as well as people from the Middle East and Asia are now a larger percentage of the overall population than ever before, and they are gaining political influence despite concerted efforts to disenfranchise them.

        I think (I hope) that the extremist rhetoric and violence we’re seeing now is the last gasp of these OWM trying desperately to retain their failing power.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. This country (UK) is undergoing the same radical changes in ethnic balance. We don’t (or didn’t) have any racial issues of great depth, despite the best attempts of BLM to stir up division. As the world gets warmer the population ‘drift’ is inevitably going to increase and we have to embrace that. I’m not sure that will be easy for many, especially those with vested interests, Let’s hope we ARE in time to reverse the damage. I’m rather pessimistic, on that front.

          Liked by 1 person

  4. As a rule I would agree with you on the grounds of age Frederick but thought it fait to point out that as President he may preside oiver the withdrawal of troops but he will issue the orders and leeave it in the hands of (we hope) more capable people. But the I don’t know ther average age of his Generals. The other point is that at least he brought experience to the position having previously been VP under President Obama.He wasn’t learning on the job.
    From a personal point of view only, the man could be on the point of expiring and would still be preferable to the otther side who are trying to cheat their way into power while taking money from big business who would expect something in return. They don’t want a minimum wage or to offer any welfare benefits at all and wanted to remove Obamacare with no alternative. This is not a group I’d want running a nation with so many less well off and who considerr Trump a viable alternative during a health crisis,
    Hugs

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you David: once again, thank you for your willingness to discuss these things. My plea to you would be to look at what is happening around our respective corners; the floods, the torrential rains, the tide of immigration which would be great if we had the resources to serve it, given that rising sea levels will be taking our land rather than expanding it, and on current projections UK will run out of water in 25 years unless we do something to reverse the trend. Around much more serious corners Greece is burning, Turkey is burning, the United States is in danger of burning too. The people who should be in charge right now are the visionaries, shouldn’t they? The ones with the dreams, not the ones with the vested interests, the five or six luxury homes, the private jets. To put the right people in place has to be one huge shake up, an exercise in finding the best, rather than making the best of the worst. Oh, I know we won’t agree on everything, but this isn’t so much politics as just general common sense, I think. Or perhaps the Taliban actually have the answer?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You have my total agreement on that. We need the visionaries who don’t have a vested interest in privatising any more and of making a fistful of money at our expense.We need to speak to Brazil about preserving the rain forest and no longer cuttiung it down or burning it to let cattle graze there. It really is the lungs of the world.In the UK we’re experts on rain aand we should be able to come up with ways to preserve it a little better including replacing all faulty piping. So much more can be done.
        If the Taliban have the answer it’s either because they cheated or because someone didn’t ask the right questions that didn’t include Gun or bloody big Sword.
        Hugs

        Liked by 1 person

        1. The unacceptable face of extreme Islam is its treatment of women and firm belief in male privilege. The acceptable face is a very fresh perspective upon wealth and a less ‘progressive’ (and therefore less destructive) treatment of the planet. Whether we can rescue places like the rainforest from people like the Brazilian hierarchy I doubt, but in the end it will be the issue of less and less land carrying more and more people that will decide. Ah me! Another post in there. I’m getting too serious! Hugs!

          Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m all for supporting elder wisdom as I age; however, as a ofttimes substitute teacher, I see second- and third-graders with more poise, leadership qualities, passion, vision, and problem-solving and communication skills than many politicians that makes me wonder why we don’t fast-track the next generation(s) of youth into positions where they can utilize those skills and effect real change upon the world.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I would agree with that. In my experience of the teaching and guidance of young minds I was constantly amazed at the breadth of vision and boundless analytical skills I found. The greatest hurdle, I think, to advancement of the younger mind is idealism. They see the picture in such depth they cannot appreciate a counter view. That lays them open at the old fogeys’ door to charges of naivety and (worst political buzzword of all) ‘populism’ – which is really a disparaging term for common sense. That is a massive hurdle and one, I fear, the old and rich will never allow the young and talented to cross in any meaningful way.

    Like

  7. Hello from the UK

    I have read with great interest this post and comments. I am not sure why old age should be decried. It should bring wisdom; the problem for Joe Biden is that it hasn’t. He is also a career politician with no experience of the real world of many people. He has suffered some trials that is true, and the death of his first wife and baby girl was tragic.

    But he lied over the circumstances of the man, Curtis C. Dunn, whose tractor and trailer ploughed into Neila Biden’s car. This is a real problem with him, notwithstanding all the other issues since.

    As regards the old and rich being a hurdle to younger talent I would agree, but what if they were old and poor, yet wise, would that make a difference?

    Or should there be teamwork, like a father and son. ‘If youth knew and age could’ is an adage; mix the dynamism of youth to the wisdom of age and experience.

    Too often youth will change things for changes sake and no lasting benefit to the world and its people is achieved.

    Too often age will not see that they were wrong and did not understand what they should have known all along, but youth in their innocence see clearly.

    Kind regards

    Baldmichael Theresoluteprotector’sson

    Like

    1. Hi. I’m also from the UK, BTW! Thank you for the depth of thought you applied to this post.
      I tried to avoid politics here, but is it not anomalous that the post of Commander in Chief should be filled by someone who dodged the draft five times?
      Yet that is not my case.
      I shall be 75 this month, and in a month more Biden will be seventy-nine. I am about to be denied my ‘entitlement’ to jury duty, and will no longer be considered as a blood donor. When I inquired about becoming a magistrate the other week, I was told the senior age limit was 65. Clearly those controlling that recruitment process associate age with reduced capacity, and so do I. I make allowances for my reduced strength, I drive more slowly than of yen, and I acknowledge, despite my gift of imagination, that I am pedantic in thought and my vision is narrowing. These days I am required, and rightly, to renew my driving licence every second year,
      Watching Joe Biden in action I see someone I could easily become in four years and he may have wisdom, if one is prepared to wait long enough for him to think about it. The Presidency is a tough job: the hours, the travelling, the hard talking are not tasks I would like to face now, let alone in another four years. So this only has to do with poverty v. wealth inasmuch as it is harder for those with a moat to communicate with those outside it. I know our greatest Prime Minister was also one of our oldest, just as I could chart his failings in his second term. I know, too, he was very fond of brandy, and was reputed never to have entered a shop to buy anything in his life. But to me the demands of the job have altered – we need a touch of impetuosity, we need vitality, and we need rashness, too at times. Establishments are not working; eggs must be broken. I doubt even Churchill could cut it now. Once again, thank you for your thoughtful contribution.

      Like

  8. He’s not only old…he is totally useless. And for me as a Swede i’ll always remember him as the one who gave up on Afghanistan. And the one who got the talibans in power. He’ll be remebered for this for a very long time. I can understand how it feels when dead americans are coming home in bodybags or in coffins. But i see it as USA lost the war. Sorry, but i do.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Yes, that’s a very strong argument: how many wars can the USA afford to lose? It does seem to me that tactical decisions in USA are lacking in a balanced world view. Insularity might be a major factor here. The tendency to interfere in world issues, putting aside conventional boundaries of diplomacy, and unwillingness to compromise or even to listen, is at the root of a lot of interventions that are ill-judged. I’d like to say there are signs of improvement, but there aren’t.

    Like

  10. It’s not the age of some of the players that’s the problem. Joe Biden’s wife, his party and the media who are sympathetic to the left who pushed forward a candidate for the top job who is cognitively impaired. Having met Biden face to face, the (much younger) British PM called him a breath of fresh air.
    Whatever the rights and wrongs, on Afghanistan, the withdrawal was badly managed. A generation of women, brave women, held up placards, insisting on their freedom. I really think a small group could have been left behind. Time taken to get people out. I’ll never forget the chaos and those bewildered women and their placards and the image of people clutching on to the military plane.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for the reply. I don’t think I have any area for disagreement there, although, returning to the age thing, he seems to be pursuing a fairly relentless schedule. I would be concerned for his health. As to Boris’s assessment, could he have been speaking comparatively? As successor to Trump, and in the company of Merkel and Macron, a tallow candle would look like a beacon.

      Like

      1. Sorry, Frederick, I wrote that comment before you responded. I may have missed it, but I couldn’t see my response to your post and thought you had blocked it.
        When it comes to Boris Johnson, there’s no excusing what he said. He wasn’t at at a coffee clatch. Johnson is his country’s leader and made his comment on the world stage.

        Those of us who bothered to keep up with what was happening, knew what was wrong with Biden and why he was mostly being kept under wraps before the election. Johnson knew, but when faced with that senile old wreck in person, he decided to play politics. It’s inexcusable. Many Biden voters are now saying, ‘well at least he isn’t Trump’. Johnson the Prime Minister of England has lowered himself to their level.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. In defense of Johnson, as UK PM he is charged with upholding the ‘Special Relationship’, the existence of which so many in influential positions in UK, mainly for their own financial comfort, insist is vital to our ‘mutual’ interests. In reality it is as nebulous an argument as may be found anywhere in ‘Le Morte D’Arthur – it’s just one of those political nuts no-one wants to be the first to crack. Johnson is often dismissed as a buffoon, whereas his track as a successful politician and journalist, his stint at London Mayor and his extremely incisive brain would suggest otherwise. He is less convincing as a public speaker, which, coupled with his newspaper columnist’s gift for hyperbole, tends to lay him open to vitriolic attack (in UK we only attack successful people. If you fail in UK we pat you on the head and give you a dog basket in the corner).
          But enough of the commercial. I am not, in spite of all, entirely a Johnson fan, although I acknowledge we needed someone of his calibre to rid us of the EU. I also wait upon the fruition of his ‘leveling up’ agenda. No problem with the overlap BTW. All comments welcome!

          Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.