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 is 75.
Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House of Representatives (have I got that right?) is 81.
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).
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.
In total, how many grams of statins, Bisoprolol, Irbesartan, Rivaroxiban, Fuorosimide or similar are required daily to keep these extravagantly senior politicians functioning?
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?).
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.