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Let’s Call Out Blatant Ageism Here!
Shel Horowitz, Marketing Consultant - Going Beyond Sustainability Shel Horowitz, Marketing Consultant - Going Beyond Sustainability
For Immediate Release:
Dateline: Springfield, MA
Monday, February 19, 2024


Age is NOT one of the reasons to vote for or against a presidential candidate

I finally got around to watching Jon Stewart’s return monologue. Yuck! I was a fan of Jon Stewart but this is ageist crap! Yes, Biden is old. So is Trump, as Stewart admits. While I have plenty of bones to pick with Biden (and I’ve been in the streets protesting some of his policies, especially around immigration and the Gaza war), we don’t have ranked choice voting in US presidential elections. And that means that absent some deep and unpredicted shift in the political landscape, either Biden or Trump will be elected in November.

There are many reasons to vote for Biden over Trump. While flawed (as we all are), he’s a basically decent person who has mostly used his time in office to better the lives of ordinary USArians and to improve the condition of the world. And despite a completely dysfunctional Congress, he has still managed to:

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Now, about his opponent:

Bias Against Biden

Biden is not an existential threat to democracy. Biden was handed a government in complete chaos that had burned bridges with many of its allies and built back a functional government that honors its promises. Biden is about the good of the country, while Trump appears to be mostly concerned with leveraging his position for profit and inflating his already overweight ego. And Biden’s record of accomplishment after three years in office far outstrips Trump’s four years. 

So please tell me why the media is constantly dissing Biden because of his age and a perceived lack of mental acuity that by any reasonable standard is in better shape than Trump’s. How is it, for example, that the Washington Post (a liberal newspaper that prides itself on good journalism) actually ran a chart comparing how old Biden would be at the END of a second term with Trump’s age at the BEGINNING of a second term. 

I have that chart in an email dated February 9, 2024 entitled “The 5-Minute Fix: How should Democrats address Biden’s unpopularity?”; I can’t find it on washingtonpost.com and therefore can’t link to it. Because it’s copyrighted material, I can’t reproduce it here, but I’d be glad to forward that newsletter to anyone who requests it through the contact form. I can also link to the February 10th Today’s Edition Substack  newsletter by Robert Hubbell that mentions this chart along with five front-page New York Times stories about Biden’s age. And these are the liberals! WTF?

Proof that Age Doesn’t Matter

Finally, let’s look at five among thousands of models for aging with power:

  • Grandma Moses had a 25-year career as a painter, BEGINNING AT AGE 76

  • Pete Seeger was still writing and recording songs well into his 90s

  • Nelson Mandela became President of South Africa at age 76

  • My friends Frances Crowe and Arky Markham were both still activists on their 100th birthdays

  • Gray Panthers founder Maggie Kuhn and sexologist Dr. Ruth Westheimer were working on the sexuality of old people into their 80s (disclosure: I was a VISTA organizer for the Gray Panthers in 1979-80 and met Maggie once when she was 75)

You are never too old—or too young—to make a difference. Jon Stewart should know better, and so should we. Work to get ranked-choice voting and other reforms such as those outlined at https://www.americanprogress.org/article/its-time-to-talk-about-electoral-reform/ (scroll down to the section entitled “A range of possible electoral reforms”).

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Name: Shel Horowitz
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Group: GoingBeyondSustainability.com
Dateline: Hadley, MA United States
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