I’d just like to say that bashing McCain for his age is out of line.
There are certainly legitimate concerns to be raised about his age … for example, it makes sense for Sarah Palin to receive far more scrutiny than Joe Biden, since it seems more likely that John McCain might die in the next four years than that Barack Obama might die in the same time. That’s a legitimate point to be made.
Also, I don’t buy that referring to McCain’s campaign or policies as ‘confused’ is a dogwhistle attack on his age … his campaign and policies, after all, have actually seemed awfully confused, and I don’t think it’s unreasonable to point that out.
But all that aside, I have heard an awful lot of liberals … not Obama’s official campaign flacks or anything, but just my buddies and folks online … attacking McCain’s age, painting him as Grandpa Simpson, and treating it as a matter for jokes.
I don’t think it’s funny. I think age discrimination is real, and I think the assumption that if someone is a certain age, they’ve therefore got nothing to contribute intellectually is an idea that is anti-knowledge, and therefore part of what got us to where we are now.
It’s closely related to ableism and a lot of employment rights issues, too, and those who mock John McCain because of his age are coming down on the wrong side of a whole host of issues, whether they realize it or not.
I don’t like McCain. I think his policies are wrong, wrong, wrong. But I think they’re wrong because he’s a movement conservative and warmonger with the good judgment of a fish sandwich, not because he’s old.
He’d be just as wrong were he 20 years younger, and he’d have more years in front of him to be wrong in.
Don’t comment unless you accept the basic dignity, equality, and inherent worth of all people.