« Yet another mysterious lost culture Friday open thread | Main | A spotted skunk open thread »

October 29, 2021

Comments

If I seem to be taking a dark turn these days, it's because I am losing faith in this nation's ability to contain its worst impulses.

I believe that despite my age, I will live long enough to see some sort of military using heavy artillery against refugee ships approaching the West Coast, or land vehicles coming across the deepening Southwestern deserts.

On quite bad days, heavy artillery used against people coming west across the Great Plains.

I'm losing faith in my ability to contain my worst impulses. I want to fight. I'm sick of it.

For Pro Bono's benefit, I will repeat myself from years ago: when I voted for Obama it was a bit of a shock to realize it was the first time I ever voted for anyone younger than myself to be POTUS.

I'm over 60, but that is not remotely the reason I am unfit to be POTUS. (There is the "natural born citizen" thing, but that ain't it, either.) My life experience has been too limited, too prosaic, too ... irresponsible? perhaps ... to equip me with the judgement and temperament to preside over a national government. Psychologically, I'm still a grad student. I'd be a terrible POTUS, though I assert without proof that I'd make a great King.

Presidents (or judges for that matter) need to have seen a thing or two before taking on the job, IMHO. Youthful energy is not enough. And the thing about "life experience" is that it takes time, as in years of age. Exceptional youngsters like Teddy Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, and Barack Obama, do come along once in a while, but by and large youth is not necessarily an asset in governance.

All that said, I harbor a sincere admiration for Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. The only reason I'd vote against her becoming POTUS in anything like the near future is that she'd be branded as "too young" by the usual suspects.

--TP

We are getting danger close to the dynamics that create sectarian violence, and I think we are all beginning to see the potential for Northern Ireland/Yugoslavia levels of ideological partition and conflict where once my worries were discounted out of hand.

I do not ever want to be proven right on this.

I don't want you to be proven right either. But I'm afraid I think it's approaching even money that you will be. I know the thought has crossed my mind of late that active defensive measures, personal ones, need to be considered. Which is a horrifying turn of events, but there you are.

I would guess that our divisions are sufficiently geographical that an eventual Yugoslav type outcome is conceivable. Nothing quite that tidy, of course, but something along those lines. Followed by a whole lot of shock (and big-time blame casting) in the red states, when their residents discover how much Federal funds have been propping up their economies. By losing them.

Given what people in the poorer red states have been taught to put up with, I doubt that even that would wake them up. Chances are good that any anger can be diverted to some suitable scapegoats or bogeymen.

"To put states' financial health — and the potential impact on residents of those states — into context, MoneyGeek analyzed and ranked states according to their dependence on the federal government. Rankings account for political affiliation, net benefits individuals and organizations in the state receive, state government revenue from federal sources, and GDP per capita. We also examined which states received the most in child tax credits — both in terms of the annualized total amount and amount received per capita."
Return on Statehood: How Much Value Every State Gets From the Federal Government

For Pro Bono's benefit...
...Youthful energy is not enough. And the thing about "life experience" is that it takes time, as in years of age. Exceptional youngsters like Teddy Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, and Barack Obama, do come along once in a while, but by and large youth is not necessarily an asset in governance.

I agree that in your 40s is on the young side. The president should usually be in their 50s.

Speaking personally, I played a fairly high-level bridge tournament over the weekend - 9 hours' play on Saturday, 7 hours on Sunday. I played quite well, and successfully. But I made more mistakes towards the end - I was playing my B game, because I was tired, more so than I would have been ten years ago, when I was 50. This sort of fall-off is entirely normal. Players my age can hold their own thanks to their extra experience, players in their 70s and older can have good days, but have increasingly many bad days. Benito Garozzo reportedly plays a very strong game in his 90s, but since he was once the world's best, that doesn't mean he hasn't lost a few steps.

Being an effective president requires the same sort of attention for many hours a day, day after day, and in much more stressful circumstances.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Blog powered by Typepad