That headline is the subtitle of this blog. It always has been and that's not going to change. It says quite nicely what Time Goes By is about.
A TGB reader who signs his comments John and is a Trump supporter has been complaining of late about politics in TGB posts:
”What does politics have to do with what it is really like to be old?” he wrote last Thursday. “Sure, it comes into play with certain legislation like social security and medicare, or even, to a degree, the government response to Covid-19, but it should not consume a large chuck (sic) - seems like over half - of the Alex and Ronni Show and it also frequently bleads (sic) into the daily blog posts.”
This is not the first time John has complained about politics at TGB and now the repetition has come to irritate me. I spent more time over this past weekend thinking about John's comment than I care to admit.
Part of it could be that all Trumpers are at best annoying and further, apparently do not object, for example, to ripping small children from parents' arms and disappearing them. That alone, to me, disqualifies someone from membership in the human race.
But ignoring that atrocity (not to mention others) is so common among Trumpers that it can't be all the reason John's complaint kept interrupting my weekend.
I finally realized that my objection lies closer to the topic of this blog than I originally imagined. It is the ageism in what John complains about – the implication that politics is better left to younger people, that it has nothing to do with growing old.
That's just balderdash. Let me explain.
The word “ageism” was coined in 1969 by the late Robert N. Butler, a physician and gerontologist who won the Pulitzer Prize in 1976 for his first book, Why Survive? Being Old in America.
Butler's definition of ageism includes prejudicial attitudes toward old people and old age in general; discriminatory practices against old people; and institutional practices and policies that perpetuate stereotypes of old people.
That's way too dry but what it means in practice is people, often as young as 40 or 45, not being hired due to their age (it's happened to me and to plenty of you who are reading this). It also means medical care being denied and it means being excluded from drug trials, among other shameful acts.
And it means dismissing or ignoring old people's opinions and points of view just because they are old which brings us back John's objection to politics at Time Goes By.
As is said so often now, we are living in an unprecedented time. There is hardly anyone alive who recalls the 1918 pandemic and now the world is living through our own 2020 Coronavirus pandemic with a uniquely unqualified leader.
A leader who politicizes everything, even the health care of stricken people by granting or withholding life-saving equipment to hospitals depending on the level of fealty to him personally of the people making the request.
This is not the United States I grew up in, studied in school and have believed in all my life. It is the behavior, instead, of a tinhorn, wannabe dictator who does not appear to mind 21,000-plus deaths so far of Americans as long he can crow about how perfect he is.
God help us, but on Sunday, he actually tweeted this:
For the first time in history there is a fully signed Presidential Disaster Declaration for all 50 States. We are winning, and will win, the war on the Invisible Enemy!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 12, 2020
He apparently believes that being the only president in history to declare a disaster in each and every state is a win for him.
This while tens of thousands of U.S. citizens have died and are continuing to die. Even the caregivers are dying due to the president's policies. Some who hang out at this blog or people we know and love may die due to this man's inability to think beyond the next television camera pointed in his direction.
Is this dire virus situation political? You betcha it's political. A president's number one responsibility is to keep the people of the United States safe. That's it. Everything else is secondary. But the president has not done that, is not doing that. And that makes this political.
John has said he doesn't like politics being talked about at a blog whose slogan is “What it's really like to get old.” Does he mean that old people should back off from the political scene – maybe even from voting?
How is politics not as much about what it is really like to get old as anything – and everything - else?
Maybe there is a hint in another part of John 's comment, the part where he castigates the Democrats for going with Joe Biden as their nominee for president this year:
”I am shocked,” writes John, “that the democrats (sic) are trying to unload an arguably nearly senile individual as their apparent candidate.”
No. What IS shocking is John's statement. It is the definition of ageist. The word senile is kin to the N-word and has no place in civil society. It is descriptive of nothing and is meant only to be insulting to old people. That is not allowed at this blog.