Are Joe Biden and Donald Trump Too Old to Serve?

W.J. Astore

President Joe Biden turns 80 this year. If he chooses to run and is reelected in 2024, he’ll be 82 and will serve as president until he’s 86. His Republican rival, Donald Trump, will be 78 in 2024 and is overweight and perhaps obese. Biden, meanwhile, is moving more slowly and appears to be experiencing signs of age-related cognitive decline. Leaving aside their politics and policies and personalities, are either of these men truly fit to be president?

We all age differently, of course. But it used to be said that being POTUS was the toughest job in the world. Younger men like Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush aged noticeably in office due to the strains of the job. Yet pointing out the rigors of the presidency, and raising questions about whether men in their 80s are truly capable of handling such rigors, exposes one to claims of bias based on age.

A lot of jobs have mandatory retirement ages. My dad was a firefighter and he had to retire at 65. While we don’t expect the POTUS to climb ladders or charge into burning buildings or carry bodies, there’s still something to be said for the difficulty of men in the twilight of their lives serving as the “leader of the free world.”

(I say men here because women live longer and often age more gracefully. But I think it’s also true in the U.S. that a woman “pushing 80” would be dismissed out of hand as too old for the presidency; societal bias against older women still exists, though of course older women can cling to power with the same tenacity as men: just look at House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.)

I remember the bad old days of the Cold War when Soviet leaders were mocked in the U.S. as a gerontocracy of sorts. So when Leonid Brezhnev died at the age of 75, he was briefly succeeded by Yuri Andropov (died at 69) and Konstantin Chernenko (died at 74 after serving for just over a year as General Secretary). Then the much younger Mikhail Gorbachev took over at age 54 and more than anyone helped to revolutionize U.S.-Soviet relations.

In a way, Joe Biden is the U.S. equivalent of Andropov and Chernenko, a time-server who was elevated by his party as a caretaker. “Nothing will fundamentally change,” Biden said of his administration, a promise he has indeed kept. Those same words could have come from Andropov and Chernenko.

The problem for the Democrats is that there’s no clear younger heir-apparent to Biden. Harris? Mayor Pete? Gavin Newsom? (Newsom, like Mitt Romney, has presidential hair but little else.) Where is the Democratic equivalent to Mikhail Gorbachev?

The Republicans have their own issues, the main one being the cult of personality surrounding Donald J. Trump. But what really empowers Trump, besides his own craftiness at cons and culture wars, is the weakness and hypocrisy of the Democrats. When your most likely opponent is a “no hope, no change” figurehead in his early 80s, even Trump appears by comparison to be a change agent of sorts.

America truly needs fundamental change, someone like Mikhail Gorbachev, a leader willing to face facts and tell harsh truths. Someone with a fresh perspective and the energy to convey it. Both Biden and Trump are too old, if not in their bodies, then in their thinking, to be the reformer America so desperately needs.

78 thoughts on “Are Joe Biden and Donald Trump Too Old to Serve?

  1. Totally off-topic, but a bit more pressing than our plague of Septuagenarians. Things could get very interesting this weekend, it seems… :

    FAMILIES START TO FLEE ZAPORIZHZHIA AS NUCLEAR PLANT TENSIONS RISE: Both Russia And Ukraine Are Warning Of A Possible Imminent “False-Flag” Attack On The Plant

    ZAPORIZHZHIA, Ukraine — Some families living close to the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in southeastern Ukraine packed up their belongings and started to flee Friday amid rising tensions that they fear could result in a nuclear disaster.

    Fathers and husbands, unable to leave on buses with their families, helped load belongings and waved to their loved ones in tearful goodbyes at a Zaporizhzhia parking lot on Friday — as Ukrainian authorities warned of a likely Russian attack on the nuclear plant 30 miles to the southwest.

    “It was a hard decision to make,” Serhii Aroslanov, 46, said of sending his family away as they boarded a bus to Bulgaria. They planned to travel on to Germany, he told The Washington Post. Men between 18 and 60 years old are banned from leaving Ukraine in case they are needed for military service.

    “They are leaving because of the threat to the plant,” Aroslanov added.

    The nuclear power plant, the largest in Europe, is currently under Russian control but operated by Ukrainian staff.

    UKRAINE’S DEFENSE MINISTRY SAID RUSSIA COULD BE PLANNING A “LARGE-SCALE TERRORIST ATTACK” ON THE PLANT TO PUT THE BLAME ON KYIV, WHILE RUSSIA IN TURN ACCUSED UKRAINE AND THE UNITED STATES OF PLANNING TO TRIGGER AN ACCIDENT AT THE PLANT, CITING A THREAT OF THE CORE OVERHEATING.

    Any false-flag operations at the plant would be out of the “Russian playbook — accuse others of what you have done or what you intend to do,” State Department spokesman Ned Price said Thursday when asked about the warnings. He added that such statements were a “cause for concern” and said the United States is “watching very closely.”

    RUSSIAN FORCES HAVE ORDERED WORKERS AT THE PLANT TO STAY HOME FRIDAY amid the heightened tensions and to limit personnel at the complex to only those who operate the plant’s power units, according to Energoatom, Ukraine’s state-run energy firm.

    It added that it had “information” that Russian forces are also planning to switch off the plant’s power blocks and disconnect them from the Ukrainian grid, depriving the country of a major source of power.

    Continued at https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2022/08/19/zaporizhzhia-nuclear-plant-ukraine-russia/ [EMPHASES added.]

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I guess according to the State Department Russians are shelling their own positions. ‘This is totally believable, say CNN and MSNBC’. (sarc)

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      1. That’s what our government and its media are proclaiming. Apparently, they believe and are betting that the American people are stupid enough to actually believe that. And they may very well be correct.

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        1. That’s the problem with a one-sided press. There is really no one to call out the rest on their lies. Except in isolated, low volume sources. Nothing really mainstream. Except Tucker Carlson of course. Thankfully. And that’s why the rest of the media attacks him. Because he calls them out.

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          1. Anybody with access to the internet has no basis at all for declaring that all that is available is a “one-sided press.” Or that nobody [beside Tucker Carlson, “of course”] is calling out the lies of the government or its MSmedia.

            If all they get is one-sided news, that’s because of where they choose to spend all their time with online news sources.

            And there are those who view Carlson, Fox, and that whole wing of media land as being just as one-sided as any MSM outfit. That’s why it’s so popular. Lots of folks are very comfortable with a one-sided press; as long as it’s on the same side that they are.

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            1. I’ve read that most people get their news from TV. Mostly I guess network (ABC, CBS, NBC). It’s true that people can access alternative news but most people don’t make it a priority. They’re working, raising kids, keeping house, going to school, etc. So they soak it up from the mainstream media, which is pretty much left wing. I agree of course that folks on the left are happy with the press. Democrat politicians can’t stand Foxnews because it’s different from the rest. As I’ve noted Democrats won’t allow Foxnews journalists to moderate their debates, and only agreed to let Foxnews in to the Presidential debates via Chris Wallace, Democrat, who shortly thereafter moved to CNN. I understand Republicans are thinking of opting out of the existing debate system because it’s so biased.

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              1. It might be worse than this, Alex. I’ve read people often get their news from Facebook and other social apps. I assume these apps “measure” what people have read, want to read, and feed them more of it. So we get a lot of confirmation bias whether you’re a lefty or a righty or whatever terms we’re using today.

                The challenge, I think, is to seek out news sources that don’t always agree with your POV. And to engage in critical thinking and discussion. That does take time, time that many harried Americans can’t or won’t make in their lives.

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              2. As of two years ago, Alex… . [Of particular interest is the difference in preferred news sources between age groups.]

                MORE THAN EIGHT-IN-TEN AMERICANS GET NEWS FROM DIGITAL DEVICES by Elisa Shearer

                The transition of news from print, television and radio to digital spaces has caused huge disruptions in the traditional news industry, especially the print news industry. It is also reflected in the ways individual Americans say they are getting their news. A large majority of Americans get news at least sometimes from digital devices, according to a Pew Research Center survey conducted Aug. 31-Sept. 7, 2020.

                Large Majority Of Americans Get News On Digital Devices

                More than eight-in-ten U.S. adults (86%) say they get news from a smartphone, computer or tablet “often” or “sometimes,” including 60% who say they do so often. This is higher than the portion who get news from television, though 68% get news from TV at least sometimes and 40% do so often. Americans turn to radio and print publications for news far less frequently, with half saying they turn to radio at least sometimes (16% do so often) and about a third (32%) saying the same of print (10% get news from print publications often).

                Roughly Half Of Americans Prefer To Get News On A Digital Platform; About A Third Prefer TV.

                When asked which of these platforms they prefer to get news on, ROUGHLY HALF (52%) OF AMERICANS SAY THEY PREFER A DIGITAL PLATFORM – whether it is a news website (26%), search (12%), social media (11%) or podcasts (3%). ABOUT A THIRD SAY THEY PREFER TELEVISION (35%), and just 7% and 5% respectively say they prefer to get their news on the radio or via print.

                YOUNGER AMERICANS VARY WIDELY FROM THEIR ELDERS IN NEWS CONSUMPTION HABITS

                Underneath these numbers lie stark differences by age, with those under 50 showing very different news use patterns than their elders. AMERICANS AGES 50 AND OLDER USE BOTH TELEVISION AND DIGITAL DEVICES FOR NEWS AT HIGH RATES, WHILE THE YOUNGER AGE GROUPS HAVE ALMOST FULLY TURNED TO DIGITAL DEVICES AS A PLATFORM TO ACCESS NEWS.

                About half or more of adults 50 and older are still turning to TV for news often – 54% of those 50 to 64 and about two-thirds (68%) of those 65 and older. But AMONG THOSE AGES 30 TO 49, JUST A QUARTER SAY THEY GET NEWS ON TV OFTEN, AND JUST 16% SAY THE SAME AMONG THOSE 18 TO 29. FOR THOSE AGE GROUPS, DIGITAL DEVICES ARE THE DOMINANT CHOICE FOR NEWS, WITH 67% OF THOSE 30 TO 49 AND 71% OF THOSE 18 TO 29 GETTING NEWS FROM A DIGITAL DEVICE OFTEN.

                Continued at https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2021/01/12/more-than-eight-in-ten-americans-get-news-from-digital-devices/
                [EMPHASES added.]

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  2. Without a doubt, both are too old to serve and shouldn’t have been allowed to run for office in the first place. But in both cases, what was the whispered (and widely accepted) promise? That more responsible parties, “the adults in the room,” would keep everything under control. Which isn’t exactly how I want decisions affecting public and foreign policy determined. True, those old enough will remember LBJ had his “wise men,” but they were advisors: he still called the shots.
    If my Mom – and countless others – have been denied meaningful employment for being above retirement age (and I don’t mean being a greeter at Walmart), the Oval Office should definitely be off-limits for the same reason.

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  3. It’s more about cognition rather than just age. By this criteria Biden is clearly not fit. Trump is still fit. Interesting that most of the press made such a big deal about Trump’s taxes but are ignoring Biden’s mental condition or are actively making excuses for his problems.

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    1. Yes, Trump seems “all there.” The problem is how he uses his mind. Trump is masterful at tapping people’s grievances; he animates people, but typically in a divisive way. He follows that old technique of “divide and rule.” And that’s not what America needs.

      Of course, as you know, the Democrats are bad in a somewhat different way. That’s why I’m an Independent. I refuse to vote for Biden, Harris, Mayor Pete — or Trump. We can do a lot better, America.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. My concern is with a sudden deterioration of faculties. Reagan was all right, until suddenly he wasn’t, and we’re seeing the current occupant of The White House breaking down in real time. As with Reagan, the press has been remiss in its coverage of the issue.

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      1. Yes. After 1984, Reagan began to decline. He needed more and more help to hit his marks, so to speak.

        Joe Biden is having a lot of issues. I hate to see it. He’s even having trouble reading from a teleprompter. But we’re supposed to ignore this. Not sure why.

        It’s possible he’s already borderline unfit to be president.

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        1. We’re supposed to ignore it because noting it would undermine our confidence in his administration. We’re supposed to think he’s fine and to believe he’s fine even if some part of our brain says otherwise. It’s part of Orwell’s doublethink, in which the authority can convince you of something that is obviously false. Like 2+2=5. Once the authority can convince you that their statements take primacy over your mental processes then you’re done. You’re a mental slave and you’ll do anything they say.

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          1. In our lifetime, Alex, this government has successfully deployed and employed 2+2=5 to successfully sell the American people on:

            Vietnam [remember the “attacks” in the Tonkin Gulf?];
            Gulf War I [remember the Kuwaiti Incubator Babies thrown on the floor by Saddam’s marauding troops?];
            9/11 [remember how al-Qaeda was identified as the perpetrator even before the Third Tower was brought down?];
            Gulf War II [remember Saddam’s WMDs?];
            The 2008 “¢risi$” [remember Too-Big-To-Let-Fail?];
            The COVID Failure [remember that, with 4% of the world’s total population, the U.S. has suffered 16% of the Total Cases and 17% of the Total Deaths?]

            And that’s just for starters. What other “alternative facts” in which other areas of government operation has this government jammed down the throats and up the butts of the Citizens over the past three-quarters of a century?

            The American government has long been a master of mastering the mental processes of its “constituents.” That’s how and why it was so successful in pulling off all of the above, and lots, lots more..

            Liked by 1 person

  4. Equally off-topic and even more relevant than a False Flag in Ukraine… . So along with Assange, Snowden, Manning, Hale, Winner, and Kiriakou [to name just a few], we can now add Schulte to The List:

    FORMER CIA OFFICER FACES 80 YEARS IN PRISON AFTER BEING CONVICTED OF PROVIDING INFORMATION TO WIKILEAKS By John Kiriakou

    August 17, 2022: Information Clearing House — A federal jury in New York last month convicted former CIA officer Joshua Schulte on nine felony counts under the Espionage Act for providing information to WikiLeaks that became known as “Vault 7”.

    Schulte has consistently denied that he was the source of the information.

    Two years ago, he was convicted on two of the original 11 charges, while the jury hung on the remaining nine.

    The most recent trial, in which Schulte represented himself, was on those nine counts, and he now faces as many as 80 years in prison. Schulte is yet to be tried on state child pornography charges.

    PROSECUTORS HAD LITERALLY NO EVIDENCE THAT SCHULTE HAD TAKEN THE DATA FROM THE CIA AND TRANSFERRED IT TO WIKILEAKS.

    But they contended that he was a computer genius who is so brilliant that he was able to cover his tracks.

    They alleged that he leaked the information because he was a disgruntled former CIA employee who hated his boss, couldn’t get along with his coworkers, and sought revenge against the Agency.

    That was enough for the jury.

    Continued [with details on “Vault 7”] at http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/57191.htm

    [ Note: Author John Kiriakou was the first former CIA officer to confirm the existence of the CIA’s torture program, revealing that this practice was not just the result of a few rogue agents, BUT WAS OFFICIAL U.S. POLICY APPROVED AT THE HIGHEST LEVELS OF THE GOVERNMENT. He is THE SOLE CIA AGENT TO GO TO JAIL in connection with the U.S. torture program, despite the fact that he never tortured anyone. Rather, he BLEW THE WHISTLE on this horrific wrongdoing. ]

    [EMPHASES added.]

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    1. Where lying is rewarded and truth-telling punished, you have a government without integrity. And one that is basically unaccountable to the people.

      That’s why our society is fraying. Coming apart. The lies, the corruption, are both symptom and cause of an ongoing collapse in integrity and values. But this is largely ignored as people yell about stuff like being “woke” or fight over gun rights etc.

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      1. Lying is just so bad. I’ve reached the point in my life where if people start lying to me then I am just done with them. Unfortunately this rule cannot be applied to government. Perhaps there should be a rule. If the government lies to you three times you get to keep your taxes.

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      2. A ~ if not The ~ most important reason America has a government that is unaccountable to the people is because the only time anybody holds the government accountable for anything is when they don’t get what they want from that government.

        And equally importantly, they are also in a position to change what that government does so that those “Special Interests” DO get what they want. Which reduces those holding the government accountable down to America’s Ruling Political Class Elites, the folks who own, operate, script, handle, command, and control the elected politicians and career bureaucrats that run that government.

        Also, the collapse of integrity and values is not just limited to the government. It is equally applicable to every citizen in this nation who has accepted, accepts, and will no doubt continue to accept the lies, incompetence, corruption, collusion, duplicity, and complicity that the RPC and their errand boys and girls in Swampland pass off as “government” and “governance.”

        A people and a nation get the government, governance, and governors that they and it deserve. And here we are, 1,415 days til July 4, 2026.

        A question Americans need to begin asking themselves and each other is whether or not America will survive to celebrate its 250th birthday on that day. And if it does survive, will it be in any condition or mood to celebrate anything?

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        1. Maybe you get the government YOU deserve, but I deserve better. 🙂

          Yes, that’s a snappy remark, but that’s to get your attention, Jeff. Because you DO deserve better. We all do.

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          1. Do we, Bill?

            What have the American people done in actual, real-world reaction and response to what the American government has done since 9/11 that entitles them to claim that they [we] “deserve better”?

            What did the American people do about the 20-year Forever War, the 2008 Too-Big-To-Fail “¢risi$,” or the government’s handling of the Pandemic? And what are they doing now about Inflation, the National Debt, the trillion dollar “National Security” budget, and the possibility of World War III in Europe and Asia?

            We have the government, the system of governance, and the governors that WE put and keep in power; and let get away with all the Bullshit that is called “American politics as usual.”

            So, again: DO we deserve “better”?

            And if we do, what would constitute something that actually, really is “better”? And more importantly: Who would get to determine that, and on what basis would they determine it?

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            1. Yes, we do, Jeff. Don’t you think you do? You served your country in Vietnam. Your life was at risk. You learned through bitter experience, and I’m sure a lot of reading, that your government lied to you, over and over again. You did and do your part in trying to resist America’s imperialist war machine.

              You don’t deserve an abusive and dishonest government, Jeff. You deserve better. And I think most Americans also deserve better.

              Just my opinion …

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              1. Let me ponder on that a bit, Bill. Got errands to run and will get back to You after bit.

                One thought that crossed my mind was whether we are talking about “deserving” something, “earning” something, or “being entitled to” something.

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              2. To quote the venerable William Munny, I believe “deserve’s got nothing to do with it.” If someone goes into public service, runs for office and gets elected, the people who voted that person in did so with the expectation said person would work hard to fulfill their campaign promises and represent them in the halls of government. Of course, that so rarely happens it’s laughable. (Making a case here for “NOTC”).
                What I guess I’m getting at is, if I hire a particular plumber or carpenter – giving them my “vote” you might say over some other plumber or carpenter – I do so with the expectation they will do their job. That’s all I ask.
                So, again, I don’t believe it’s a question of “deserve’s.” I simply want these duly elected public servants to do what they publicly claimed they would do: represent their constituency to the best of their ability. No more, no less.
                With this in mind, I’m starting a publicly-funded watchdog agency, The Just Do Your Damn Job Consortium. Donations will be gratefully received. Send your cash contribution for better government to me, c/o Bracing Views, and delivered in a brown paper bag by a brown shoe’d square in the dead of night. Do so with the assurance you’ll get just what you deserve.

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              3. Like i said, Bill: i needed to ponder on that a bit. And i’m still pondering.

                The first thing i’ve been wrestling with is whether or not i [and “most” Americans] “deserve,” or have “earned,” or are “entitled” to a “better” system of government and governance than the abusive and dishonest [and a whole bunch of other equally descriptive adjectives] one that we have now, and have had for a very long time.

                On the other hand, i’ve also wondered if i and all those “mosts” deserve and/or have earned that abusive and dishonest, etc, government that we have because of our actions and lack of actions in reaction and response to all the abuse, dishonesty, corruption, collusion, incompetence, duplicity, complicity, arrogance, indifference, etc that characterizes and IS this government.

                And all that, of course, depends entirely upon how those words ~ deserve, earned, and entitled ~ are defined and used. See below.

                The second thing i’ve been digging thru is: WHAT exactly is meant by a “better” system of government and governance than the one we have and have had? And, WHO gets to decide what that “better” system should be? WHY will THEY be the ones to determine what that “better” system should be? And finally, ON WHAT BASIS ~ on what guiding principles of “good government,” the lessons of history, and common sense ~ will they determine exactly what that “better” system will be?

                DEFINITIONS http://www.dictionary.com defines those three key terms as follows:

                DESERVE: to merit, be qualified for, or have a claim to (reward, assistance, punishment, etc.) because of actions, qualities, or situation; to be worthy of, qualified for, or have a claim to reward, punishment, recompense, etc.

                EARNED: to gain or get in return for one’s labor or service; to merit as compensation, as for service; to acquire through merit; to gain as due return or profit; to bring about or cause deservedly.

                ENTITLED: having a right or legitimate claim to something ~ particularly from governments ~ granted by law or contract.

                So to answer Your question: No. i do not think that i “deserve” or “earned” ~ as just defined ~ a better system of government and governance because i spent two years in Vietnam, or 22 years on active duty, or have railed and ranted [to virtually no effect] against America’s imperialist war machine and some of its other abominations.

                The question that remains then is: As a Citizen, am i “entitled” ~ with a “right or legitimate claim” by law or contract ~ to a better system of government? Does the Constitution establish ~ by law ~ that right? Can it be viewed as a contract between the government and the Citizens that spells out exactly what the government can and can not, and should and should not do?

                i think that a much stronger case can be made for saying that ~ by the Constitution, whether viewed as law or contract ~ Americans have both a Right and a Legitimate Claim to a government that performs the proper functions of government, and performs them well. Ie, that Americans don’t “deserve” or have “earned” a properly functioning government; but rather are entitled to one.

                Which, of course, immediately raises the next question for further consideration: What exactly IS the “proper” function and purpose of government? Why do humans have governments, and what are they supposed to do and be doing, and to not do and not be doing? i’m pondering that right now as i write this.

                In any event, Bill, one thing that really caught my attention in Your comment was Your statement that “You deserve better. And I think MOST Americans also deserve better.” [Emphasis added.] i’m very curious as to which Americans are not included among Your “MOST,” and why they are excluded.

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                1. Yes, I said “most,” because if people are haters, if they’re motivated purely by greed, by racism, etc., and they revel in other people’s suffering, I don’t think those people deserve a better government.

                  Perhaps I should say this: We elect people based in part on their “promises.” They take positions on issues, and, in theory, they serve in a public position of trust. They should be trustworthy and accountable to us. If they’re not, they ran on false pretenses. Or they’re corrupt. And as we all know the system in America is a corrupting influence.

                  I don’t think most voters “deserve” this. We don’t deserve lies and deceit and corruption. We don’t deserve to get shafted.

                  Perhaps Dorothy Day put it best: Our problems stem from our acceptance of this filthy rotten system.

                  And of course she fought it. She didn’t accept it. She thought we deserved better. Put differently, humanity deserves better. The Vietnamese, the Iraqis, the Afghans, deserved better. Even the planet deserves better, for what has the planet done to us to be exploited so?

                  Long live the fighters!

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                2. Thank You, Bill, for clarifying who You are excluding from those “most Americans” who deserve a better government.

                  Depending upon exactly who You are talking about, my guess is that most of those Excludeds [are they anything like Hillary’s “Deplorables”?] probably have quite a few ideas of their own about who and what would constitute a “better government.”

                  In any event, You wrote: “And as we all know the system in America is a corrupting influence.” Not quite.

                  The problem isn’t that the system is a corrupting INFLUENCE; but that “this filthy, rotten system” itself is corrupt to the core, as Miss Day noted.

                  And if “most” voters don’t “deserve” the lies, deceit, and corruption perpetrated and perpetuated by the politicians they elect, those same voters are the folks who keep sending those same scumbags back to Swampland or the State Capital. So if they don’t deserve what they get from their chosen ones, they have certainly earned it. And are getting back exactly what they should be getting in return: lies, deceit, and corruption.

                  And the Vietnamese, Iraqis, Afghans, [and everybody else America has inflicted itself upon since the end of World War II] did not merely “deserve” to be treated differently ~ ie “better” ~ by the United States.

                  They were ENTITLED ~ by their basic, fundamental Human Rights ~ not to have their Lands and Countries invaded, occupied, and destroyed by Americans. Just as they were entitled by those same Human Rights not to be killed, physically and/or psychologically maimed, orphaned, widowed or widowered, and rendered homeless, helpless, and hopeless by those same Americans.

                  What they “deserved” has absolutely nothing to do with what they were entitled to as Human Beings. Human Beings with Human Rights that trump any claim America may have imagined it had to do whatever it deemed “appropriate and necessary” to deal with the situations in all those nations at the time.

                  And Humanity doesn’t merely “deserve better,” from America, or from every and any other Government on the Planet. All of Humanity ~ every single Human Being ~ has the same Human Rights that NO government ~ not even the Planet’s most powerful ~ has legitimate authority to violate.

                  And finally, i wouldn’t worry about The Planet. Even if Homo sapiens sapiens succeed is killing themselves off with their arrogance, ignorance, greed, and stupidity, the Earth ~ or GAIA, as she is also known ~ will abide. And continue to do what She has been doing for 4.54 billion years: conducting an Experiment to see how the phenomenon of Life fares in this particular remote sector of the Universe.

                  The Heat Waves, Wildfires, Glacier Melts, Desertifications, Torrential Rains, Landslides, and Floodings, and other Weather- and Climate-related catastrophes are not “natural disasters,” but Nature’s Way of showing Humans that they are going in a very wrong direction. ###

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                3. You’re welcome, Jeff.

                  Yes, I know the earth will still be here. But in our naked exploitation of it, we are exterminating many, many species, and those species are not coming back.

                  As Agent Smith said in “The Matrix,” humans are acting like a killer virus on this planet, and someday we will pay the price. Not a happy thought, but I think that day is coming sooner than we might think.

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                4. i think You may be right about that day coming sooner than we might think, Bill. Much sooner.

                  But “More than 99 percent of all organisms that have ever lived on Earth are extinct.” The National Geographic article continues:

                  “As new species evolve to fit ever changing ecological niches, older species fade away. But the rate of extinction is far from constant. At least a handful of times in the last 500 million years, 75 to more than 90 percent of all species on Earth have disappeared in a geological blink of an eye in catastrophes we call mass extinctions.

                  “THOUGH MASS EXTINCTIONS ARE DEADLY EVENTS, THEY OPEN UP THE PLANET FOR NEW FORMS OF LIFE TO EMERGE. The most studied mass extinction, which marked the boundary between the Cretaceous and Paleogene periods about 66 million years ago, killed off the nonavian dinosaurs and made room for mammals and birds to rapidly diversify and evolve.
                  Continued at https://www.nationalgeographic.com/science/article/mass-extinction? [EMPHASIS added.]

                  Like i said: The Experiment to see how the phenomenon of Life fares in this particular remote sector of the Universe will continue.

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                5. Yes — the earth isn’t experiencing its first mass extinction.

                  Yes — life will persist even if humanity itself goes extinct.

                  But that doesn’t mean we should wash our hands of our deleterious impact on other species on this planet.

                  Ecology is complex, and humanity is part of a web of life. Perhaps we’re the spider in that web. Do enough damage to the web, and the spider itself will suffer to the point of dying.

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                6. Given that Humans aren’t the architects, engineers, or builders of the Web of Life, Bill, i’m not sure we can designate ourselves as “The Spider.”

                  But, with our negative impacts on the systems, cycles, and interactions of all the other species of which it is made, we are certainly damaging ~ possibly even to the point of ultimately destroying ~ it.

                  While we can’t wash our hands of that fact, we can and will feel the negative effects. And already are.

                  And while we Humans may not extinct ourselves completely; we can significantly reduce our numbers and the conditions and quality of living and life in which the survivors live. When’s the last time You saw Mad Max?

                  And finally, if we extinct ourselves with global nuclear war, Life may or may not persist. The Web may be atomized and incinerated right along with us. Except, perhaps, way down deep in one of those bottomless canyons in the deepest parts of the Ocean.

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                7. Fair point, Jeff. Though I think humans in their hubris often think of themselves as the spider.

                  Life will likely persist even with a nuclear war — but I hope we never put THAT to the test.

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                8. That they do. And Yeah; that would be a test that everybody would fail. Especially if they survive it.

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                9. Let’s not FORGET what we saw at the beginning of COVID, when there was almost a total shutdown of car traffic and Companies.

                  I saw it on the News many Times, showing a remarkable replenishment and renewing of the Natural Habitat.

                  Having seen the EVIDENCE, imagine what could possibly result if Humanity developed a Common Purpose facing a Common Threat?

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                10. For example: What would happen if it suddenly became established scientific fact that an asteroid bigger than the one that killed off the Dinosaurs was on a confirmed collision course with Earth, and would be arriving in one year?

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                11. “And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you — ask what you can do for your country” JFK Jan 20, 1961

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                12. When You get the chance, Dennis, would You explain exactly what the Kennedy quote has to do with what we’re talking about? Thank You.

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                13. @JG MOEBUS

                  “And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you — ask what you can do for your country” JFK Jan 20, 1961

                  The public is always looking to politicians, and government institutions to solve the country’s problems. Sitting on their fat backsides watching Tucker Carlson , doing fuck all, and demanding that politicians do all the hard work.

                  In Bill’s blog yesterday we were talking about Biden and Trump’s inability to solve anything for the country.

                  Relevantly, JFK was suggesting that solutions have to come from the people.

                  And an example of this is – your drive to get the people behind your NOTC initiative. That is something we the people could do for our country. And what you are doing for the country.

                  Solutions need to come from the bottom up, instead of the top down – if you like.

                  Am I making sense Jeff?

                  Liked by 1 person

                14. You wrote: “Relevantly, JFK was suggesting that solutions have to come from the people.”

                  More solutions could and would come from the people, Dennis, if the government would get the hell out of the way.

                  That’s why Tax Freedom Day in the USA is perennially in early-to-mid April; April 18 this year.

                  [NOTE: Tax Freedom Day is the first day each year that Americans work for themselves. The exact date varies by person, business, state, and tax year but is usually in early or mid-April. EVERY DOLLAR EARNED BEFORE THAT PAYS FOR FEDERAL, STATE, AND MUNICIPAL GOVERNMENT SERVICES. For details, see https://www.thebalance.com/what-is-tax-freedom-day-3306327. Any idea what it is in New Zealand?] [EMPHASIS added.]

                  But to get the government the hell out of the way, You first have to figure out what to do with and about all the people whose lives, livelihoods, and lifestyles are dependent upon that government: from the military-industrial-congressional complex, the secrecy-surveillance-security panopticon, the banking-finance-printing press web, and the rest of the Deep State, to the individual, family, and, most especially, the Corporate Welfare Queens.

                  i have said it before and i will say it again: The Problem is a system of government and governance that is Of, By, and For the Vested, Special Interests; and not The People.

                  And THAT is the problem that the American People need to recognize, realize, acknowledge, accept, and decide and determine to solve. If it isn’t already too late.

                  Liked by 1 person

            2. You would need a population that was highly resistant to pro-war propaganda from pretty much all the mainstream media. An educated populace that knows enough to NOT watch standard TV news. Not much chance of that I think.

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  5. I wholeheartedly agree that both Biden and Trump are too old to serve as President. I’m 74 years old and I don’t think anyone over 70 should be allowed to run for the office. I don’t want septuagenarians making policies that will so affect the lives of my grandchildren long after the old geezers are gone. As for who the Democrats have, I really liked Senator Corey Booker when he was (briefly) running for the Presidency. Of course the odds of the United States electing another Black man as President any time soon are approximately zero.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Speaking of being too old; this increasingly befuddled septuagenarian geezer still can’t figure out his iphone, or his HP computer(made in China) or his Toyota Prius radio, or his new microwave touch screen – but his 9-year old grandson sends him text messages and emails!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The hi-tech solution to all tech problems is to unplug it and count to ten and plug it back in. If it’s a severe problem unplug it, do a rain dance, and then plug it back in.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I have read all the comments so far – a bunch are not on the age question but are on important subjects which I hope Bill will do a post on soon, but I’m going to comment on the one this post is presumably about.
    I like Bernie, and although I guess most people think he is too old to run, I would still vote for him if he did; simply because I trust that he means what he says which one cannot say about Biden in particular, or Harris or “mayor Pete” etc. However the truth is that he is too old to run, and I don’t think he will because he knows that. I’m over 80 and I have all my faculties, but definitely not the vast quantities of energy I used to have. I look back at my life and am amazed at what I managed to do. How did I do I that? I think to myself, but I know I couldn’t do it now. So I agree, that perhaps there should be a law that says a person over 75 can’t run for president. So where does that leave us in the Democratic party? Well how about Ro Kahna (sp?) I have always liked him and he seems to have his head on straight. Another “comer” is Katie Porter who needs maybe a few years in an important post – like secretary of the treasury or something – to garner national attention. Or maybe there is a totally unknown-to-the-public person like Jill Stine who comes out of nowhere and who would have made a perfectly fine president, but for the fact that she headed the Green party ticket that no one paid attention to. (I voted for her – can’t stand Hillary).
    All the comments here about the government lies are well said, and I agree that they are the major cause of the sticky wicket we are in and I don’t know how we are going to get out of it. It’s beginning to look like our president wants to end it all with a nuclear war – that’s where he’s resolutely heading. Congress (Dems and Repubs both) seem willing to let him go there. Look how many Dems voted for the insane Pentagon budget! As far as I can tell all but a few, regardless of party, are totally insane, along with our Pentagon heads.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I like Katie Porter. Gutsy with a sharp mind. Ro Khanna is not as gutsy as Katie, but I give him credit for being willing to talk to real progressives like Jimmy Dore and Briahna Joy Gray. Ro is certainly better than Trump and Biden.

      I voted for Jill Stein as well in 2016. Couldn’t stand Trump and Hillary.

      The Democrats will likely nominate a thoroughly “moderate” and trustworthy tool like Biden, Harris, or Mayor Pete in 2024. Katie and Ro need not apply.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Both Porter and Khanna voted “yes” on the $40 billion aid package for Ukraine fighting. It’s difficult to find a Democrat politician who isn’t a hawk, a servant of the security state. They had a couple of Democrat candidates in 1972 who weren’t hawks (one ran for President and lost) but that’s the last I can recall.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. True. Amazing how people sacrifice principles in the cause of party unity, even when it’s not required.

          But there is no perfect candidate. I’d be happy to see Katie Porter, but she doesn’t have a ghost of a chance. She’s too outspoken against big finance.

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          1. The way the House is run they only need one vote. Nancy Pelosi’s. If she’s for it it passes. And since she controls the agenda if she’s not for it it isn’t brought up. Heck of a system. Party loyalty. China’s CCP works basically the same way. I still think they could save a lot of money by basically shutting Congress down and letting all the Congresspeople go “home”. Every once in a while call up Nancy Pelosi in San Francisco and see what passes in the House. Democracy?

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            1. i’m curious, Alex: So who is the current Kingmaker ~ Pelosi’s equivalent, if You will ~ these days on the Senate side? Manchin? Sinema? Harris?

              But more importantly: Is the current situation any different than it has ever been throughout America’s history, regardless of which party holds the majority and leadership in either the House or the Senate?

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              1. Schumer is the Senate Majority Leader. He has a tougher time of it than Pelosi in part because of the filibuster and in part because the Senate split is 50-50, with Harris as the tie-breaker.

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                1. i would say that Manchin and Sinema had at least as much~ if not more ~ stroke than Schumer when it came to making the passage of the so-called Inflation Reduction Act finally happen.

                  In any event, is the current situation any different than it has ever been throughout America’s history, regardless of which party holds the majority and leadership in either the House or the Senate? Have any Senate Majority Leaders or Speakers of the House ever Not been in total command of his [or her] party’s cohorts in that part of Congress?

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          2. What is so amazing or unusual about a politician ~ ANY politician ~ sacrificing principles in the cause of just about anything that enables them to get and/or keep more influence/stroke/power and/or wealth?

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  8. I look back at my life and am amazed at what I managed to do. How did I do I that?……

    RANNEY you made out your Supermarket shopping list with a pencil and paper… not on your iphone.

    And Kelly Johnson designed the amazing SR71 Blackbird with a slide rule. On schedule and on budget. And still amazing 56-years later!. Those F35 designers could do as well eh!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I once read a science fiction story about a guy in the future who could do math with just a pencil and paper whereas the rest of society needed their calculators. Let’s see 7 times 7 is 49, put down the 9 and carry the 4. Wait, what, what? Carry the 4? Why did you do that?? Then they’d check the answers on their calculators. My gosh, he’s right!!! They were amazed!! Isaac Asimov, 1957 short story, “The Feeling of Power”.

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  9. “I’m Worried We’re Becoming A Thought-Controlled Dystopia, Like China!” by Caitlin Johnstone

    John: I’m worried about China.

    Jane: Oh yeah? What about it?

    John: Well more I’m worried about the example they’re setting, and that western governments will start implementing their technocratic oppression style to turn us all into a bunch of brainwashed, homogeneous obedience machines.

    Jane: What makes you think Chinese people are all brainwashed and homogeneous?

    John: Oh my God, don’t you watch the news? Have you not heard of their social credit score system? The state censorship and propaganda those people are subjected to? The CCP literally doesn’t let them have access to western social media platforms because our free thought and democratic values might interfere with their conformity policing. How have you not heard about this? It’s in the news constantly.

    Jane: Constantly?

    John: Oh yeah, it’s like a major news story all the time. All across the political spectrum, too. Fox News, CNN, The Washington Post. Alternative media too like Infowars and The Epoch Times; even lefty YouTubers like Vaush talk all the time about how bad it is in China.

    Jane: SO BECAUSE YOU’RE BEING GIVEN THE SAME MESSAGE BY ALL THE WESTERN MEDIA YOU CONSUME, YOU’RE WORRIED ABOUT THE ENFORCEMENT OF THOUGHT CONFORMITY IN… CHINA?

    John: Yeah. Of course.

    Jane: AND THIS IS WHY YOU’RE WORRIED THAT, AT SOME POINT IN THE FUTURE, THAT KIND OF BRAINWASHING AND HOMOGENEITY MIGHT SOMEDAY BE INFLICTED UPON US BY POWERFUL PEOPLE IN THE WEST?

    John: I mean yeah, if the CCP doesn’t do it to us first. Did you know they’re trying to take over the world?

    Jane: They are?

    John: Oh yeah! The Chinese want to take over the world and give us all a social credit score so we’ll all think the same. How do you not know about this? Don’t you ever watch TV?

    Jane: HOW DO YOU KNOW IT’S TRUE THOUGH?

    John: That they want to conquer us and give us a social credit score? Come on! Open your eyes! Have you seen how they treat their own population? They’re genociding the Uyghurs as we speak! Millions and millions of them in Nazi-style extermination camps! Plus they deliberately released the Covid virus to hurt us after cooking it up in a lab, they’re taking over Hollywood and infiltrating our political and academic institutions, and they’ve colonized the entire continent of Africa! OF COURSE THE CCP WANTS TO RULE US! DON’T YOU EVER WATCH TUCKER CARLSON? THEY’RE TRULY, DEEPLY EVIL, AND WE’VE GOT TO DO SOMETHING TO STOP THEM.

    Jane: Sounds like you’ve got this China thing all figured out. You’re right, that sounds really scary. I CAN’T IMAGINE WHAT IT WOULD BE LIKE, LIVING IN A THOUGHT-CONTROLLED DYSTOPIA WHERE YOUR RULERS ARE BRAINWASHING EVERYONE INTO OBEDIENCE AND MAKING SURE EVERYBODY THINKS THE SAME WAY ABOUT STUFF.

    John: Yeah! Finally you get it! I’m glad you’ve come around. Honestly you’re the first person I know who didn’t already understand these things about China.

    Jane: I’LL BET.

    John: So do you think it will happen? Do you think our government will implement a social credit score system to make us all believe lies and propaganda, like the Chinese?

    Jane: You know, I wouldn’t worry about it.

    https://caitlinjohnstone.substack.com/p/im-worried-were-becoming-a-thought [EMPHASES added.]

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  10. Jeff, would you be happier if the American society ruled itself on the basis of voluntary cooperation, without political institutions or hierarchical government? Just wondering?

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    1. That’s a DFQ [Damn Fine Question], Dennis. Thanks for asking it.

      While i’m preparing a response, take a look at the Comment i just directed to Bill a couple of minutes ago. It begins like this:

      < Like i said, Bill: i needed to ponder on that a bit. And i’m still pondering.

      < The first thing i’ve been wrestling with is whether or not i [and “most” Americans] “deserve,” or have “earned,” or are “entitled” to a “better” system of government and governance than the abusive and dishonest [and a whole bunch of other equally descriptive adjectives] one that we have now, and have had for a very long time. >
      …….

      That will give You a very good, initial broad-stroke overview of my thoughts and feelings about political institutions and hierarchical government.

      In the meantime, the simplest, quickest way to answer Your question is to tell You that, No, i am not an “Anarchist,” if that’s what You are wondering about.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. @JG MOEBUS
    A few days ago I asked you what you thought about the idea of bringing back the draft. Mandatory National Service. You blew it off as a morally bankrupt idea akin to slavery. Here is good article in Reason Free Minds and Free Markets magazine agreeing with you:

    “Of all the bad ideas that just won’t die, the proposition that it would be swell to force people to work at government jobs they wouldn’t choose for themselves is one of the more persistent. It’s a scheme that’s eternally most popular among those to whom it wouldn’t apply and championed by pundits convinced it will inculcate an appreciation for a political system among those from whom it steals time and labor. Even more insulting, the latest such proposal is presented as a cleverly coercive solution to a shortage of public-sector workers…..
    ……………Of course, even if conscription of any sort were popular among those on the receiving end, it would still be unacceptable as a violation of individual liberty. Until ….advocates of mandatory national service seriously engage with and answer moral objections to compelled labor, their proposal will remain one whose time has not come and, in a just world, never will.”

    https://reason.com/2022/08/12/mandatory-national-service-is-a-morally-bankrupt-idea/

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  12. Old World! New World!

    ‘Ukraine Is a Wake-Up Call for Europe’
    It is becoming clear that U.S. neoconservatives have succeeded in creating a warmongering, anti-Russian mood in Europe through an unprecedented information war, the consequences of which will take some time to assess. It is, however, possible to identify the signs of what is to come.

    Losers: We do not yet know who will win this war (or if anyone will win it, apart from the arms industry). But we do know who will lose the most: the Ukrainian and European people. Parts of Ukraine are in ruins, millions of people have been displaced, and the euro has fallen; these are signs of defeat. In the seven decades since the destruction caused by World War II, Europe had risen again. Led by high-profile politicians and supported by the United States in its anti-communist crusade, Western Europe managed to establish itself as a region of peace and development (even if, alas, at the expense of colonial and neocolonial violence and appropriation). All it took to put the peace and development at risk was one ghost war: fought in Europe, but not led by Europe, and not even in the interest of Europeans……………………………
    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/57197.htm

    ‘US universities are pipelines to the defense industry. What does that say about our morals?’
    Much of our higher education system is a glorified feeder for Lockheed Martin and other defense industry firms
    In his 1961 farewell address, Dwight D Eisenhower warned the nation against the “unwarranted influence” of the military-industrial complex. But a lesser known part of the speech was addressed to universities: “In the same fashion, the free university, historically the fountainhead of free ideas and scientific discovery, has experienced a revolution in the conduct of research. Partly because of the huge costs involved, a government contract becomes virtually a substitute for intellectual curiosity.”

    We didn’t listen…………………………………………………
    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/57196.htm

    Liked by 2 people

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